Somatosensory ImpairmentWhat is somatosensory impairment?

Somatosensation refers to the sensations arising from the skin. These sensations include the ability to feel light touch, localize a touch, discriminate temperature, identify an object through the sense of touch (somatosensation), discriminate the sharpness of an object, and the ability to feel pain. Somatosensory impairment refers to any type of impairment that affects one’s ability to effectively and accurately process input received from sensory receptors in the skin. Somatosensory impairments can occur in any part or area of the body.

What are some symptoms of somatosensory impairment?

Symptoms vary widely depending on the severity of condition, injury, or impairment. Some symptoms include tingling, numbness, pain, inability to recognize the position of a limb in space or decreased sensation in one or more areas of the body.

How does the condition progress?

Depending on the cause, somatosensory impairment can be an acute condition lasting a few days or a chronic condition that lasts several years. Some conditions that cause somatosensory impairments include stroke, cerebral palsy, nerve injury or laceration, and nervous system disorders (like brain or spinal cord injury).

How can I help treat my child’s somatosensory impairment?

Treatment techniques may include, but are not limited to, surgery, physical therapy, and occupational therapy to enable the body to interpret, discriminate, and detect sensations to the skin in a more efficient and accurate manner.

Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our specialists believe that the most beneficial treatment approach begins with an accurate and thorough assessment of current abilities to perceive somatosensory information. Next, an individualized treatment plan will be created, incorporating somatosensory re-training techniques, including, but not limited to, massage, direct visual and verbal feedback, constraint-induced movement therapy, and the most relevant evidence-based practices.

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