Pediatric physical therapy is the evaluation and treatment of physical impairments in children, ranging in age from newborn to mid-20s. The goal of pediatric physical therapy is to assist children with physical challenges to maximize their independence and improve their mobility, self-care and other functional skills necessary for daily living. Our pediatric physical therapy incorporates hands-on techniques and therapeutic exercises with play and recreational activities to reach this goal. A child’s family plays an important part in pediatric physical therapy, including the development of client- and family-centered goals.
Common Diagnoses Treated
There are a variety of reasons a child may need physical therapy. Some common diagnoses include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Spina bifida
- Traumatic brain injury
- Developmental delay
- Coordination and balance disorders
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Tight heel cords
- Muscular dystrophy
- Orthopedic (fractures, sprains/strains, sports related injuries)
- Gait abnormalities
- Genetic syndromes
- Muscular weakness
Children may need physical therapy for any number of reasons, including if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
- If your child tripping or falling down a lot?
- Have trouble sitting up straight?
- Get tired quickly while playing?
- Complain of pain in joints, feet or muscles?
- Toe walking?
- Appear “floppy” or low tone?
- Have an abnormal head shape continuing beyond 6 weeks of age?
- Behind in age-appropriate gross motor skills such as rolling, crawling, or walking?
- Sustained an injury such as broken arm or leg, sprained knee or ankle, had surgery, etc.?
- Have a consistent head tilt to one side?
- Have abnormal muscle tone?
There are many benefits of pediatric therapy. Some include:
- Improved gross motor development
- Improved balance
- Improved coordination
- Increased muscular strength and range of motion
- Improved walking pattern
- Increased endurance
- Normalization of muscle tone
- Promotion of healthy and active lifestyle
- Prevention of injuries
- Maximized independence