Physical Therapy

physical-therapyPediatric physical therapist work with children and their families to assist each child in reaching their maximum potential to function independently and promote active participation in the home, school, and community environments. Physical therapists use their expertise in movement and applied clinical reasoning through the process of examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and intervention. As primary health care providers, PT’s also promote health and wellness as they implement a wide variety of supports for children from infancy through adolescence in collaboration with their families and other medical, educational, developmental, and rehabilitation specialist.

Pediatric physical therapy promotes independence, increased participation, facilitates motor development and function, improves strength and endurance and enhances learning opportunities. Doctors often recommend physical therapy for children and teens who have been injured or who have movement problems from an illness, disease, disability or developmental delay.

Physical therapists use a variety of treatments to help build strength, improve movement, and strengthen skills needed to complete daily activities. Physical therapists provided therapeutic intervention through:

  • evidenced based treatment methods
  • developmental sequencing activities, such as crawling and walking
  • balance and coordination activities
  • aquatic therapy
  • use of modalities such as; heat, cold, electrical stimulation, massage, and ultrasound
  • training to build strength and coordination
  • exercises to increase range of motion
  • instruction on how to avoid injuries
  • safety and prevention programs
  • assess rehabilitation equipment needs
  • recommendations for custom orthotics

During a physical therapy session the physical therapists may:

  • Measure a child’s flexibility and strength
  • Analyze how a child walks and runs
  • Identify existing and potential problems
  • Assess and recommend assistive technology to expand mobility options; such as equipment to assist with gait, and/or mobility.
  • Instruction of using equipment effectively
  • Facilitating safety for the home and community