What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?
Pediatric physical therapy aims to improve the lives and daily functions of children from birth to eighteen years old. When therapy feels more like play, treatment is more relaxed, and achieving goals feels less like work to get children back to activities at home, in the classroom, on the playground, and in the community. Pediatric physical therapists work to make therapy engaging with age-appropriate activities using toys, games, and a variety of techniques. In addition, pediatric physical therapists work closely with parents, caregivers, and other healthcare providers to ensure needs are being met and progress is being made.
What Does Pediatric Therapy Treat?
Pediatric therapy treats a wide range of injuries and conditions occurring before and after birth including:
- Developmental Delay/Difficulty meeting age-appropriate milestones
- Toe Walking
- Sports Injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Hemiplegia following a stroke or other injuries
- Difficulty with balance and coordination
- Down Syndrome
- Spina Bifida
Benefits of Pediatric Physical Therapy
Pediatric physical therapy provides a wide variety of benefits for children facing physical challenges or developmental delays including:
- Developing skills, they need to improve their ability to move, play, and participate in their daily activities
- Improve strength and flexibility to improve participation in activities such as crawling, climbing, standing, and participation in sports
- Better balance and coordination to improve running, walking, playing, and participation in sports
- Development of appropriate motor skills such as rolling, crawling, walking, running, and jumping
- Pain relief for conditions or injuries resulting in pain
- Greater confidence and self-esteem in their ability as they participate with their peers.
How Do I Know if My Child Needs Physical Therapy?
If your child has had a recent injury, complains of pain, isn’t reaching age-appropriate milestones, or prefers looking or moving to one side they might be appropriate for pediatric physical therapy. Children who crawl or walk in an abnormal pattern are also appropriate for physical therapy. If you are unsure whether your child is appropriate for therapy or would benefit from pediatric physical therapy, talk to a pediatric physical therapist and determine if therapy is appropriate for you and your child.