Pediatric physical therapists work with children with a wide range of disorders of the musculoskeletal and neurological systems. We use a variety of techniques designed to make therapy fun and playful to help children reach their highest potential of physical function. Pediatric physical therapy promotes independence in the home, school, and community. An initial evaluation is completed and our therapists use their expertise when developing goals for the child to achieve. Our treatment sessions are geared towards each child’s needs based on their individual evaluation.
OUR THERAPISTS HAVE WORKED WITH CHILDREN WITH MANY DIAGNOSES; SOME OF THE MORE COMMON INCLUDE:
The PDFs below can help you determine if your child needs Physical Therapy.
Based on specific concerns, one or more of the following areas will be assessed:
A typical physical therapy treatment session will last approximately an hour depending on the child’s endurance or level of fatigue. During a typical treatment session, the therapist will plan fun and play-based activities geared towards each child. These activities may include crawling, walking, climbing stairs, jumping and playing games to address balance and coordination, and to strengthen the large muscles of the body.
Being placed on the tummy is important in many ways. It helps develop strength in the muscles of the trunk used for rolling, crawling, sitting and eventually walking. Tummy time also helps strengthen the muscles of the hands and arms used later for fine motor skills (e.g. handwriting, using scissors). Start by placing your baby on their tummy while awake as early as the first month of life. They can lie on your chest facing you while you are sitting on the couch. Progress to putting your baby on the floor with a rolled towel or boppy under their chest, then move on to being placed flat on the belly. Put a mirror or toys in front of them to make it more fun. If your baby fusses at first, don’t be discouraged – try it often for short time periods (e.g. 1-2 minutes every awake hour).
It is not uncommon for toddlers to walk on their toes or on the balls of their feet. It is considered appropriate until the age of two, but if your child continues to toe walk beyond this point, it is important to have him/her evaluated by a physical therapist. Toe walking can be caused by a number of factors: musculoskeletal, neurological involvement, or sensory integration disorder. If your child is toe walking, please seek professional help early to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. Toe walking is an abnormal gait pattern that, if untreated, can cause joint contractures at the ankles, impaired function, joint pain, arthritis, knee instability, increased frequency of injury, difficulty with shoe fitting, and increased muscle fatigue. Pediatric physical therapy can help improve a child’s ability to walk and also decrease the need for other, more invasive treatment techniques.