Pediatric Physical Therapy

From sprained ankles on the soccer field to impaired brain development affecting motor skills, there are many childhood injuries, conditions, and diseases that can be effectively treated with physical therapy. If your child is having difficulty moving, it can hamper their experience of daily life, leading to withdrawal at school and at home. Children should be able to explore the world around them without worrying about pain or impaired motion. At Innovative SLP, we strongly believe in the power of physical therapy to transform a child’s quality of life.

Physical Therapy

Conditions Treated by Pediatric Physical Therapy

Many diseases and disorders have an impact on children’s motor skills. With the help of physical therapy, your child can learn to manage their symptoms. Our physical therapists are experienced in working with children who have:

  • Autism
  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Developmental delays
  • Prematurity
  • Torticollis/Wry Neck (head tilt)
  • Spina Bifida
  • Delays in developmental milestones
  • Hypotonia (weakness, low tone)
  • Hypertonia (tightness, high tone)
  • Gross motor incoordination
  • Motor planning difficulties
  • Gait difficulties
  • Orthotic concerns
  • Neurological problems

Children may also have orthopedic issues resulting from accidental injury or congenital problems, such as:

  • Fractures
  • Joint, muscle, and back pain
  • Sprains
  • Scoliosis
  • Sports injuries

Pediatric physical therapy uses many of the same techniques as adult PT. Since children’s bodies are smaller and still growing, they may be able to bounce back better from certain types of injuries. Conversely, it is even more important to treat children’s injuries and diseases as soon as possible to prevent them from interfering with physical, mental, and emotional development.

Child Receiving Physical Therapy

Goals of Pediatric Physical Therapy

The overall objective of physical therapy is to help your child interact with the world with the greatest possible range of motion and the least possible pain and discomfort. To that end, there are specific skills and traits that we work to improve in physical therapy:

  • Range of motion: How far the joints can bend or extend
  • Strength: How well the muscles resist gravity
  • Balance: The ability to stand or sit upright and to resist from falling
  • Reflexes: Particularly autonomic responses seen in infants such as grasping
  • Posture: The proper alignment of the body
  • Gait: A stable and painless walking motion

To achieve these goals, we employ techniques ranging from neuromuscular electrical stimulation to physical exercises such as Pilates and therapeutic strengthening and stretching. You will be involved in every aspect of the process, helping us develop a treatment plan that fits with your child’s physical and emotional needs.

What makes pediatric PT different from adult PT?

Adults approach physical therapy with a much different mindset. They are aware of their injury or condition, have actively sought out a solution, and usually cooperate with treatments. Children have much different needs. They may be scared, frustrated, or not understand why they are in therapy. They may feel that they have done something wrong, even if their condition is present from birth. For pediatric physical therapy, the parent and therapist must work together to provide a nurturing environment for the child. Sessions are structured as fun or as playtime, so the child will find therapy enjoyable as well as useful.

Pediatric Physical Therapists are trained in the evaluation, treatment, and management of following conditions:

  • Ataxia
  • Balance /Gait Disorders
  • Body Alignment
  • Brachial Plexus Injury
  • Burns
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Congenital/Genetic Disorders
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Clumsiness/poor coordination
  • Generalized Developmental Delay
  • Down Syndrome
  • Generalized joint & muscle pain
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypertonia
  • Hypotonia
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Neurological insult
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Premature birth
  • Pulmonary problems
  • Scoliosis
  • Sensory Integrative Dysfunction
  • Spina Bifida
  • Sports related injuries
  • Stroke
  • Torticollis
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Vestibular disorders
  • and other conditions

Following are some of the services provided:

  • Development and enhancement of gross/fine motor skills
  • Management of muscle tone
  • Building or rebuilding muscle strength
  • Improvement of posture/postural control
  • Pre-gait and gait training
  • Improve range of motion
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Improve body awareness and body alignment
  • Building cardiopulmonary endurance
  • Relieve or manage pain
  • Order and management of durable medical equipment and orthosis

Some of the treatment techniques used:

  • PNF (peripheral neuromuscular rehabilitation)
  • NDT (neurodevelopmental treatment)
  • SI (sensory integration)
  • Soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Neuromuscular rehabilitation
  • Therapeutic strengthening and stretching exercises
  • Pilates
  • Balance and coordination exercises
  • Kinesio/McConnell taping

Contact Innovative SLP if your child is in need of physical therapy. We’ll work closely with you to treat your child’s condition and make them feel welcome and safe.