Pediatric Physical Therapy

29th Aug 2013

Pediatric Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is essentially the treatment of injury, disease, or other health conditions that make it difficult for individuals to move, walk, or perform everyday tasks. The purpose of many of the techniques employed by physical therapists are intended to help individuals move better, by alleviating the pain associated with movement and improving or restore physical function by increasing strength and range of motion.

Pediatric physical therapists evaluate and provide treatment for children who have problems with motor skills. Infants, toddlers, and children may need physical therapy to help with developmental delays, birth defects, chronic illness, or an injury.

Peiatric Physical Therapy Products

Pediatric Physical Therapists help infants and children develop balance and motor skills.

Physical therapists that specialize in pediatric physical therapy are trained to assist infants and children in the development of mobility and coordination so that they can safely participate in everyday tasks or activities in their homes, in their communities, in the classroom, and on the playground. Pediatric physical therapists may be trained to identify and treat conditions that could negatively influence the developmental of functional movement before very much, if any, movement has taken place and may begin treatment very early to make certain infants and toddlers are able to perform basic, yet important, movement activities such as rolling, scooting, or crawling correctly. Pediatric physical therapists might also assist with sitting, standing, walking, running, playing games, participating in sports, and in other important physical activities for children who have conditions which might otherwise limit participation. A pediatric physical therapist might also work closely with children who rely on mobility aids such as wheelchairs, gait trainers, walkers, crutches, orthotics and other mobility aids to show them how to navigate safely under various circumstances. carries a large selection of products designed to help
children with rehabilitation and skill development.

Pediatric physical therapists are trained to evaluate, consult, and treat in many of the following areas:
  • Gross motor development
  • Muscle tone and strength
  • Posture/postural control
  • Pre-gait and gait training
  • Locomotion patterns
  • Neuromuscular function
  • Endurance
  • Body alignment
  • Environmental adaptations
  • Wheelchair positioning and mobility
  • Splinting/bracing/orthotics
  • Pelvic muscle development and control to prevent bed-wetting

During evaluation and treatment pediatric physical therapists will often incorporate many intervention approaches including stretching, massage, mobilization, muscle strengthening, and gait and endurance training to enhance a child’s capabilities and/or prevent deformities and contractures. Frequently pediatric physical therapy evaluations and treatments can look like play. Many pediatric physical therapists may even utilize specialized adaptive equipment that may look like toys, but are designed to demonstrate and increase physical performance and function.

Pediatric physical therapists can also assess the need for sensory stimulation products, weighted products designed to calm, orthotics (splints or braces), mobility aids such as canes, crutches, and wheelchairs, and other adaptive equipment and make recommendations based on their assessments.

Pediatric physical therapy helps individuals develop the coordination, strength, and range of motion children need to move through their environment as easily and effectively as possible. Pediatric physical therapy can often help children developmental disabilities adapt through the use of medical equipment so that they can also enjoy greater movement and greater independence.

Related Article: Adaptive Equipment in Pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapy