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Physical therapy is not just for athletes and adults recovering from injuries. There are many cases where children, and even infants, need physical therapy services. Pediatric physical therapy is a specialized area of rehabilitation that focuses on improving function in young children with injuries or developmental delays.

What conditions can pediatric therapy help treat?

Common diagnoses that may require pediatric physical therapy include:

  • Metabolic disorders
  • Neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy
  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Autism
  • Birth defects
  • Torticollis
  • Spina bifida
  • Down syndrome
  • Developmental disorders
  • Oncologic diseases

How do I know if my child needs therapy services?

Your child may benefit from pediatric therapy if:

  • They are not meeting expected developmental milestones
  • They have a strong preference for using only one side of their body
  • They walk on the balls of their feet or in an atypical manner
  • They have difficulty keeping up with peers during play
  • They frequently trip and fall while walking
  • They complain of pain when performing motor tasks

What to expect in a pediatric therapy session?

The main goal of pediatric physical therapy is to help children improve their functional mobility to participate in play, school, daily routines, and social activities. The physical therapist will use techniques that often look like games to keep the child interested in participating in the therapeutic activities.

Each child’s treatment plan is developed to address individual needs and goals, though treatments typically involve a combination of:

  • Exercises to increase range of motion and strength
  • Training to improve gait and functional mobility
  • Coordination activities
  • Gait training
  • Postural control exercises
  • Casting, splinting, and taping to improve alignment
  • Education on assistive devices and adaptive equipment to enhance mobility

To learn more about our pediatric physical therapy program at Breakthru Physical Therapy + Fitness, schedule an appointment here.

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