What does a physical therapist do?

Physical therapists are specialists who help manage their patient’s pain and improve their ability to move. They play an important role in preventative care, treatment, and rehabilitation. Their therapy services are helpful for patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries that hinder the everyday activities of life.

Pediatric physical therapists focus their efforts on caring for physical development in infancy and childhood, and into the teen years. Proper motor and cognitive development during those early years of life are vital. Therefore, physical therapy services are designed to help a child overcome any hurdles that may try to hinder their healthy development.

Performs Physical Therapy Evaluations

A physical therapist is trained to perform an initial physical therapy evaluation to determine what challenges are keeping a child from achieving a gross motor milestone or participating in a certain activity. 

Your physical therapist will obtain a medical history of the reported problem, perform relevant systems reviews, and then select and administer specific tests and measures to obtain data. 

Everything from large muscle groups to little hands and fingers will be evaluated so that nothing is overlooked.

The tests include:

  • Measuring joint range of motion
  • Assessing muscle tone and strength
  • Guiding a child to complete various positions/activities to compare their skills with age-matched norms.

Determines A Diagnosis

Following the assessment, the physical therapist will use all of the data gathered to make clinical judgments and provide a physical therapy diagnosis. This diagnosis consists of the impairments/weaknesses that are hindering a child from completing their goal. 

Examples of physical therapy diagnoses: 

  • Increased muscle tone
  • Core weakness
  • Poor head control
  • Decreased balance
  • Poor coordination

At this point, your physical therapist will recommend whether or not physical therapy services are medically necessary and will prescribe a treatment frequency, such as once or twice weekly visits.

The diagnosis will help the physical therapist determine the best intervention strategies to address the identified challenges. The physical therapist will also identify your child’s strengths so that they can be built on. This will help achieve the family’s goals for their child. 

Provides Physical Therapy Treatments

Treatment sessions can take place in a clinic, home, or another community environment such as a childcare center. A physical therapist will use pediatric physical therapy exercises to help your child complete targeted strengthening, balance, and coordination interventions. This will give them the skills needed to accomplish their functional goals, like sitting or standing independently. 

A physical therapist will also use the time during a treatment session to educate family members and other caregivers on how these pediatric physical therapy exercises can be done at home to maximize progress.

Pediatric physical therapists can help prescribe and order adaptive equipment for your children, such as walkers and wheelchairs. A physical therapist is required to submit a letter to insurance in order to justify the need for this equipment.

Is There a Pediatric Physical Therapy Clinic Near Me?

Carolina Peds Physical Therapy’s has many locations staffed by the best pediatric physical therapists in the state. Contact us at any time to take the first step to meet your child’s development goals.

Want to know how a Physical Therapist can Help?

Schedule your infant, child, and teen for an evaluation today and see how a therapist can help your family.
Call (828) 398 0043 or click on the schedule button.

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