What is Pediatric Physical therapy?

Pediatric physical therapy is a specialized area of treatment aimed at addressing a child’s gross motor and cognitive development and maximizing a child’s ability to move about their environment independently. 

Who Practices Pediatric Physical Therapy?

Pediatric physical therapists use the general principles of physical therapy and apply them in the context of a child’s development. 

Treatment strategies focus on improving a child’s ability to explore and navigate their environment. Pediatric physical therapy exercises target:

  • Strengthening
  • Postural alignment
  • Balance
  • Coordination 

Physical therapists specialize in gross motor skills, which are big movements that use your entire body and require large muscle groups in the arms, torso, and legs. 

Gross motor movements include: 

  • Rolling 
  • Crawling 
  • Walking 
  • Running
  • Jumping

What Conditions Does Pediatric Physical Therapy Treat?

The challenges children face in their motor and cognitive development come in many shapes and sizes, but so too do the treatments. No matter what hurdles your child has to overcome, Carolina Peds Physical Therapy has the expertise to help.

Pediatric Physical Therapy Treatment For Developmental Delays

A developmental delay is diagnosed by a pediatric physical therapist when a child is not able to achieve a gross motor activity that is expected based on their age. 

For instance, children typically walk around 12 months of age. If a child cannot walk independently by that age, physical therapy can help the child achieve this gross motor skill milestone by helping them with their balance, coordination, and strength. 

Other children have more difficulty with higher-level coordination, such as completing jumping jacks, dexterously using their hands and fingers, or navigating stairs with an alternating foot pattern. Pediatric physical therapists can likewise help improve the coordination needed for these activities.

Pediatric Physical Therapy For Neurological Disorders

Pediatric physical therapists also specialize in treating neurological disorders. This includes children born with:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Seizure disorders
  • Other congenital conditions

Children born with a neurological condition often experience increased muscle tone, which causes stiffness in their limbs and difficulty controlling their movement patterns. 

To help, pediatric physical therapists can utilize: 

  • Optimal positioning strategies
  • Range of motion exercises to prevent muscle contractures
  • Adaptive equipment, including orthotics and wheelchairs
  • General strengthening tasks to maximize a child’s mobility.

Pediatric Physical Therapy For Gait Deviations

Another common condition that pediatric physical therapists specialize in treating is gait deviations. 

Pediatric physical therapists can help correct toe-walking by providing range-of-motion and targeted strengthening activities to help normalize gait. Likewise, pediatric physical therapists are trained to correct the gait of children that walk with in-toeing or with a pigeon-toed gait. 

Children who frequently fall when running or walking can also benefit from physical therapy services. A pediatric physical therapist will help them to improve their balance and coordination to minimize such accidents.

Pediatric Physical Therapy For Orthopedic Conditions

Finally, pediatric physical therapists are also trained to treat orthopedic conditions such as:

  • Anterior knee pain
  • Rehabilitation following a fracture/broken bone
  • Back pain
  • Sports-related injuries.

Is There a Pediatric Physical Therapy Clinic Near Me?

If your child requires any of the above services, look no further. Carolina Peds Physical Therapy has several locations throughout North Carolina. 

Contact us to make an appointment and start your child on their road to recovery.

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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