Pediatric Physical Therapists work with infants, children, and adolescents from birth through 21 years of age who have conditions that limit their physical abilities. Patients are treated for a variety of different reasons including bone, muscle, and nerve injuries; sport-related injuries; neurological conditions; and genetic disorders.
Treatment focuses on improving range of motion, strength, and movement patterns to decrease pain/discomfort and to increase function.
Common diagnoses treated include, but are not limited to:
· Developmental Delay
· Brachial Plexus Injury
· ACL/MCL Repairs
· Cerebral Palsy
· Spina Bifida
· Neonatal Withdrawal Syndrome
· Toe Walking
· Down Syndrome
· Muscular Dystrophy
· Recurrent Dislocations
· Shoulder Injuries
· Back Pain
· Hypotonia/Low Muscle Tone
· Hypertonia/High Muscle Tone
· Erb’s Palsy
· Chromosomal Abnormalities
· Neurological Impairments
· Spinal Muscular Atrophy
· Osteogenesis Imperfecta
· Rett Syndrome*not an all inclusive list
What happens during the evaluation?
At the first visit the PT will check your child’s strength, development, and ask several questions regarding their history and day-to-day life. We like to get the whole picture when treating your child to determine how to best address your concerns. If there is a delay in your child’s development it will be determined that day and the PT will work with you on developing a treatment plan that fits your child’s specific needs.
What will my child do in PT?
Therapy sessions are often play-based with age-appropriate activities and games that encourage muscular strengthening and challenge endurance. PT can be hard work, so we try to make it as fun as possible. Depending on your child’s goals, we will work on things like balancing on one foot, challenge coordination skills by playing catch, or help your child to develop protective responses over an exercise ball. A home exercise program will also be developed specifically for your child.
What is a home exercise program (HEP) and why is it important?
A home exercise program is exactly as it sounds, a group of exercises prescribed by the physical therapist to perform at home. HEPs are important because oftentimes patients are only seen 1 or 2 times a week for 30 minutes to an hour. In order to make real changes in strength, flexibility, and functionality these exercises need to be performed throughout the week. Don’t worry, we will never send you home with an exercise we don’t feel confident your child can accomplish. Safety is our number one goal.
As parents and guardians, you play the primary role in your child’s development and success. We are here to provide guidance, education, and support so that your child may achieve their full potential. During treatments we will educate you on things like:
· Correct form and technique of exercises
· How to adapt toys for play
· Equipment that can be used to improve mobility
· Use of orthotics to improve functional movement