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Physical Therapy

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists use a variety of treatments to help build strength, improve movement, and strengthen skills needed to complete daily activities.  A pediatric physical therapist will examine, evaluate and treat children from birth through adolescence who are experiencing functional limitations or disability due to trauma, a disorder or a disease process.  A pediatric physical therapist can help a child grow along with their peers and enjoy the most mobility and function with fewer barriers to normal mobility.

Physical therapists might guide kids through:


  • developmental activities, such as crawling and walking

  • balance and coordination activities

  • adaptive play

  • aquatic (water) therapy

  • stimulation, massage, and ultrasound

  • improving circulation around injuries by using heat, cold, exercise, electrical stimulation, massage, and ultrasound

  • flexibility exercises to increase range of motion

  • instruction on how to avoid injuries

  • safety and prevention programs

A child's work is play, and a pediatric physical therapy session often looks like play. The therapy area where your child and therapist will work may be filled with colorful and specialized tools and exercise equipment. These tools are designed to help your child develop gross motor movement to improve functional mobility.

During a visit, a physical therapist may:


  • measure a child's flexibility and strength

  • analyze how a child walks and runs (the child's gait)

  • identify existing and potential problems

  • consult with other medical personnel

  • provide instructions for home exercise programs

  • recommend when returning to sports is safe

  • assess and recommend assistive devices for mobility 

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