What is pediatric physical therapy? It is a specialized form of physical therapy that helps children develop the skills they need to efficiently, and safely, navigate through their environment. Many children face challenges and setbacks during their various stages of growth and development which can interfere with their daily lives and impede on a child’s social life. Pediatric physical therapy is often recommended by physicians to help these children get back on track to meet their development milestones to the best of their abilities. In this article, we will discuss what pediatric therapy does and how it can help your child.
What Is Involved in Pediatric Therapy?
The goal of pediatric physical therapy is to help children independently perform their gross motor skills. This goal often requires a combination of efforts and specialized care to help the child build strength, improve mobility, and alleviate any pain they’re experiencing, which is most often caused by injury, disease, or physical birth defects. Other forms of pediatric therapy are available for children requiring help in the areas of cognitive and behavioral development, but the field of physical therapy will focus on a child’s physical goals that may include, but not be limited to:
- Stretching, strengthening activities, and exercises to increase a child’s range and quality of movement.
- Gait training to help the child walk more comfortably.
- Improving their equilibrium and balancing skills
- Build strength and recover from injuries.
As such, the first step in the process requires a thorough assessment of the child’s condition to determine their specific therapy goals. Once a customized plan is designed to help the child reach their goals, the work will begin. The child will meet with a licensed physical therapist periodically, usually multiple times a week, and perform routine stretches, exercises, and activities that require the gradual use of motor functions and coordination in ways that children can understand.
What Are The Benefits?
Pediatric physical therapy has several benefits that children and teens of all ages can find useful. Children suffering from conditions such as palsy can benefit from the stretching and exercises from physical therapy to reduce muscle spasms, relieve stiffness, and maintain more control over their muscles. Children who are born with skeletal deformities will benefit from specialized strength and mobility training, which has been proven to help with the pain they experience performing everyday activities. Babies who are born prematurely may also be prescribed physical therapy to combat any muscular underdevelopment to make sure they have the strength they need to meet their future milestones.
Furthermore, aside from the physical benefits children can receive from physical therapy and meeting their developmental milestones, children also receive an invaluable benefit to their mental health. As the children continue to grow and improve during their therapy, they begin to feel more confident in their abilities, and their newfound independence has a tremendously positive impact on their self-esteem.
Make an Appointment With Excellence Rehab
The early stages of a child’s life are the most crucial when it comes to their successful development. If you or your doctor feel that your child is not meeting their milestones, it may be time to consider therapy. Excellence Rehab is a therapy and rehabilitation center that focuses solely on pediatric care. Our team of board-certified therapists uses evidence-based, scientifically-proven strategies to facilitate a healthy process and make it enjoyable for the child along the way. Please visit our website for more information and schedule your first appointment today.