Physical therapy helps to increase a child's mobility, range of motion, strength, endurance, postural support, and balance so that they are better able to play and move at home and in the community. A physical therapist may use massage, heat, stretching, or strength training with children who have delays involving large muscles and orthopedic development. Physical therapy is also used to address sports related injuries.
How long will a typical therapy session last and what will happen during a session?
A typical physical therapy treatment session will last approximately an hour depending on the child’s endurance or level of fatigue. During a typical treatment session the therapist will plan fun and play based activities geared towards each child. These activities may include crawling, walking, climbing stairs, jumping and playing games to address balance and coordination, and to strengthen the large muscles of the body.
Who could benefit from physical therapy?
Children who can benefit from physical therapy may have been diagnosed with: Gross motor developmental delays Orthopedic injuries Cerebral palsy Spina bifida Down syndrome Brain injuries Autism spectrum disorders Low muscle tone Torticollis Toe walking Coordination difficulties
How long can I expect my child to need therapy?
Every child is different and duration of therapy varies. A child may require a short period of therapy for balance or coordination concerns. A child may be a “late walker” or need to have an orthopedic injury addressed. Other children may require a longer duration of therapy to meet crucial developmental milestones.
Some common signs that your child may benefit from a physical therapy evaluation are:
Delayed developmental milestones (for example a child who has not met typical developmental milestones within 2-3 months (rolling, sitting unsupported, crawling, walking and jumping). Unable to walk or requires special equipment to walk Difficulty or cannot perform gross motor skills (movements of the large muscles) for example, running, crawling, walking and jumping Orthopedic injuries Poor balance Frequent falling or tripping Limited neck range of motion Poor trunk control Any of the above diagnoses