Pediatric Physical Therapy


Pediatric physical therapy is a specialized area of physical therapy that focuses on helping children of all ages achieve their maximum physical potential. It is designed to help improve the physical, cognitive, and emotional development of children by using therapeutic techniques such as exercise, functional activities, and play.

 Pediatric physical therapists work with children to improve their motor skills, strength, coordination, posture, balance, and stability. They also help children with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and developmental delays. Pediatric physical therapy can help children reach their full potential and thrive in all aspects of their lives.

Types of Pediatric Physical Therapy

Pediatric physical therapy comes in various types. Some of them are:

Neuromotor Physical Therapy

This is an intervention technique for children who have neurological or developmental disorders such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, or Down syndrome. 

It incorporates principles from physical therapy, occupational therapy, and kinesiology in order to assess and treat impairments in strength, balance, coordination, endurance, and other physical impairments related to movement. The goal of neuromotor physical therapy is to improve or restore the individual’s ability to participate in activities of daily living, work, and recreational activities. 

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

This is used to help children with musculoskeletal disorders, such as scoliosis, congenital anomalies, fractures, and sports injuries. 

This type of physical therapy helps to improve the child’s range of motion, strength, and balance.

Aquatic Physical Therapy

It uses the properties of water to help improve a child’s range of motion, strength, and coordination. This type of physical therapy is beneficial for children who have difficulty with weight-bearing activities, balance problems, or motor skills.

Developmental Physical Therapy

This therapy focuses on helping children improve their gross motor skills. It is used to help children with developmental delays such as autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. This type of physical therapy helps children gain confidence in their bodies and develop skills that will help them in the future.

Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy

It focuses on helping children with cardiopulmonary conditions, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and heart defects. This type of physical therapy helps to improve the child’s breathing, circulation, and overall cardiovascular health.

Conditions Treated By Pediatric Physical Therapy

patient-receiving-physiotherapy-on-knee-by-med1care-therapistPediatric physical therapy focuses on helping children of all ages gain strength, improve mobility, and develop motor skills. It is used to treat a variety of conditions, and each therapy is dependent on the type of condition to be treated. Some of these conditions include:

Developmental Delay

Development for children who have not reached their expected milestones in motor skills, such as crawling, walking, jumping, and running can also be improved through therapy. The necessary techniques used helps to speed up development. 

Cerebral Palsy

Physical effects of cerebral palsy can be tackled through pediatric physical therapy, by addressing the child’s physical issues such as muscle tightness, muscle weakness, and poor coordination. 

Treatment usually involves stretching, strengthening exercises, balance activities, gait training, and special equipment such as walkers, adaptive seating, and braces. These treatments can help improve posture, balance, coordination, and mobility.

Muscular Dystrophy

Children who suffer muscular dystrophy can be helped through pediatric physical therapy by building the ability to maintain strength, increase range of motion and flexibility, and develop coordination.

Sports Injuries

Kids who have sustained sports injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures can undergo pediatric physical therapy. This helps them improve their strength, range of motion, flexibility, and balance.

This can be done through a variety of exercises and activities, such as stretches, flexibility exercises, strength training, and balance and coordination exercises. These activities can help reduce pain and limit the risk of further injury to the affected area. 

Physical therapists may also provide education to the child and their family members about injury prevention and proper technique, as well as provide emotional support and guidance during the rehabilitation process.

Spina Bifida

This is a spinal deformity that is present from birth, and it frequently results in lower limb paralysis because a portion of the spinal cord and its meninges are visible through a breach in the backbone.

Through pediatric physical therapy, children who suffer this can get the help needed with mobility issues, gait, balance, and coordination in children with spina bifida.


Children who suffer arthritis can be helped  by providing exercises to maintain or improve joint range of motion, strength, balance, coordination, and endurance. Physical therapists can also help children with arthritis to learn strategies to manage pain, practice techniques to reduce stress, and design an individualized exercise program to help maintain an active lifestyle, increase flexibility, range of motion, and strength. 


Autism is another problem faced by kids while growing up. Pediatric physical therapy provides a great opportunity to help children with autism to improve motor skills, increase body awareness, and participate in activities.

How Does Pediatric Physical Therapy Help A Child? 

Pediatric physical therapy helps children increase their strength, flexibility, mobility, and range of motion. It is designed to help children with physical impairments, such as those resulting from a birth defect or injury, improve their overall physical functioning. 

Therapists use a variety of techniques and exercises to help children become more independent and improve their physical abilities. By developing physical skills, children can progress, gain confidence in their abilities, and improve their overall quality of life.

Common Physical Treatments For Pediatric Patients

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a common physical treatment for pediatric patients. It can help to improve mobility, strength, coordination, and balance. Physical therapists can also design treatment plans to help children with special needs, such as cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and other physical impairments.

Occupational Therapy

It is another physical treatment for pediatric patients. It can help children develop skills for everyday activities such as dressing, bathing, and eating. Occupational therapists can also work on improving fine motor skills and visual-motor skills.

Exercise Therapy

This is a physical treatment for pediatric patients that can help to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Exercise therapy can also help children with special needs develop motor skills and improve functioning.

Aquatic Therapy

This therapy is a physical treatment for pediatric patients that utilizes the properties of water to help children improve physical skills. Aquatic therapy can help children improve balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength. It can also help reduce pain and promote relaxation.


Risk And Complications Involved In Pediatric Physical Therapy


PT for sports injury.Due to the physical nature of pediatric physical therapy, there is a risk of injury, both to the patient and the therapist. It is important to ensure that the therapist is properly trained and supervised and that all safety guidelines are followed.

Infection Risk

As a result of the close physical contact that takes place in physical therapy, there is a risk of the patient becoming exposed to infections and illnesses. It is important that all equipment used is properly sterilized and that the therapist is healthy and free from infection.

Adverse Reaction

Some patients may experience adverse reactions to medication or treatment, or to the physical therapy itself. It is important to monitor the patient closely and be prepared to respond to any adverse reactions.

Psychological Effects

In certain cases, the physical therapy process can be emotionally stressful for the patient and their family. It is important to provide emotional support to the patient and their family and to be aware of any potential psychological effects of the physical therapy.


Physical therapy for children can sometimes cause pain, either from the exercises themselves or from the force used in the therapy. It is important to be aware of this potential complication and to ensure that the exercises are not too intense for the child. 


The therapy process can be very tiring for children and can cause them to become fatigued quickly. It is important to monitor the child’s energy levels and make sure they are getting enough rest between sessions. 


Some children find this process intimidating, especially if they are unfamiliar with it. It is important to create a comfortable and reassuring environment to help reduce any anxiety they may be feeling. 

 By understanding the potential complications that can arise from pediatric physical therapy, parents and practitioners can take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and comfort of the child throughout the process.

Cost Of Pediatric Physical Therapy

Pediatric physical therapy (PT) is an important part of helping children with special needs or disabilities reach their fullest potential. The cost of pediatric physical therapy can vary greatly depending on the type of therapy needed, the therapist’s experience, and the facility. 

Generally, Pediatric Physical Therapy can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per session, although some insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost. The cost is also majorly determined by your area of residency. So this makes the cost to vary from place to place.

In addition, many facilities offer sliding-scale fees based on income level. It is best to speak to your therapist or insurance provider to determine the exact cost of therapy for your child.

Pediatric physical therapy is a form of therapy that focuses on helping children who have physical difficulties, such as those caused by injury, illness, or disability.

They also work to educate children and families about how to adapt their environment and lifestyle to better accommodate their needs.

You can ask what type of physical therapy techniques he specializes in, how often I should expect to come in for treatment, how you will measure my progress, what activities and exercises I should do at home to supplement my physical therapy, are there any risks or side effects associated with the treatment you are recommending, and so many others.

Physical therapy is an important part of treating torticollis in children, as it helps to strengthen the muscles in the neck and improve the range of motion.

Physical therapists will often use stretching and strengthening exercises, postural re-education activities, and manual therapy techniques to help children with torticollis.

Yes, you can heal without physical therapy. There are many ways to heal without physical therapy, such as rest, stretching, self-massage, certain exercises, and nutrition. 

However, physical therapy can be helpful in providing guidance and structure to help you heal in a safe and effective manner. In some cases, physical therapy may be necessary to help you recover from an injury or condition.

It depends on the individual child and their specific condition. Generally, physical therapy can begin to show improvement within a few weeks, but the length of time it takes to achieve the desired outcome can vary greatly.

Your child may benefit from occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, or aquatic therapy. 

Additionally, some children find that massage therapy, yoga, and mindfulness activities can help with physical issues.

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