More Than
Therapy

Raising Children
to Their Highest Potential

Physical Therapy

Pediatric physical therapy is the evaluation and treatment of physical impairments in children, ranging in age from newborn to mid-20s. The goal of pediatric physical therapy is to assist children with physical challenges to maximize their independence and improve their mobility, self-care and other functional skills necessary for daily living. Our pediatric physical therapy incorporates hands-on techniques and therapeutic exercises with play and recreational activities to reach this goal. A child’s family plays an important part in pediatric physical therapy, including the development of client- and family-centered goals.

Our physical therapists work with the family and other therapists to design an individualized exercise program geared toward maximizing each child’s mobility and functional independence. Currently in Michigan, a physician referral is required for physical therapy. If you have concerns about your child’s gross motor development, contact his or her physician and ask about a physical therapy referral. Once the referral for physical therapy is written, an appointment can be set up for the physical therapy evaluation.

 Midland Physical Therapists | Traverse City Physical Therapists

Lansing Physical Therapists

 

 

adamptA typical physical therapy program for a child includes:

  • Stretching
  • Strengthening weak muscles
  • Balance and coordination exercises
  • Exercises to improve endurance
  • Exercises to facilitate gross motor development
  • Exercises to improve gait
  • Family and client education

Each program is designed to meet the individual needs of the child and their family. Co-treatment is an option available at Children’s Therapy Corner. The pediatric physical therapist may co-treat with music therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy. Children’s Therapy Corner’s family-centered approach encourages families to be involved and become advocates for their child’s independence. We strive to provide a comprehensive treatment program for each child.

Difference from School-Based Therapy

Outpatient pediatric physical therapy is often used in conjunction with school-based physical therapy. School-based therapy becomes involved when mobility, transportation or related accessibility interferes with a child’s ability to receive education, thereby making physical therapy educationally necessary. Often in school-based PT, the child is pulled from the classroom in order to receive therapy. The outpatient setting, on the other hand, offers more time for therapeutic activities and does not disrupt the child’s school day. Outpatient physical therapy also addresses functional activities and goals necessary for at home or in the community that may not be addressed in school physical therapy. Outpatient physical therapy is medically based, allowing a more comprehensive analysis of the underlying challenges to your child's global function, not only their educational needs. 

 

Causes
Symptoms
Benefits
Results

Causes

There are a variety of reasons a child may need physical therapy. Some common diagnoses seen by pediatric physical therapists include:

  • PTbabyCerebral palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Developmental delay
  • Coordination and balance disorders
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Scoliosis
  • Tight heel cords
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Amputations
  • Torticollis
  • Musculoskeletal injuries

Symptoms

Children may need physical therapy for any number of reasons, including if you answer "yes" to any of the following questions:

  • Is your child tripping or falling down a lot?
  • Have trouble sitting up straight?
  • Get tired quickly while playing?
  • Complain of pain in joints, feet or muscles?
  • Toe walking?
  • Appear "floppy" or low tone?
  • Have an abnormal head shape continuing beyond 6 weeks of age?
  • Behind in age-appropriate gross motor skills such as rolling, crawling or walking?
  • Sustained an injury such as broken arm or leg, sprained knee or ankle, had surgery, etc.?
  • Have a consistent head tilt to one side?
  • Have abnormal muscle tone?

Benefits

There are many benefits of pediatric physical therapy. Some include:

  • Improved gross motor development
  • Improved balance
  • Improved coordination
  • Increased muscular strength and range of motion
  • Improved walking pattern
  • Increased endurance
  • Normalization of muscle tone
  • Promotion of healthy and active lifestyle
  • Prevention of injuries
  • Maximized independence

Results

Pediatric physical therapy can provide great results in:

  • physical-therapy2Muscle control and coordination
  • Stretching and lengthening of tight muscles and tendons
  • Strengthening weak muscles
  • Improved endurance
  • Gross motor development throughout body
  • Gait and mobility training with or without adaptive equipment
  • Balance and coordination
  • Prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
  • Promotion of a healthy, active lifestyle
  • Core strengthening
  • Myofascial release
  • Family and client education

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Children develop and grow at different rates. However, there are some general guidelines that may help you assess your child’s development. Listed below is an abbreviated list of developmental milestones to watch for as your child grows. If you are concerned about your child’s development, talk with your pediatrician or contact us.

For a month-by-month breakdown, view the guidelines below.

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