As a parent, you always have your child’s best interests in mind, from what you feed them to what you say to them to what you do together. You’re always monitoring their child development to ensure they’re hitting the right milestones. But when you find out their physical development in early childhood may be lagging behind, it can be scary. Hearing the doctor mention they may benefit from pediatric physical therapy can trigger a multitude of questions and concerns, starting with “where are there physical therapy clinics near me?”
But fear not – physical therapy can be a good thing, both physically and mentally, and help your child to function more independently. Therapeutic activities are made fun and age-appropriate, so oftentimes they don’t even realize they’re doing work, they just think they’re playing.
What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?
Typically, pediatric physical therapy focuses on the needs of children from birth through age 18. Therapists address issues with core strength, balance, coordination, and other functional skills that are impaired due to congenital disorders, disease, or injury. Whether your child was born with cerebral palsy or broke their leg playing soccer, they may be referred to a pediatric physical therapist.
Genetic, Neurological, and Orthopedic Disorder Treatment
Therapy activities are designed to align with a wide range of challenges. Genetic, neurological, and orthopedic disorders can all affect how your child’s muscles develop, how they walk, their ability to coordinate movements, and their capability of completing tasks on their own.
How Can PT Help My Child?
Physical therapy services can help your child at all different stages of physical development. For instance, you may notice when they’re an infant that they’re having trouble holding their head up or sitting up unassisted. In older children, you may realize that they have poor posture or need to re-strengthen their muscles after being ill or getting a cast off. Parents looking for symptoms treatment for their child is a main reason they are often referred for pediatric physical therapy.
Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
Therapists work a lot with children on stretching out tight muscles to improve flexibility and balance. Strengthening exercises are also used to help muscles develop and enhance weight bearing. Having a strong core is essential to many movements, whether your child is sitting in a chair, bending to pick something up, or getting ready to kick a ball.
Improving Balance and Equilibrium Skills
Does your child seem clumsy and have trouble maneuvering their body? Physical therapy can work on a lot of balance and equilibrium activities. This can help your child to become more aware and in control of their body. They may play different games where they must coordinate their movements in a variety of situations.
Greater Level of Specialized Attention
A professional team of therapists will evaluate your little one to see where they are in terms of child development and what their strengths and areas of need are. Just because they’re not walking at 12 months is not necessarily reason for concern, because there is a range of ages that children typically start walking. But they can identify potential problems early on and help ensure your child is getting the support they need for long-term development.
Once your child begins a pediatric physical therapy program, their progress will be monitored and treatment adjusted according to their needs and goals. It’s not just about treating immediate symptoms, but also preventing future problems.
Physical Therapy from Therapeutic Movements
Therapeutic Movements works with children of all ages and ability levels. If you notice any development delay signs, have your child evaluated to see if they could benefit from therapy services.
At Therapeutic Movements, we offer services such as:
- Sensory integration
- Rehabilitation for upper and lower extremity injuries
- Rehabilitation for neurological injuries and deficits
- Rehabilitation for orthopedic injuries and deficits
- Gross motor development and coordination
Whatever your child’s needs, we will work with them on appropriate therapy activities to address balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, posture, gross motor skills, and much more.
Celebrating National Physical Therapy Month
October is National Physical Therapy Month, and we encourage parents to pay attention to their child’s development and speak up if they have concerns. Remember that all children develop at their own pace, but there are generally accepted age ranges for meeting many milestones. Developmental delays become concerning when a child is behind by 25 percent or more in at least one area.
If you’re concerned that your child is falling behind, or something seems off in how they move their body, talk to the professionals at Therapeutic Movements today. We can provide comprehensive evaluations and create a customized treatment program aligned with your child’s unique needs.
Get your child the support they need to build their strength, flexibility, coordination, and more through physical therapy at Therapeutic Movements!