Physical Therapy

 

Pediatric physical therapists (PTs) work with children and their families to assist each child in reaching their maximum potential to function independently and to promote active participation in home, school, and community environments. 

Our physical therapists provide skilled treatment to help children achieve independence and improve quality of life. Physical therapists provide direct outpatient services to patients ranging in ages from newborns to adults. Their services are provided to improve movement, range of motion, strength, balance, motor control, coordination, and functional mobility. At Marshall Pediatric Therapy, our physical therapists are dedicated to providing high quality care driven by  excellence in patient/family advocacy, clinical education, and multidisciplinary collaboration. When necessary, our physical therapy team will work with orthotists and adaptive equipment providers to support current and future mobility needs. 

 

 

Common physical therapy diagnoses seen by pediatric therapists include:

• Torticollis
• Plagiocephaly (flat head)
• Developmental Delay
• Muscular Dystrophy
• Spina Bifida
• Traumatic Brain Injury
• Cerebral Palsy
• Down Syndrome
• Toe walking or other gait problems

When to refer:

  • Child has difficulty lifting head
  • Child has stiff legs with little to no movement
  • Keeps hands fisted and lacks arm movement
  • Poor head control
  • Cannot take weight through legs by 9 months
  • Toe walking after 18 months 
  • Child frequently falls or seems “clumsy” after 15 months
  • Any concern about physical or gross motor skills

What to expect:

Physical therapy starts with an initial evaluation. The physical therapist will ask questions about your child’s birth history, medical history, and developmental history. This is the perfect time to bring up concerns about your child’s ability to move around in his/her environment. After discussing your concerns, the physical therapist will complete a comprehensive evaluation to identify impairments and functional mobility concerns. Your physical therapist will discuss findings and create an individualized plan of care that outlines the appropriate frequency and duration of services to optimize your child’s mobility goals. Our therapists provide education to patients and their families/caregivers on how they can help progress towards their mobility goals at home. 

Indicators your child may need physical therapy

Torticollis: In infants, head is tilted to one side due to tightness of the neck muscle

Delays in gross motor development: Rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking

Asymmetrical body use: child favors use of one leg/arm/etc. over the other

Abnormal or poor posture

Limited or excessive joint mobility

Floppiness or stiffness in muscle tone

Difficulty with balance and coordination

Excessive clumsiness

Awkward jumping or running patterns

Toe walking

Genetic disorders

Walking difficulties

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