Getting Kids Moving: Pediatric Physical Therapy

Physical therapists don’t just help adults recover from injuries. Pediatric physical therapists are specially trained to help children of all ages overcome challenges and reach their full potential. Whether your child has a developmental delay, a sports injury, or a chronic condition, a physical therapist can create a fun and effective program to get them moving.

How PT for Kids Works

Pediatric physical therapy sessions are tailored to your child’s needs and interests. Physical therapists use specific exercises and activities to improve mobility and strength to help children meet their goals such as improving the child’s physical independence, confidence, and participation to ease daily challenges. Examples might involve the following:

  • Building Strength and Coordination: Physical therapists use fun exercises and activities like animal walks, obstacle courses, and games to help children improve their balance, agility, and muscle control. The skills learned during these activities can be essential for everything from playing on the playground to keeping up with friends.
  • Addressing Developmental Delays: Physical therapy can be a game-changer for children experiencing delays in reaching milestones such as rolling over, crawling, or walking. Your PT will assess your child to identify the areas holding them back and create a fun program to help them develop the necessary skills to progress toward the specific milestones.
  • Recovering from Injuries: Just like adults, young athletes can get hurt. PTs help children restore strength and flexibility to return to their favorite activities safely.
  • Managing Chronic Conditions: Children with conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy can benefit from physical therapy to help manage their symptoms and improve their overall function and well-being. A physical therapist will assess your child to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement. They will develop an individualized program to help your child maximize their strength, range of motion, coordination, and endurance. Physical therapists work with the family to educate you and your child on things you can work on at home and can also assist in obtaining any special equipment needed such as wheelchairs, braces, or walkers.
Benefits Beyond Movement

Physical therapists play an essential role in promoting physical activity, improving movement and coordination, and general health. Additionally, physical therapists also help children with:

  • Self-Confidence: As kids gain strength, coordination, and independence, they begin to meet their goals and their confidence soars. This can have a positive impact on all areas of their lives.
  • Pain Management: Physical therapists can teach children techniques to manage pain and discomfort, improving their overall quality of life.
  • Socialization: Gross motor skills help children participate in play and games with peers, which help children develop social skills and build friendships.

If you feel your child may benefit from physical therapy, contact our pediatric specialist Janet Truckenbrod Sarver at our Rochelle location for an evaluation. Although it is important to keep your doctor informed about starting a new program, a physician’s prescription is not required to begin physical therapy treatment. Northern Rehab provides quality, hands-on, one-on-one treatment options specific to your individual needs. Please call us at 815.562.3299 to schedule an appointment and to start feeling better today.