Physical therapy helps a child to learn how to overcome issues related to balance, injury, congenital defects, developmental delays, or surgery. If your child has a medical condition that impacts their daily functioning, then physical therapy can help.
Your child’s physical therapist (PT) will demonstrate and explain to both you and your child how to optimize physical function, regain normal movements, and produce the best possible results. Let’s talk about how physical therapy works for children, and where you can go for expert physical therapy here in the Greater Austin area.
Improve the Child’s Health and Wellness
A child’s anatomy, physiology, and social and emotional needs all make dramatic changes throughout childhood. So, the way your child reacts to injury, movement issues, balance problems, pain, surgery, birth defects, and more is very fluid and can be unpredictable.
The goals of physical therapy remain largely the same for a child as for an adult, while still remaining sensitive to the needs of a child. A child may need physical therapy to:
- Improve motor skill development
- Increase muscular strength
- Improve range of motion and flexibility in the joints
- Normalize gait
- Learn how to use adaptive equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, leg/arm braces, etc.)
- Live as pain-free as possible
Medical issues that can qualify a child for physical therapy include:
- Sports injuries or other traumatic injuries
- Issues with movement, gait, strength, or balance
- Cerebral palsy
- Birth defects, such as spina bifida
- Fetal alcohol syndrome
- Brain injury or concussion
- Failure to achieve developmental milestones
- Recovering after reconstructive or orthopedic surgery
Problems with development often show up in infancy. Things which may alert you and your pediatrician to the need for physical therapy for your child include:
- Failure to sit upright without support by 8 months of age
- Failure to walk independently by 18 months of age
- Toeing-in, toeing-out, walking only on the toes, or walking awkwardly at the age of 3 or later
- Noticeably using one side of the body more than the other
Optimize the Child’s Independence
If a child must use a wheelchair, crutches, or braces in order to move around, a physical therapist knows how to teach the child how to effectively and safely utilize these adaptive devices. The child and the whole family will learn that the child’s use of this equipment turns a disability into ability.
Physical therapy can also enable the child to become stronger and more confident. Better balance, flexibility, and strength increases a child’s ability to navigate the school building, gym class, and the playground.
Adapt to the Changing Needs of a Growing Child
A customized program of physical therapy will help both you and your child to understand and deal with his or her condition and to live well with it. Your physical therapist will work closely with your family to adjust treatment modalities and therapies as the child grows and develops.
A skilled physical therapist knows that getting the whole family involved and educated is a big part of the child’s healthy growth despite any underlying health conditions. Your physical therapist may also facilitate communication with the child’s school, daycare, or babysitter to promote safety and success.
Physical Therapy in Greater Austin, TX
Here at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness, our physical therapists engage our clients with both active and passive range-of-motion exercises, water and play therapy, heat and cold therapy, and a whole host of targeted exercises and stretches to improve a child’s walking, standing, grasping, sitting, reaching, and more.
Our physical therapists serve Austin, Round Rock, Manor, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Bee Caves, Hutto, and throughout the Greater Austin area. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (833) 215-9272 or by filling out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to working with you and your family!