Pediatric Physical Therapy 

Pediatric Physical Therapy 

Pediatric physical therapy helps to improve the lives and daily function of children who suffer from a wide range of injuries, congenital conditions, and the patient’s age range from infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to teenage competitive athletes, specifically 0 to 18 years of age, and young adults with various childhood disorders. Pediatric PTs help children to move their bodies to the best of their abilities and make everyday activities easier for them. 

The role of a pediatric therapist is to work with the child and their family to assist each child to reach their maximum potential to function independently and to promote active participation at home, in school, and in the community. Pediatric therapists mostly work with childhood disorders that present with movement dysfunction, postural instability, abnormal gait and balance, and coordination issues. 

Conditions that can be treated with pediatric physical therapy 

  • Developmental Delay 

  • Cerebral Palsy 

  • Down Syndrome 

  • Autism spectrum Disorders 

  • Sensory Processing Disorders 

  • Neurological Impairments 

  • Genetic and Congenital Diseases 

  • Muscular Dystrophy and associated disorders 

  • Spina Bifida 

  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis  

  • Traumatic Brain Injury 

  • Hypotonia  

  • Developmental Coordination Disorder  

  • Movement Disorders 

  • Torticollis 

  • Orthopedic Conditions (scoliosis, fractures, musculoskeletal conditions and sports-related injuries) 

  • Erb’s Palsy 

  • Plagiocephaly/Brachycephaly 


Role of pediatric physical therapist 

  • Evaluate and provide treatment for delays in motor skills  

  • Develop the strength and range of motion  

  • assessment of flexibility, strength, posture, gait, sensory processing, balance, coordination, and skill like gross motor, fine motor, social and cognitive, 

  • Assess motor, cognitive and social development using standardized testing for age equivalents.  

  • Improve large/ gross motor skills such as rolling, crawling, sitting, walking, jumping, and throwing by encouraging kids to do things like: 

  1. Playing on large exercise balls to build strength 

  1. Run/hop around to improve their coordination 

  1. Balance on a balance beam 

  1. Stand on one foot 

  1. Parallel Bar walking/ Stair Climbing 


Treatment Approaches 

  • Neurodevelopmental Treatment 

  • Sensory Integration Approach 

  • Play Therapy 

  • Early Intervention Program 

  • Chest and Limb Physiotherapy in the ICU’s 


Where is pediatric physical therapy available? 

Pediatric physical therapists practice in hospitals, outpatient clinics, home-care, schools, daycare centers, Early Intervention Programs, and Rehabilitation centers. 

Overall, Pediatric Physical therapists feel the happiness and satisfaction they get from helping children and their families and assist in achieving their greatest abilities under numerous challenging circumstances. The improvement is only possible with the active participation of the family and the caregiver as they will be spending most of the time with their children.  


Dr. Sangita Shrestha

Pediatric Physical Therapist

Danphe Care