PHYSICAL THERAPY

ABOUT PHYSICAL THERAPY
Physical Therapists (PT) are licensed professionals who evaluate and treat gross motor skill acquisition, orthopedic, developmental, and neurological disorders.  Specifically, a PT examines ambulation (walking), attainment of developmental milestones, functional mobility using assistive devices, balance, coordination, endurance and overall strength.

Functional Areas Assessed and Treated:

AMBULATION
- standing, gait training, running, negotiating stairs, walking on different surfaces, using assistive devices like walkers, standers, crutches.

MILESTONES - head and neck control, rolling, sitting up, crawling, walking, running, refining gross motor skills

STRENGTH - balance, endurance, coordination, range of motion, exercise programs

SKILL REFINEMENT - strength, coordination, and motor planning needed for higher level skills like running, hopping, jumping, skipping

PAIN REDUCTION - Improve mobility and postural training to minimize pain associated with bone, joint, and muscular conditions. 

FAMILY EDUCATION AND HOME EXERCISE PROGRAMS - Education is vital in therapy.  PTs will collaborate and train the family and care team. 

ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS - Sometimes additional supports are required to increase a child’s functional level and independence.  A PT will assess and monitor the use of orthotics (braces or shoe inserts) and other assistive devices to aid in mobility.   

Orthotic consultations and referral to other specialists may be needed.  Your PT will be sure to provide you with the appropriate recommendation. 



Evaluation

Similar to an occupational or speech therapist, a physical therapist will take a detailed medical history.  An examination, consisting of muscle strength and range of motion will be conducted.  A standardized test of gross motor development will be administered, if appropriate.  Results are written in a thorough and comprehensive report, along with attainable and measurable goals and objectives.  Each evaluation report is carefully reviewed with the family.