Pediatric Physical Therapy: Uses, Methods and Benefits

Children physical therapy is done to enhance the overall motor ability, gait, balance, stability, agility, posture, strength, functional ability, and strengthening of the lower limbs to improve the daily lives of children who suffered from injury or with inborn conditions. It also assists in improving the lives of children with delayed physical and cognitive development. Patients age range from new born up to 18 years of age. The treatment is done by a physical therapist, but the success lies with the efforts of parents and upon consultation with paediatricians, neurosurgeons, orthopaedics, and coaches.
The physical therapy is performed to treat injuries such as back pain, fractures, scoliosis, traumatic brain injury, and sports injuries. In certain cases, the therapy helps in reviving the interest of children to sports after suffering and upon recovering from a sport related injury. It is also used to treat genetic conditions that present motor function disability such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, and Spina Bifida. Other conditions include juvenile attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis and cancer (
Various treatments can be employed when undergoing pediatric physical therapy. Aquatic therapy provides an environment where gravity is reduce, making movement easier compared to making the same motion on the ground. The water resistance provides a safe environment for training. The pool is usually heated and salted. The water surroundings help in relaxing the children’s muscle during session. The therapy is availed by children with weak muscles, abnormal muscle tone, decreased muscle mobility and endurance.

7 Best Physical Therapy Methods Explained

When a person’s mobility is limited due to an injury – be it strained muscles, broken bones, or slipped discs – physical therapy is usually the primary care option to address this difficulty.  Physical therapy can help restore a patient’s normal movements and alleviate the pain one is experiencing to allow him/her to perform once again the daily functional activities of life. One can seek professional physical therapy services for proper assessment and diagnosis. Depending on the extent of the injury, different physiotherapy methods can be utilized to achieve faster recovery, prevent recurring injuries and improve one’s physical performance. Below are the most common methods for physical rehabilitation:

  • Manual therapy is considered to be the foundation of physical therapy. This conventional method is used for any injury, corrects movement restrictions and reduces or stops persistent aches and pains through stretching, massage, and exercises that strengthen affected areas in the body. To see videos of exercises for manual therapy, click the link:

    Manual Physical Therapy image from :
  • Patients with herniated discs can opt to do traction. It relieves the pressure on the spine by separating the vertebrae and thereby giving enough space for the nerves and less compression on the disc cartilage.

When and Why Should a Person See a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapy is a non-pharmacological treatment which involves massages, heat and electric treatment, and exercise. Physical therapy makes daily activities easier as it relieves pain associated with certain disorders and injuries. It may also reduce the pain that occurs after surgery, and eventually helps in faster healing and recovery.

When is the best time for people to consult a physical therapist in New Jersey? If a person is suffering from sudden, unmanageable pain and that pain is hindering that person’s daily activity such as climbing up the stairs, walking, lifting objects, then that person should consult a physical therapist right away to manage the pain and prevent it from coming back. Physical therapy may also improve a person’s mobility and balance, preventing frequent fall, by giving exercises that improves muscle coordination. There may be cases that physical therapy may be the first option to manage pain or injury rather than taking surgery, which would cut the cost of treatment. Physical therapy may also help in rehabilitating people who recently suffered from a cardiac arrest. It may also improve lung function through strengthening and may help remove fluids in the lungs. Diabetic persons may also find physical therapy useful, since sometimes they find it uneasy to move their limbs, making exercise difficult. Exercise is important for these patients in order to manage their blood sugar levels. Physical therapist may also help people to manage the pain associated with arthritis. Video of sample physical therapy exercises for people with osteoarthritis:

Lastly, women who just gave birth may seek help from physical therapist to hasten recovery after delivery.