Why is Pediatric Therapy Important?

Physical therapy is a branch of healthcare that aims to promote, maintain, and restore function and mobility in people suffering from neurological diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, developmental issues, and other conditions through various treatment interventions and patient education. Like several other branches of healthcare, physical therapy also has a specialty for kids only- pediatric physical therapy.

Pediatric physical therapy is a specialty of physical therapy that focuses on improving function and mobility in babies, children, and adolescents under 18. Children can be born with developmental issues or develop musculoskeletal and neurological disorders that cause severe pain, physical functionality problems, and mobility issues. This article will explore the conditions pediatric therapy treats, what to expect from a pediatric therapy session, and the importance of pediatric physical therapy at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers – Garland Campbell.

What Conditions Does Pediatric Physical Therapy Treat?

The following are some of the most common conditions that pediatric physical therapists treat in children:

Orthopedic Conditions

Orthopedic disorders affect the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues). While most orthopedic conditions are due to old age, children and adolescents may develop them due to injuries or accidents. The musculoskeletal system structures and supports the body, making movement easy. Children with orthopedic conditions may have mobility issues. Two of the most common orthopedic conditions in children that pediatric therapy can treat are:

  • Scoliosis: This orthopedic condition refers to the abnormal curvature of the spine. While the exact cause of scoliosis is unknown, it is common during adolescence between children aged 10 to 15. Scoliosis may cause intense pain and breathing troubles. Pediatric physical therapy can manage scoliosis and its symptoms.

  • Bone fractures: Kids are prone to bone fractures because they play too hard sometimes, and their bones are still developing. Although bone fractures in kids heal faster and better than in adults, some of them need physical therapy to return to full function.

Other common orthopedic conditions that pediatric therapy in Garland, TX, treats include sports injuries, joint hypermobility, torticollis, Osgood-Schlatter disease, sever’s disease, tendonitis, back pain, clubfoot, Perthes’ disease, flat feet, Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip, strains, sprains, hip dislocation, Osteomyelitis, etc.

Developmental Disabilities and Delays

Developmental delays refer to a child’s delay in reaching language, thinking, social, or motor skills. Temporary delays are normal, but ongoing or multiple delays in attaining a milestone may signify developmental disabilities. Developmental delays may be due to complications during pregnancy, premature birth, genes, etc. An excellent example of conditions that cause developmental delays that pediatric physical therapists treat and manage is:

  • Autism spectrum disorder: This condition is a neurodevelopmental disability that is caused by differences in a child’s brain, impacting their ability to communicate and interact socially. Pediatric therapy can treat, manage, and rehabilitate children affected by autism spectrum disorder.

Other common developmental conditions that pediatric therapists handle include cerebral palsy, spina bifida, down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, Tourette syndrome, intellectual disabilities, language and speech disorders, vision impairments, and other conditions.

Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders affect the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.  Most times, a child’s neurological disorder is congenital – they develop in the womb before birth. Other times, children may develop neurological disorders through traumatic events that affect their heads. One example of neurological disorders that pediatric physical therapy treats and manages is:

  • Traumatic brain injury: A pediatric traumatic brain injury is a brain injury that affects normal brain function. TBI (traumatic brain injury) is a result of traumatic events like falls and vehicle accidents that cause injuries to the scalp, brain, and skull.

Other neurological conditions that pediatric therapists in Garland, TX, treat include spinal cord injury, peripheral neuropathies, neuromuscular disorders, brachial plexus injuries, Guillain-Barré syndrome, pediatric stroke, peripheral nerve injuries, dyspraxia, ataxia, etc.

Post-surgical Rehabilitation

Physical therapy can also help kids recover from the physical functionality and mobility challenges they may face after a major surgery. Examples of surgeries children may need pediatric physical therapy rehabilitation for include orthopedic, spinal, cardiac, and neurosurgical surgeries.

Other examples of conditions that pediatric physical therapy in Garland, TX, treats include sensory processing disorder, pediatric obesity-related complications, hypotonia, hypertonia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Prader-Willi syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and several others.

What Does Pediatric Physical Therapy Do?

Children require a lot of care, hence the need for skilled professionals like physical therapists. Pediatric physical therapists make therapy sessions fun to keep children happy and interested. They may also use toys to pique the interest of their patients. A typical pediatric physical therapy session begins with a comprehensive evaluation of the child’s movement, strength, balance, and functional skills. They may also employ assessment tools to examine their sensory processes, motor planning, and gross motor development. After the comprehensive assessment, the pediatric therapist draws a personalized treatment plan to meet the patient’s needs. The following are the interventions that a typical pediatric therapy treatment plan employs:

  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Balance and coordination training
  • Gait training
  • Sensory Integration training
  • Neuromuscular re-education
  • Functional training, etc.

The goals that pediatric physical therapy intends to achieve include

Motor Skill Development

Motor skills trigger specific movements of the body muscles to perform certain tasks. The five basic motor skills are sitting, standing, walking, running, and jumping. Pediatric physical therapy can help children with developmental delays to attain essential milestones, such as crawling, walking, jumping, etc. Children who undergo pediatric physical therapy build or regain their independence, confidence, and ability to participate in daily activities.

Management of Medical Conditions

Some of the conditions that make children need pediatric physical therapy cause severe pain, mobility issues, and decreased quality of life. While some of these conditions do not have a cure, pediatric physical therapy can help to manage them and their symptoms, relieving pain and improving the overall quality of a child’s life.


Rehabilitation is restoring and enhancing normal functional ability in people who have undergone surgery or suffered from injury or illness. Pediatric physical therapy can help kids recover from injuries, ailments, and surgeries that affect their mobility and physical function. Early pediatric physical therapy helps to control these conditions and their symptoms and prevent long-term complications.

Improvement of Strength and Flexibility

Pediatric physical therapy strengthens a child’s muscles and improves their range of motion. Stronger muscles and a wider range of motion promote injury prevention, better posture, and endurance to participate in several activities in children.

Pediatric physical therapy improves a child’s physical abilities, communication, and language skills and has a long-term positive impact on their lives.


Like adults, children also suffer from different conditions that may restrict their mobility and physical functionality. These conditions make it difficult for them to carry out their daily activities and enjoy leisure comfortably. However, pediatric physical therapy helps to treat and manage the conditions that make children miss out on all the fun of their early years. Therefore, if your child is suffering from any condition that affects their mobility and physical function, you should consider taking them for pediatric physical therapy at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers – Garland Campbell.