Children with injuries or certain medical conditions may benefit from physical therapy Fayetteville NC. Because both the minds and bodies of children are different from those of adults, it is important to find a physical therapist for your child who has training and experience in pediatric treatment. Physical therapy for children often involves activities presented as games so that young patients engage with them and don’t get frustrated, intimidated, or bored.
What Can Physical Therapy Do for Your Child?
Children go to physical therapy for many of the same reasons that adults do, such as rehabilitation from an injury. For example, children may go to a physical therapy clinic to aid recovery from a bone fracture, muscle strain, or ligament sprain.
Children, especially young athletes, are also more susceptible to overuse injuries from repetitive motion because the development of their bodies is still ongoing. Compared to adults, children are more likely to experience overuse injuries of the foot and knee. Therefore, whereas adults may be more likely to need treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow, children are more likely to see a physical therapist for stress fractures in the foot or Osgood-Schlatter disease in the knee.
Another reason why children go to physical therapy is for the treatment of congenital conditions that affect their ability to move. Some of these are genetic abnormalities, such as muscular dystrophy. Others, such as cerebral palsy, arise from birth injuries. Physical therapy can teach children strategies to compensate for these limitations and learn to be independent.
Physical therapy can also help children who have developmental delays. Infants and toddlers typically learn certain motor skills, such as rolling over or crawling, around a particular age. For this reason, they are called developmental milestones. A developmental delay means that your child has not developed the skill within the expected timeframe. Sometimes this is due to a condition such as cerebral palsy, but sometimes the cause is unknown. In either case, physical therapy can help children with developmental delays catch up with their peers.
How To Select the Right PT for Your Child
Some parents may wonder, “Should I take my child to the closest physical therapy near me?” Proximity to your location is certainly a consideration, but not necessarily the most important one.
Because physical therapy for children can be very different from treatment for adults, you need to make sure that the PT is qualified as a pediatric physical therapist. You should also check that the therapist has experience treating your child’s particular condition. It is not uncommon for physical therapists to specialize in certain conditions. Seeing a specialist is to your child’s benefit.
You should have an initial evaluation that gives you an opportunity to see if your child has a rapport with the therapist and to give you a chance to ask questions. One of the questions you should ask is whether the therapist doing the evaluation is the one your child will see throughout his or her treatment. It doesn’t make sense for your child to build a rapport with one therapist only to have another therapist provide the actual treatment.
You can ask your pediatrician for a referral to a physical therapist, or you can do your own research and choose a PT clinic yourself.