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Pediatric Physical Therapy

The overall goal of physical therapy for children at the St. Joseph's Children's Specialty Center at Mease Countryside Hospital is to improve each patient’s quality of function within his or her daily life; to assist the child in achieving age-appropriate gross motor development, self-help and play skills; to decrease the effect of the pathology in the functional activities, as well as correct/prevent progression of postural deviations.

Specific skills which may be addressed in physical therapy include:

  • Functional mobility: gait and pre-gait training, transfers/transition skills, adaptive equipment, wheelchair skills, etc.
  • Positioning: use of adaptive equipment for positioning, handling and transportation of the child.
  • Neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems: muscle strength, endurance, range of motion, coordination skills, motor planning, control of muscle tone, equilibrium and balance reactions, integration of developmentally appropriate reflexes and reactions, musculoskeletal deformities and deviations, etc.
  • Physiological functions: improve cardiovascular function and fitness level, muscle strength and endurance, body mechanics and energy conservation techniques.
  • Family education: home programs and activities, positioning, parent education and support.

Physical therapy is important for infants and children with problems and diagnoses related, but not limited to:

  • Premature birth
  • Cerebral Palsy and other neurological disorders
  • Postural deviations
  • Motor development disorders
  • Orthopedic conditions (fractures, gait deviations, range of motion and strength issues)
  • Gait deviation

For more information about pediatric physical therapy at St. Joseph's Children's Specialty Center, call (727) 725-6775.