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Physical Therapy

baby on therapy ball.jpeg

What is Pediatric Physical Therapy (PT)?

Pediatric PT focuses on maximizing the functional potential of infants and children through promotion of optimal movement patterns and addressing challenges to muscle strength, range of motion, postural control, balance, and coordination. Pediatric physical therapists are movement and body mechanics experts trained to provide treatment for all children that increases the quality of life and can prevent severity of chronic conditions and disability.

PT at Foundations

PT at Foundations reflects a positive, playful environment where your child is our priority and family-centered care is at the forefront. We have experience working with a wide variety of diagnoses and conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Torticollis and plagiocephaly

  • Developmental delay

  • Hypotonia

  • Cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders

  • Toe walking

  • Genetic syndromes

  • Autism spectrum disorders

  • Coordination disorders

  • Sports & Orthopedic injuries

What are some Red Flags that your child may need PT?

Below is a general list of potential red flags that indicate need for further assessment. Take advantage of our free 30-minute consultation if you have specific questions or concerns.  

0-6 months

  • Lack of movement during tummy time

  • Arms and/or legs remain flat on surface when on back

  • Poor posture in sitting even with assistance

  • Not accepting weight through both feet

  • head/neck asymmetries

  • Not rolling both directions

    • Head remains flat on surface during rolls

7-12 months

  • Not transitioning in and out of sitting independently

  • “Janky crawl”; lacks reciprocal creep on hands and knees

  • Not pulling up to stand

  • Inability to stand on flat feet by 11mo.

  • Not cruising both directions by 12mo.

1-2 years

  • Not walking by 15-18mo.

    • Arms remain high for several months after learning to walk

  • Not running by 24mo.

2-3 years

  • Difficulty managing stairs

  • Not attempting to jump off low step by 2yrs

  • Not jumping with simultaneous foot clearance by 30mo.

  • Inability to stand on single leg for 3sec by 3yrs

General

  • Muscle stiffness or general floppiness

  • W-sitting as the dominant sitting position

  • Poor posture

  • Wide base of support

  • Frequent falling/tripping/bumping into obstacles

  • Gait abnormalities (toe-walking, in-toeing, out-toeing, foot slap, lack of alternate arm swing during run, etc.)

  • Asymmetric use of the body

  • Poor coordination

  • Poor endurance and difficulty keeping up with peers during play

  • Joint pain

Stretching Exercise

Methodologies & Protocols We Use

ALL therapeutic activities are guided by research

Neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT)

Neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) is an approach that assesses the whole body and how movement patterns can contribute to challenges to a particular functional skill. It incorporates hands-on techniques to facilitate more optimal movement patterns and develop an efficient motor plan.

NDT is defined by the Neurodevelopmental Treatment Association (NDTA) as a therapeutic approach that “utilizes principles of motor development, motor control, motor learning, and other supporting scientific principles to improve basic body functions. An in-depth knowledge of typical and atypical development and expertise in analyzing postural control, movement, activity, and participation throughout the lifespan form the basis for examination, evaluation, and intervention.”

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy includes the skilled manipulation of joints, soft tissues, and nerves by a clinician to address an individual’s pain levels, movement quality, muscle stiffness, joint mobility, and overall range of motion. In physical therapy, these hands-on mobilization and manipulation strategies are combined with exercise with the overall goal to improve functional movement.

Myofascial release

Myofascial release a form of manual therapy that targets fascial restrictions and muscle tightness. It helps to increase range of motion and decrease pain.

Orthotic Management

Physical therapists can assess an individual’s overall posture and movement to determine their need for orthotic intervention. An orthotic is a device that is used to support or align a body part (such as cranial orthoses, spinal orthoses, ankle foot orthoses, etc.) to help promote more optimal movement. When an individual is using more efficient movement patterns, appropriate muscle activation can occur during regular daily movement and promote overall muscle strength and postural stability. If a specific custom-molded and custom-made orthotic is recommended, your physical therapist will collaborate with you and your physician for the development of a prescription that best fits your child’s functional needs and refer you to an orthotist. A prescription from your physician is required for a custom orthotic appointment with an orthotist.

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