Benefits Of Pediatric Physical Therapy

Pediatric Physical Therapy at NAPA Center

NAPA Center is a world-renowned pediatric physical therapy clinic, offering intensive sessions worldwide in addition to traditional weekly therapy at our four US clinics (Los Angeles, Boston, Austin, & Denver) and our two Australian clinics (Sydney & Melbourne). This blog discusses the importance of pediatric physical therapy. To learn more about pediatric PT at NAPA, visit our program page here.

The Importance of Physical Therapy for Kids

There are considerable advantages when undergoing pediatric physical therapy that may not only benefit a child physically, but mentally too.

Physical therapy helps children learn to successfully and independently perform gross motor skills and functional mobility skills.

As a child begins to successfully develop these skills, it creates a greater form of independence that helps contribute to achieving a higher sense of self-esteem. Though physical therapy for children provides a safer form of development and strengthening, it is also capable of being an essential preventative measure.

Physical therapy also helps young athletes in preventing injury by addressing any muscle imbalance or weakness as well as help them to return to play after injury. A variety of treatment interventions are used including: developmental activities, therapeutic exercise, balance and coordination activities, adaptive play activities, mobility training, safety and prevention programs, and activities to promote overall wellness.

Benefits of Pediatric Physical Therapy

You are probably asking yourself, what are the main benefits that come with pediatric physical therapy? We have listed below the essentials involved in our services, the benefits that come with it and the experience your child will get.

Physical therapy rehabilitation is extremely important after an injury and there is no question that those who go through physical therapy end up in much better shape in the long run and return to full activity much sooner. Oftentimes, it’s crucial for individuals who have undergone a surgery or suffered an injury to receive rehabilitative physical therapy services to regain the level of activity they had in the past. Because of this, it is very important to take any type of physical therapy with the utmost of importance.

What Can Physical Therapy Help My Child Improve On?

NAPA pediatric physical therapists will work closely with you to identify your child’s goals. Common physical therapy goals for children include:

  • Range of Motion – how far a joint can bend or straighten
  • Strength – strength against gravity
  • Balance – ability to maintain balance (tilting and righting responses) and to keep oneself from falling (protective responses)
  • Reflexes – automatic responses seen particularly in infants (palmar grasp, positive support, asymmetrical tonic neck reflex [ATNR] and labyrinthine)
  • Posture – alignment of the body in various positions
  • Tone – natural resistance in a muscle (increased tone is stiffness and decreased tone is floppiness)

What’s Included in NAPA Pediatric Physical Therapy Services?

  • Customized plan based on your child’s unique needs and goals (NAPA offers pediatric PT in both traditional and intensive settings)
  • Stretching and strengthening activities and exercises to increase a child’s range and quality of movement
  • Establishing or reshaping movement patterns to follow normal development
  • Improving balance and equilibrium skills
  • Improving postural control
  • Gait training (learning how to walk)
  • Evaluating the need for adaptive equipment and orthopedic devices

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Physical Therapy?

Your child may benefit from physical therapy if:

  • They are not meeting the expected developmental milestones during the first year of life (ie. rolling, sitting, standing, walking).
  • They have a strong preference for turning their head to one side or using one side of their body.
  • They walk up on the balls of their feet or walk in an atypical/awkward manner.
  • They have difficulty keeping up with their peers during play.
  • They are not able to perform the same gross motor tasks (ie. hopping, jumping, skipping) as their peers.
  • They frequently trip and fall when walking.
  • They complain of pain when performing gross motor tasks.
  • They were injured and are not able to perform at their prior level of function.

What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

Pediatric physical therapy is essentially various workouts and exercises that focus on certain muscles and movements, which are aimed at strengthening muscles and tendons. Physical therapy is very similar to going to the gym and working with a personal trainer, although the physical therapists that your child will work with are specifically trained and experienced in pediatric diagnoses and injuries. It is extremely important for children to follow their physical therapy routine as closely as they can, due to the fact that they are growing while they are likely going through the process of recovery. The fact that they are growing means that it is even more important to address any concerns within a timely manner.

What Pediatric Physical Therapy Methods are Used at NAPA?

At NAPA Center, we provide the best pediatric physical therapy techniques and tools from around the world, including CME, SpiderCage, NeuroSuit, Redcord, and Trexo Robotics. We take an individualized approach to therapy because we understand that each child is unique with very specific needs. We embrace differences with an understanding that individualized programs work better. For this reason, no two therapeutic programs are alike and we offer multidisciplinary treatments integrating physical, occupational, speech, and feeding therapy. If your child needs our services, we will work closely with you to select the best therapies for them, creating a customized program specific to your child’s needs and your family’s goals. Let your child’s journey begin today by contacting us to learn more.

Our Pediatric Physical Therapist-Approved Activities to Try at Home:

NAPA Center Pediatric Physical Therapy US Clinics

  • Los Angeles – 11840 La Cienega Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 90250
  • Boston – 210 Bear Hill Rd Suite 401, Waltham, MA 02451
  • Austin – 7801 N Lamar Blvd Suite E216, Austin, TX 78752
  • Denver – Clinic Opening October 18th, 2021

Australia Clinics:

  • Sydney – Ground Floor, 2 Lincoln St, Lane Cove West NSW 2066, Australia
  • Melbourne – Level 1, 351 Burwood Highway, Forest Hill VIC 3131 (Opening September 2021)

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Emily graduated from Western University of Health Sciences with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Since then, she has been working at NAPA Center, Los Angeles where she has had the opportunity to work with children and their families from across the world and gain extensive experience with diagnoses from Developmental Delay, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Kleefstra Syndrome, CDG, Seizure Disorders, and many more neurological, chromosomal, and genetic disorders. She is trained in Neurosuit, Medek, Universal Exercise Unit, Kinesiotaping, Theratogs, Trexo, NDT, and has seen great benefits from using whole body vibration (Galileo training) with her patients.

Emily is no stranger to cross country moves, she moved from Minnesota to California for her undergraduate work. While she enjoyed her time at the beach for 12 years, she is excited to get back to the lake life in Austin, TX just like she grew up with in Minnesota, “the land of 10,000 lakes”!