When children and adolescents have difficulties with movement, posture, body position, strength or balance, physical therapy can be used to both identify and treat the problem. Physical therapy helps children and adolescents improve movement through play, therapeutic exercises, handling techniques, and balance/strength training.
Damage or abnormalities of the nervous system can affect a child’s movement and balance skills, including rolling, sitting, crawling, and walking. Physical therapy helps children and adolescents improve these physical movements and decrease falls with special exercises, handling techniques, and building strength through play. The goals of physical therapy may include improving a child’s functional skills, and preventing or limiting disability in a variety of developmental areas. Physical therapists may also modify an environment based on the child’s physical and cognitive challenges, as well as provide adaptive equipment to assist in walking, standing, sitting and other functional tasks.