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Children's Race

What is Physical Therapy?

Pediatric physical therapists help children improve their range of motion, strength, flexibility, and movement patterns. They enable children to move through their environment with the most independence as possible, making everyday activities easier!

Physical therapy may be needed if your child is experiencing difficulty with: 

baby lifting head

sitting, crawling, and/or walking

range of motion

jumping, skipping, riding a bike or playing sports

strength and endurance 

recovering from an injury

tummy time

baby turning head to only one side

walking up and down stairs

falling and tripping

catching and throwing a ball

chronic pain

Balance

Balance refers to your ability to keep yourself upright. Poor balance in children can involve both standing balance problems and sitting balance problems. If your child is struggling with their standing balance, they may have difficulties learning to walk, jump, or climb stairs. If your child is struggling with their sitting balance, they may have difficulties sitting up straight and reaching for objects.

Motor Planning

Motor planning is the ability to conceive, plan, and carry out a skilled, non-habitual motor act in the correct sequence from beginning to end. Incoming sensory stimuli must be correctly integrated in order to form the basis for appropriate, coordinated motor responses. A child with motor planning difficulties may be slow in carrying out verbal instructions and often appears clumsy in new tasks.

Muscle Tone

Muscle tone is the term for the resting length of muscles in the body; or the length of the muscle before a contraction. In low muscle tone (hypotonia), the resting length of the muscles is greater than average and causes hyperextension at the joints. Children with low muscle tone may seem floppy or loose, and he may often seem fatigued and prefer to lie down versus sit upright. In high muscle tone (hypertonic), the resting length of the muscle is less than average, which causes the limbs to feel rigid and inflexible. Children with high muscle tone have difficulty “relaxing” their muscles, maintain a fisted hand beyond 6 months of age, or may present with very stiff legs that appear to move like scissors when standing or attempting movement.

Strength

A strong core serves as the foundation for the rest of your body as it moves throughout the day. Whether your child is running and climbing at the playground or sitting in a chair coloring a picture, their core is acting as a stable base as they complete these skills. Children should begin gaining core strength in infancy with tummy time, rolling over, sitting and crawling. As they continue to develop, the strength of their core will help them achieve independence with more advanced milestones like walking, running, sitting in a chair, jumping, and throwing a ball.

Posture and Positioning

Body positioning and ergonomics are a key aspect of a child’s development as they relate to the appropriate head and body alignment, success with activity performance, and are involved in responding properly to the environment. Often, improper body mechanics or positioning leads to a poor setup resulting in significantly reduced likelihood to complete an activity effectively. Sometimes a certain body position may be caused by an anatomical deformity that is not easily changeable, but in other cases the way a child chooses or is accustomed to position oneself may be more modifiable with the right instruction.

Equipment, Orthotics, Prosthetics

Children may need wheelchairs, braces, artificial limbs, helmets, and other supports to help them perform daily activities. Physical therapists can assist with choosing, obtaining and managing these supports.

Common Diagnoses We Treat:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Brachial Plexus

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Childhood Stroke

  • Delayed Milestones

  • Developmental Coordination Disorder

  • Developmental Delays

  • Epilepsy

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

  • Foot Deformities

  • Gait Abnormalities

  • Generalized Weakness

  • Genetic/Chromosomal Disorders

  • Global Developmental Delays

  • Gross Motor Delays

  • Hemiparesis

  • High Muscle Tone

  • Low Muscle Tone

  • Lower Extremity Deformities

  • Mitochondrial Disorder

  • Muscular Dystrophy

  • Neurofibromatosis Type 1

  • Orthopedic and Orthotic Needs

  • Pectus Excavatum

  • Plagiocephaly

  • Post-Surgical Needs

  • Prematurity

  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder

  • Prosthetics

  • Schizencephaly

  • Spina Bifida

  • Spinal Cord Injury

  • Static Encephalopathy

  • Stroke/Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)

  • Torticollis

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

  • Vestibular Problems

More Questions?

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Address

15530 E Broncos Pkwy, Ste 100, Centennial, CO 80112

Phone

720-989-0179

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