Physical therapist working with a pediatric patient on crutches

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help children achieve movement skills such as crawling and walking, and recover from injuries or surgery to participate in the many activities they enjoy.

Working together with you

Experienced physical therapists at Wolfson Children’s Hospital care for children who have physical challenges, functional limitations and disabilities that prevent full participation in daily activities. Our therapists help guide the development or return of movement skills by promoting strength, balance and flexibility, which are needed for everyday activities like standing or walking.

We work closely with your family, your child’s physicians and other health care professionals to help your child gain the skills needed for an independent, active life.

Does my child need physical therapy?

Physical therapy can help your child if they exhibit any of the following:

  • Not meeting the expected developmental milestones during the first years of life, such as rolling, sitting, standing or walking
  • Walking on the balls of their feet (toes) or walking in an awkward manner
  • Difficulty keeping up with other kids while playing
  • Trouble returning to the level of physical abilities achieved prior to surgery or an injury
  • Difficulty performing the same movements as other children his or her age, such as hopping, jumping or skipping
  • Favoring one side of the body by just using that side of the body, or turning his or her head to one side
  • Frequent trips and falls when walking
  • Pain when moving

Conditions We Treat

The experienced physical therapists at Wolfson Children’s Hospital assist children with a wide range of conditions, including or linked to:

  • Premature birth or low birth weight
  • Problems at birth affecting the feet, legs and hips
  • Condition or injury that affects the brain before, during or after birth
  • Difficulties following surgery or related to recovering from prolonged hospitalizations
  • Neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or spina bifida
  • Musculoskeletal conditions including arthrogryposis, juvenile arthritis and clubfoot
  • Bone or muscle conditions and injuries
  • Delays or disruption of balance and in sensory motor skills
  • Chronic pain, such as reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Childhood cancer and the effects of cancer treatment

Physical Therapy Services

Depending on your child’s age and condition, physical therapy services designed especially for his or her needs.

  • Exercise, such as stretching, strengthening and aerobic activity
  • Thermal treatments, like heat, ice and therapeutic ultrasound
  • Electrical stimulation to control pain or restore muscle movements
  • Patient and caregiver education, with specialized home practice activities
  • Manual therapy
  • Fitting for orthotics or braces
Pediatric physical therapy patient

Physical therapy rehab is provided at these locations: