Physical Therapy Methods and Benefits

What Methods Do Physical Therapists Use?

There are a number of treatment methods that physical therapists use to help patients. Some of these methods include:

  • Teaching and practice of functional developmental, motor, and mobility skills
  • Therapeutic exercise for strengthening, endurance, and joint mobility
  • Balance and coordination activities
  • Support for Recreation, play, and leisure
  • Adaptation of daily care activities and routines
  • Use of assistive technology
  • Home activity recommendations
  • Consultation with family, teachers, community agencies, and other service providers

The major goal of physical therapy services is to enhance function and mobility to advance to promote participation in home, school, and community activities.

Physical therapists might guide children through a variety of different exercise routines and activities such as:

  • Developmental activities such as crawling and walking
  • Flexibility exercises to increase range of motion
  • Balance and coordination activities
  • Adaptive play
  • Aquatic (water) therapy 

Who can Benefit From Physical Therapy?

Doctors may recommend physical therapy for children who have difficulty moving in such a way that it limits daily activities. Some of these conditions include:

  • Developmental delays
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Genetic disorders
  • Orthopedic disabilities
  • Heart and lung conditions
  • Birth defects (such as spina bifida)
  • Limb deficiencies
  • Muscle diseases
  • Muscle coordination concerns

What are the Benefits of Physical Therapy?

Understanding how a child’s motor performance develops, and how it is related to the child’s cognitive development, is the basis of pediatric physical therapy. The benefits of physical therapy may include:

  • Increase and maintain muscle strength and endurance
  • Restore and increase joint range of motion
  • Increase coordination
  • Decrease pain
  • Decrease muscle spasm and spasticity
  • Decrease swelling and inflammation of joints
  • Promote healing of soft tissue lesions
  • Prevent contracture and deformity of limbs
  • Promote mobility through walking or use of wheeled-mobility
  • Increase ability in daily activities such as self-care and play
  • Educate patients and family
  • Decrease stress

 

Find Support

Looking for more tips on effective treatments for your child?

Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to fellow parents, caregivers, and experts about their experiences with the treatments and therapies in this section.

Resources:

Check out our Resource Locator to find the government and non-government agencies that can provide the services that your child needs.