Doctors often recommend physical therapy (PT) for kids and teens who have been injured or who have movement problems from an illness, disease, or disability.
After an injury, physical therapists work to decrease pain and help kids return to daily activities. They teach kids exercises designed to help them regain strength and range of motion, and also show kids and families how to prevent future injuries.
Physical therapy might be needed any time a problem with movement limits someone's daily activities. So doctors often recommend PT for kids with:
Physical therapists use a variety of treatments to help build strength, improve movement, and strengthen skills needed to complete daily activities.
Physical therapists might guide kids through:
During a visit, a physical therapist may:
Entry-level physical therapists must receive a doctoral degree in physical therapy (a DPT) from an accredited college program. Physical therapists also must pass a state-administered national exam.
States also may impose their own regulations for practicing PT. You can find out more information about any other requirements for local physical therapists by contacting your state's licensure board.
Physical therapists typically work in hospitals, private practices, fitness centers, and rehabilitation and research facilities. Ask your doctor for recommendations or contact your state's physical therapy association for names of local licensed physical therapists. Coaches or phys-ed teachers at your child's school also might be able to recommend a physical therapist.
Reviewed by: Carolyn T. Giles, PTA
Date reviewed: June 2014
|Easter Seals Easter Seals is a nonprofit, community-based health and human services provider dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities and special needs gain greater independence.|
|American Physical Therapy Association This organization provides information on physical therapy, from therapists in each state to current research.|
|Occupational Therapy Occupational therapy can help improve kids' cognitive, physical, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.|
|Dealing With Sports Injuries You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries - and how to avoid getting them.|
|Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common congenital disorders of childhood. This article explains causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and more.|
|Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy is the most common developmental disability in the United States. It affects a person's ability to coordinate body movements.|
|Cerebral Palsy Check out this article to learn what cerebral palsy is, what causes it, what life is like for kids with this condition, and more.|
|Delayed Speech or Language Development Knowing what's "normal" and what's not in speech and language development can help you figure out if you should be concerned or if your child is right on schedule.|
|Going to a Physical Therapist Physical therapy uses exercises and other special treatments to help people move their bodies. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Autism Autism affects a child's communication and social skills, behaviors, and ability to learn. There's no cure, but early intervention and treatment can help kids improve skills and achieve their best potential.|
|Broken Bones, Sprains, and Strains Broken bones and torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons happen. Find out what to do if your child experiences any breaks, strains, or sprains.|
|Physical Therapy Physical therapy helps people get back to full strength and movement - and manage pain - in key parts of the body after an illness or injury.|
|Knee Injuries Healthy knees are needed for many activities and sports and getting hurt can mean some time sitting on the sidelines.|
|Preventing Children's Sports Injuries Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.