As caregivers, there are many questions that tumble around our brains at all hours of the day or night. They can consume up. Keep us up at night. Sned us down weird internet rabbit holes. We know. We have been there too. But if one of the questions you are asking yourself is “Does my child need physical therapy?” then this is the blog post for you! In this post you will find just a few of the signs or “red flags” that indicate your child might need PT. And, if, at the end of this post you think “Yes they do!” or “I’m still not sure…” then click on the buttons below. You can schedule a free consultation with our PT and get more answers!
#1 – Developmental Delay
Physical therapy can be beneficial for many children in order to improve their acquisition of gross motor skills – things like : crawling, walking, running, jumping, hopping, or stair climbing. If your child is delayed in meeting a milestone we can meet them where they are and help them develop the muscle strength, coordination, and motor planning needed to develop new skills and gain confidence. We can work on this in many ways to engage your child and make it fun! Using scooter boards, obstacle courses and swings we can work on balance, strengthening, coordination, and so much more!
#2 – Flat spot or head turning preference
Does your infant have a flat spot on the back or side of their head or a preference to turn to one side? PTs will work with you to evaluate for plagiocephaly and torticollis including measurements of head shape. We can help you establish a positioning program to improve head shape, work on gross motor skills, and if needed help with referrals to an orthotist for evaluation for a cranial remodeling helmet. We will work with you to facilitate new movement patterns for your infant using tummy time (with lots of variations for those babies who may not prefer this position), therapy balls, and assisted movement to help your child discover new ways to move to strengthen and stretch their muscles.
#3 – Skill loss or regression
If your child has developed a skill and then had a regression PT can work with you to regain a skill or evaluate possible causes of regression including musculoskeletal or neuromuscular dysfunction. PT’s can also work with your pediatrician to help you navigate specialty services such as neurologists, cardiologists, or orthopedists. Depending on the skill we can use many different treatment interventions to help your child, this may include obstacle courses, specific exercises to target muscle groups, and play based gross motor activities.
#4 – Alignment Issues
If your child is showing signs of poor alignment – things like scoliosis or knock knees – PT can assist with building strength and muscular endurance to improve their posture, and running form. PT’s can also evaluate for and recommend shoe orthotics and help you get referred to an orthotist to obtain orthotics if needed. PTs can use a combination of techniques including strengthening, stretching, and manual therapy to increase strength and stretch different muscles.