Physiatrist (Physical Medicine) Questions Physical Therapy

How can physical therapy benefit my son?

My son always had issues with walking, and was actually late in starting to walk. He's not as coordinated as the other kids his age. Do you think physical therapy can help him? What's physical therapy like for kids?

9 Answers

Definitely a pediatric physical therapist would help him correct his gait. One of the best places to start is to consult with the school nurse and/or a pediatric physical therapist.
Most abnormal walking gets better by itself by the age of 2 or 3.
You did not mention how old of your son, but normally he should start work by 1 year old, in the beginning he will be unsteady, might fall so many times, but things will get better wk after wk, some kids are very normal, but they start to walk late, I will ask you to see his pediatrician, but I'm sure physical therapy will help.
Physical therapy can definitely help. Find a PT who has an interest or has better yet specialized in pediatrics. We alter our interventions to be "fun" for the kiddos.
I think that physical therapy would benefit your son. He might not have to go for very long but just to get him on the right track! Pediatric PT is going to be more "fun." Pediatric Physical Therapist are trained so that therapy comes across as fun while they are actually working function.
Physical therapy can definitely help. Physical therapy is not just for people that are in pain; it is to optimize your movement for healthier lifestyle and better quality of life. All PTs aren't made the same, however, and I would suggest going to a board-certified specialist in orthopedics that might also have a strength and conditioning or sports/performance certification. You can even ask about injury prevention screenings or something of that nature instead of a traditional physical therapy session.
Pediatric PT is habilitative medicine, which is helping young infants, toddlers, and children attain skills and function that would have otherwise not developed without intervention. There are varieties of reasons that children can have challenges with walking and following a thorough evaluation, we can properly assess the origin of those issues. At our office, depending on the age of a child, we use standardized tests, postural measurements, and other clinical findings to assess the causes for gait delays and we focus on those concerns through play-based intervention that incorporates hands-on therapeutic handling, suspension equipment, therapeutic exercises, and manual techniques. The older children, 2+, typically enjoy the session as it's viewed as "fun" since we use a multitude of games and activities to encourage movement, balance, strength building, and flexibility, if needed.



Get it checked out! You might look into physical therapy with a pediatric physical therapist. A trained PT can help with pain reduction, prescribing the right exercises for your son to work on coordination, etc.
It’s unfortunate I do not know your son's age. Children develop at different stages in growth and development. Physical therapy will help, but you ought to have him checked out by his pediatrician. It may be he is just a slow developer, or he may have some underlying problem (i.e., hips, legs, and feet). Does he have an in-toeing walk? In other words, is he pigeon-toed? Have you noticed him limping? Does he play, running, jumping, etc.? Children do not usually complain; if there is a problem, you must be observant. If you can take a video with your phone, it will help the doctor. So, have him run around and watch him walking. Before doing anything else, please have him checked out thoroughly. It is imperative you get this checked now.
Good luck.