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Helping your child reach their maximum potential

At The Children's Institute, we provide personalized, family-centered children's physical therapy for infants through young adults. Our physical therapists have specialized expertise and training related to the impact that growth and development have on treating physical injuries, orthopedic conditions, and medical complexities. In short, we know how to help kids get back to being kids.

An approach that blends fun with function

Our passionate and dedicated team turns the most advanced techniques and therapies into play, to help children and young adults stay engaged in their treatment. Using evidence-based methods and adapting our care to meet the needs of the patient and their caregivers, we have found laughter and play improves outcomes for the children we serve.

The highest quality care. The best possible outcomes.

Our PT for children expertise spans the breadth of orthopedic conditions and sports injuries, from sprains and strains to concussion care; from post-surgical recovery to rehabilitation for a wide range of conditions. With a focus on improving function, our physical therapists are able to:
  • Improve motor learning and coordination of movements
  • Implement intensive strengthening and conditioning programs 
  • Track improvement as compared with peers and those with similar diagnoses
  • Address peer-related activities like bike riding and playground skills
  • Employ a variety of evidence-based modalities to improve healing, strength, range of motion, and mobility
  • Use de-weighting technologies for gait training 
  • Evaluate equipment needs

When might your child need Physical Therapy?

Gross motor skills are some of the first buldling blocks for all areas of development. We recommend consulting with a physical therapist as soon as possible if you have any concerns, especially if your child:
  • Turns or tilts their head to one side, or has a flat spot on their head
  • Has trouble with tummy time
  • Only scoots on their bottom, instead of moving on their hands and knees symmetrically
  • Has difficulty rolling or sitting
  • Seems overly stiff or floppy
Toddlers are constantly on the move! They don't stay in one place for long and move between toys and activities at lightning speed. If you have a child who is one or two years old, take a minute to watch how they are moving. Our physical therapists are experts in movement and are happy to help make sure your child is on track with development. As with any developmental concern, early treatment is best for a faster and better outcome. Call us to schedule an evaluation if you have any concerns about how your child moves, or if you notice any of the following:
  • Not standing by 12 months
  • Not walking by 15 months
  • Flat feet, or toes pointing in or out when standing
  • Frequent tripping or falling
  • Toe walking once able to walk without support
  • Trouble with balance or ball play
Three and four-year-olds are developing more coordinated and skilled movement. They enjoy climbing on playground equipment, running around with friends, and are starting to participate in simple, structured exercise or sport activities. Don't wait to schedule an evaluation if you have concerns in any of the following areas:
  • Toe Walking
  • Flat feet, or toes pointing in or out
  • Going up and down stairs
  • Running, jumping, and riding a tricycle
  • Balance, coordination, climbing and ball play
Physical Therapists are experts in movement. Our physical therapists use a variety of techniques and interventions to improve your child’s ability to move, increasing their independence and ability to participate in family and peer movement-based activities at home, at school and in the community.
  • Sports/play-related injuries (strains, sprains, pain; decreased strength and range of motion)
  • Concussion care
  • Chronic Pain
  • Rehabilitation after surgery
  • Difficulty keeping up with peers on the playground or in structured activities like sports activities, dance, etc
  • Difficulty moving due to diagnoses such neuromuscular disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurological disorders, genetic syndromes
  • Deconditioning due to prolonged illness

Explore Our Cutting-Edge Treatments

Our state-of-the-art facility includes two therapy pools, allowing for outpatient aquatic therapy sessions tailored to each patient’s individual needs. Aquatic therapy offers patients a gentler alternative and complement to land-based exercises.

Patients participating in aquatic therapy may experience the following benefits:
  • Decreased pain. Water buffers movement and buoyancy reduces pressure on body structures.
  • Reduced swelling. Water pressure can help move fluid from the injured area back into the body.
  • Improved flexibility. Warm water can relax sore or tight muscles, increasing range of motion.
  • Improved strength and balance. Water resistance can help strengthen core muscles. 
  • Faster progress. Exercises can often be performed sooner than they may be on land. 
  • More fun! Water is a dynamic environment that keeps kids engaged in their recovery.
Our Intensity Program may be incorporated in outpatient physical therapy and occupational therapy care plans to intensify results. Here, patients receive a much higher frequency of therapy than in traditional programs — two hours a day, five days a week for three weeks, involving parents and caregivers in each session. By intensifying therapy, we also intensify the results. This can be especially meaningful for patients with neurological diagnoses, brain injuries, or movement disorders.

Through our intensity program, patients may receive treatments such as:
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Stretching
  • Manual therapy
  • Strengthening
  • Balance/coordination therapy
  • Neurodevelopmental treatment
  • Sensory integration therapy
  • Universal Exercise Unit (UEU)

Universal Exercise Unit (UEU)
The Universal Exercise Unit is a versatile device in which use of a pulley system of weights allows for a child to isolate and strengthen individual muscles through the entire range of motion. The UEU can also be set up as a "spider" system, which consists of a belt and bungee cords. The "spider" system is a dynamic system in which the child can perform functional activities while the bungee cords assist with independent movement.
Interactive Metronome (IM) is an evidence-based therapeutic tool, shown to help patients improve motor and sensory skills. With IM, patients are challenged to match a rhythmic beat with body movements. Because it feels like a game, kids enjoy engaging with it, which helps to accelerate their progress.

Research and our own experience show that IM can make a meaningful difference in:
  • Motor Coordination. Combining movements to work together to accomplish a task.
  • Working Memory. Recognizing words, understanding sentences and remembering instructions.
  • Attention. Focusing on a specific task while ignoring distractions.
  • Processing. Accurately understanding and using information.
  • Sequencing. Placing information in a specific order or completing a task with a series of steps.
At The Children’s Institute, our physical therapists prioritize preventing injuries before they happen. We provide pre-sports screening for kids planning to participate in sports, especially those with medical complexities or conditions that includes:
  • Pre-determining risk for injuries 
  • Screening for neuromuscular imbalance
  • Decreasing sports-related injury risk
As a leader in comprehensive rehabilitative care, we make sure children and adolescents with concussions get the care they need. We coordinate with a team of in-house and external specialists that include occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, physical therapists, physicians, and neuropsychologists, to provide comprehensive assessment and evaluations to deliver the ideal treatment plan for each individual.
Our expert staff has the experience and knowledge to successfully treat children with torticollis and plagiocephaly. By teaching families how to best work with their children, outpatient therapists facilitate improvements in the child's movement, strength, balance, and overall motor skills.

What is Torticollis?
Torticollis is a term used to describe an abnormal posture of the head and neck, usually with a tilt of the head to one side and a rotation of the head to the opposite side. It is not a diagnosis in and of itself, but a sign of an underlying issue. 

What is Plagiocephaly?
Plagiocephaly is a term used to describe an asymmetrical shape of the cranium. It can result from constant pressures on one portion of the head (being in the same position all of the time) or from early closure of one of the sutures in the skull. 

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Amazing care for amazing outcomes

Want to learn more about what makes The Children's Institute the best choice for your child's Physical Therapy? Contact us today. Our friendly team is happy to answer all of your questions and get you connected to the right resources. If you're ready to schedule an appointment, call 412.420.2400.

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