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Career Options in Pediatric Physical Therapy

Gaynor Borade
Physical therapy is recommended to children affected by a certain illness, disability, or injury. The pediatric physical therapist helps in ensuring that physical setbacks do not get in their way for education and enjoyment. Here are the various job options available in pediatric physical therapy.
Pediatric physiotherapists work towards making a difference in the lives of children who are held back from normal activities due to some physical setback. The cause for the restraint may be cerebral palsy or some neuromotor disorder.
The pediatric physical therapists are often able to reduce the pain and help the children resume their daily activities. They assist the children in restoring their range of motion and also teach them different techniques to prevent an injury.
They also work to improve children's balance, coordination, heart and lung capacity, etc. They work towards increasing public awareness towards the efforts made by the American Physical Therapy Association, and the effectiveness of the intensive measures available for the development of children.
The therapy is a process and not a one-time treatment or application. Serving the disabled community with effective standards in child safety is the primary focus of the therapist. There are various reasons for which the doctor may recommend the therapy. These include:
  • Sports injury
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle diseases
  • Head injury
  • Genetic disorders
  • Birth defects
The therapists use a variety of treatments to build strength and improve the skills of the children. The work has a number of specialty areas. These include:

Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapists

These professionals handle the preliminary diagnosis and management of the options available for therapy.
They organize and plan the treatment program for disorders and injuries, especially those pertaining to the musculoskeletal system. They are assisted by personnel to rehabilitate their patients after the orthopedic surgery.

Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy Assistants

These are professionals who work towards facilitating the smooth treatment and post-operative recovery of joints, acute injuries, and amputations. They assist the orthopedic therapists with joint mobilization, strength training, and electrical stimulation. They assist in the application of magnetic therapy, massage, and even mesotherapy.

Pediatric Geriatric

Geriatric therapy involves reducing the pain associated with the aging of an injury. These professionals address and guide the steps to be taken to prevent the worsening of juvenile arthritis, osteoporosis, or cancer. They also help in hip and joint replacements and incontinence.

Pediatric Geriatric Assistants

These trained personnel help with the treatments that are prescribed by the geriatric-in-charge. They help in restoring mobility and reducing the pain. They help the children to increase their fitness level.

Pediatric Neurologist

A neurologist heads a discipline that is focused on working with children afflicted by some neurological disorder. He addresses the special needs of patients affected by Alzheimer's, brain injury, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injury. 
He is equipped to address the onset of paralysis or vision impairment. He is assisted by trained nurses to restore functional independence and improve areas of dysfunction.
Pediatric physical therapy treats disorders in the young population. The therapist successfully treats children using various skills.

Job Requirement and Skills

  • Belief in the potential of children
  • Making available recreational and developmental treatments to enable the children to enjoy the therapy
  • Knowledge about various treatment options to assist the community efficiently
  • Educate parents on implications of specific handicaps
  • Offering recourse to the parents of disabled children
  • Knowledge about alternative pediatric therapies and treatments, like aquatic physical therapy
Physical therapists normally work in hospitals, fitness centers, rehabilitation centers, etc. They can be contacted through coaches and doctors.