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Physical Therapy 

Pediatric Physical Therapy

Located in the Madison area and Wausau, our pediatric physical therapy team members specialize in supporting your child’s gross motor development through individualized and comprehensive programs developed through clinical expertise and current best practice guidelines. Physical therapy sessions at CI are filled with lots of hard work embedded in so much fun! Whether it’s biking around the neighborhood, walking to one of Madison or Wausau’s many parks, tackling a ninja warrior course, or challenging someone to a game of basketball, kids are building strength and working towards meaningful goals during physical therapy at CI.

We look forward to meeting with you at one of our Madison area or Wausau clinics for an initial evaluation to get to know your child, identify their strengths and growth areas, discuss your family’s functional goal areas, complete standardized assessments, and determine if physical therapy is appropriate for your child.

Physical Therapy child

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a healthcare field that involves the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of developmental, musculoskeletal, neurological, and movement-related conditions to improve someone’s physical function, mobility, and quality of life.

Pediatric physical therapy is a specialized branch of physical therapy that focuses on children with various physical disabilities or developmental delays. Pediatric physical therapists work with children and young adults across the early lifespan (infanthood through early adulthood) to improve their strength, balance, mobility, coordination, and general physical function. The goal is to help children reach their full potential and improve their quality of life through individualized interventions. 

What Does Physical Therapy Treat?

Physical therapy treats a range of skills that impact daily function. The following are examples of factors that may be addressed in physical therapy: gross motor skills and milestones, global strength (core, upper body, and lower body), balance and gait instability, motor planning and coordination, range of motion, postural concerns, acute and chronic pain, orthopedic and sports injuries, functional mobility and transfers, gait mechanics, wheelchair mobility, cranial abnormalities (plagiocephaly and brachycephaly), and muscle tone and related issues (including torticollis).

What  Physical Therapy Services does CI Provide?

Our pediatric physical therapists are experts at motivating children of all ages to participate in physically challenging activities that help them achieve their full potential. CI’s play based model of therapy is supported by a variety of tools and equipment available to make exercise fun, including an advanced track system that allows a child to walk, crawl, swing, or zip line with partial or full body weight support, Xbox 360 Kinect™, outdoor play equipment, Universal Exercise Units, and much more!

Traditional Physical Therapy Services

  • Adaptive Bike Training
  • Adaptive Equipment Recommendations
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Athletic Rehabilitation
  • Balance Training
  • Consultation with Local Orthotists and Equipment Vendors
  • Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI)
  • Functional Mobility Training
  • Home Exercise Programs
  • Increasing Proprioceptive Awareness
  • Manual Range of Motion Exercises
  • Manual Therapy Techniques
  • Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT)
  • Pain Management
  • Parent/Caregiver Education
  • Partial Weight-Bearing Treadmill and Gait Training
  • Service Coordination
  • Stretching
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Therapeutic Taping Techniques
  • Torticollis Treatment

Specialized Physical Therapy Treatments:

In addition to traditional PT services, we offer these specialty physical therapy services at our Liberty Drive clinic location.

Posture analysis: Provides analysis of a patient’s standing posture. Provides detailed reports of any abnormal postural deviations and includes side-by-side comparisons.

Gait analysis: “Gait” is a word describing how someone walks. Gait abnormalities can be present in people of all ages. A clinical gait analysis can detect gait abnormalities and monitor gait changes in a patient across time. Based on assessments of the pelvis, hip, knee and foot position through all the phases of the gait cycle. This can be done on a treadmill or overground to accommodate children who use assistive devices.

Advance Program: Advance is our intensive OT/PT program aimed at increasing a child’s functional independence. Find out more about CI’s Advance program here.

Physical Therapy for Autism

Kids with autism may demonstrate differences in their motor skill development, motor planning, coordination, postural control, and/or ability to imitate others. Challenges in these areas may impact social relationships and participation in activities with  peers.

Physical therapists are movement specialists. They are trained to evaluate and treat children from infants to young adults and work with their families in the areas of:

  • Gross motor development (e.g., rolling, jumping, hopping, pedaling a tricycle or bicycle, skipping)
  • Core strength and control for better posture at home and in school
  • Functional mobility (e.g., crawling, walking, running)
  • Body and safety awareness
  • Balance and coordination
  • Play skills
  • Walking patterns
  • Assisting with orthotics for foot and ankle joint alignment
  • Participation in daily routines in the home, community, and school
  • Fitness and overall endurance

Madison Physical Therapy Clinics

CI has many convenient locations for families to receive physical therapy services throughout the Madison area as well as a location in Wausau, Wisconsin. Our physical therapy clinic locations have expanded over the years with the aim of serving families right in the communities in which they live. Families are busy and having convenient access to high quality physical therapy is important!
Madison area physical therapy locations include:

Ready to Take the Next Step? Contact Us Today

Our physical therapy team is ready to join you and your child on their journey to reaching their maximum potential. Get started by scheduling your free consultation today. You can give us a call to schedule or use our convenient online scheduling option. We look forward to meeting you and your child at one of our physical therapy clinics.

Pediatric Physical Therapy FAQs: Answers for Parents

 

Pediatric physical therapy is a specialized branch of physical therapy that focuses on children with various physical disabilities or developmental delays. Pediatric physical therapists work with children and young adults across the early lifespan (infanthood through early adulthood) to improve their strength, balance, mobility, coordination, and general physical function. The goal is to help children reach their full potential and improve their quality of life through individualized interventions.

At CI, physical therapists are not just treating a condition but rather the whole child. The following is a non-exhaustive list of some common conditions that a pediatric physical therapist might encounter as they support children in working towards their maximum potential:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • Hemiplegia
  • Hypotonia/Hypertonia
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Scoliosis
  • Down syndrome
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Gross motor delay
  • Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly
  • Torticollis 
  • Genetic mutations

A child can start benefiting from physical therapy services at any age. Our pediatric physical therapists see infants all the way up to young adults. Providing your child with early intervention allows for significant growth at a critical period in your child’s development. Reach out as soon as you have concerns about your child’s development to complete a free developmental screener or consultation. CI is here to provide you and your child the resources and education needed to reach their maximum potential.

Physical therapy may be beneficial if your child

  • Falls down frequently
  • Seems more comfortable walking up on their "tippy toes"
  • Has trouble climbing playground equipment
  • Isn't running or jumping like other kids their age
  • Prefers support when sitting or standing/often leans into surfaces

During your child’s first physical therapy session, the therapist will answer any additional questions or updates you may have from the initial evaluation. The session will be centered around your child’s strengths and interests in order to promote rapport building while incorporating interventions and treatment to target their current physical therapy goals. The therapist will utilize the child’s individual goals and personal interests to drive the focus of each session.

Physical therapy sessions vary in duration and frequency depending on the specific needs of your child, but sessions are typically 60-120 minutes.

Treatment plans and length of care is highly dependent on the unique needs of your child. Factors that may impact length of care may include age, comorbidities, complexities of diagnoses, home carryover, and so much more.

CI is in network with many insurance providers. Physical therapy is covered by some insurance policies. Oftentimes that coverage depends on the diagnosis we are treating. It is important to know if your insurance policy has any exclusions related to the area for which you are seeking treatment. It's always important to confirm coverage and plan specifics with individual insurance providers. We love to collaborate with families, and our billing team can support you as you investigate and help explain your coverage and benefits.

Physical therapy providers at CI are nationally certified and state licensed. All of our physical therapy team members are highly qualified experts with the necessary skills and experience to support your child. CI physical therapy providers regularly participate in continuing education opportunities and often receive additional certifications for even more specialized training in a particular aspect of their scope of practice.

Families are always welcome (and encouraged!) to join sessions. This can be a great way to support carryover of skills learned during physical therapy to other environments.

Our skilled therapists will provide you with a home exercise program to promote home carry over and help make progress toward their individual goals.

  • Adaptive Bike Training
  • Adaptive Equipment Recommendations
  • Athletic Rehabilitation
  • Balance Training
  • Consultation with Local Orthotists and Equipment Vendors
  • Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI)
  • Functional Mobility Training
  • Home Exercise Programs
  • Increasing Proprioceptive Awareness
  • Intensive Therapy Program and Therasuit®
  • Manual Range of Motion Exercises
  • Manual Therapy Techniques
  • Pain Management
  • Parent/Caregiver Education
  • Partial Weight-Bearing Treadmill and Gait Training
  • Service Coordination
  • Stretching
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Therapeutic Taping Techniques
  • Torticollis Treatment

 

Pediatric physical therapy incorporates fun and play as essential components of treatment, utilizing engaging activities and games to motivate children to participate in therapy and achieve their goals. CI pediatric physical therapists utilize a playful approach to make therapy sessions enjoyable and effective for younger patients.

Yes! We know that every child is unique and will require individualized treatment. Each child will be evaluated thoroughly by a physical therapist who will develop a personalized treatment plan including goals targeting skills that are important to them and their family and will allow them to safely interact with their peers. These goals are assessed frequently and updated or progressed as needed to ensure every child’s treatment plan is up-to-date and effective.   

Physical therapy services begin with an initial evaluation which includes assessment of the relevant areas of concern for the child and their family. Based on client and family priorities as well as evaluation assessment results, measurable goals are developed. The physical therapy provider completes documentation for each therapy session, including data regarding progress towards the child’s goals. As goals are attained, new goals are developed to allow for continued progression. Family-centered care is highly valued at CI, so therapists engage in ongoing collaboration with families to ensure the care they are providing and the goals they are addressing are well-matched and remain relevant to what’s meaningful to each child and their family.