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Is there physical therapy for babies?

Physical Therapy for Babies
3 minutes, 17 seconds

Ever heard of a baby going to physical therapy? It happens more often than you might think! Physical therapy isn’t just for adults. There are therapists who specialize in pediatrics. These pediatric physical therapists are experts in assisting babies to reach certain physical milestones or goals if they need a little extra help.

There are several reasons why a baby might benefit from going to a physical therapy clinic, but the most common are listed below. 

What types of babies can benefit the most from physical therapy?

  • Babies who experience developmental delays — Babies who experience developmental delays make up many of the babies that receive care from physical therapists. The term “developmental delay” can encompass a broad range of intellectual, learning and physical disabilities. Once a more specific condition has been identified, the physical therapist will treat a baby’s condition and specific symptoms. They frequently treat young children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and also babies with intellectual disabilities. Those are just a few of the kinds of patients they treat daily. Depending on the unique circumstances of the child and the goals discussed with the parents, physical therapy can help in a multitude of ways.
  • Babies who suffered a birth injury — Physical therapists also frequently see babies who have dealt with an injury during the birthing process. Birth can be quite traumatic for babies. Physical therapy can help children who experienced an injury while being born to manage their symptoms and improve the quality of their life.
  • Babies who have genetic conditions — Babies who have genetic conditions are also frequently seen by physical therapists. Therapy can be helpful for children with genetic conditions to perform movements that are beneficial for their physical health and development in a safe and controlled environment.

What kinds of exercises and equipment will babies use during their physical therapy sessions?

  • Exercise balls — Exercise balls are used to help with balance during sessions. They often come in both large and small sizes and can be employed to help a child build strength and coordination.
  • Toys — Toys are frequently used during therapy to encourage a child to reach out or move a certain body part that may need to be targeted during sessions.
  • Other small items — The items that may be used during physical therapy are chosen very intentionally by the therapist. They’ll be part of a specifically designed treatment program that the parent or caregiver and the therapist will go over before starting. If you’re curious about what a specific type of equipment is used for, don’t hesitate to ask questions! If you want to learn more about pediatric physical therapy, click here.

Why can physical therapy be beneficial for babies?

  • Helping with balance — Physical therapy can be used to intentionally focus on building better balancing skills in babies. If a baby struggles with maintaining balance due to a developmental delay or disability, therapy can be a good way for them to practice and develop their balance in a controlled environment.
  • Helping build muscle — It can also help build muscle. If a specific muscle group is in need of strengthening, a physical therapist can help target that specific muscle group through a series of safe and intentional exercises to help build those muscles up.
  • Improving mobility — PT is also good for improving mobility in general. It can help your baby with a variety of movements and actions, like turning their head with a little more ease. It also aids in the process of picking up objects, wiggling fingers, etc. Improved mobility can make play easier and supplement a baby’s physical growth. If you’re hoping to help your baby’s mobility, physical therapy can be beneficial for that reason.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch physical therapy for your baby

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you get the right physical therapy for your baby. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!


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