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Pediatric Physical Therapy

Physical therapists help children move more easily and with less pain, so they can participate in activities at home, at school, and in the community.

UNC Children’s specially trained pediatric physical therapists will work closely with you and other members of the care team to provide an assessment, set goals, and create and implant an individualized intervention plan. We’ll work together to ease challenges with daily caregiving and help your child live a healthy, active life.

Rest assured your child is getting safe, effective, evidence-based treatment, because all of our physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are licensed by the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) looks to UNC Medical Center for expert consultation and support for the state’s public school-based physical therapy programs.

And because we specialize in helping kids, you can count on a fun, playful, and friendly atmosphere for your child’s therapy sessions.

Conditions That May Benefit From Physical Therapy

UNC Children’s physical therapists work with infants, children, teens and young adults with wide variety of conditions, from developmental disorders to injuries. PT may be part of your child’s care plan if s/he experiences:

  • Burn injuries
  • Congenital anomalies – Physical conditions present at birth
  • Developmental disorders and delays
  • Genetic disorders
  • Heart and lung conditions
  • Hemophilia – Blood disorder that can include bleeding into muscles or joints, leading to a decreased range of motion, strength and function
  • Musculoskeletal injuries – Damage to bones, joints or muscles
  • Neuromuscular disorders – Conditions affecting the nerves that control voluntary muscles
  • Premature birth or low birth weight
  • Spinal cord, brain, and nerve injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Torticollis – Abnormal head and neck position
  • Traumatic injuries, such as those sustained in a car accident

Pediatric PT Services We Offer

Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to help your child build strength, increase endurance, and improve movement. You and your child’s PT will work together to create individualized strategies based on the specific needs of your child and family. Services we offer include:

  • Standardized developmental testing – Screens for developmental delays
  • Airway clearance techniques – Help people with cystic fibrosis clear mucus and breathe more easily
  • Balance training – Improves stability and decreases risk of falls
  • Exercise and rehabilitation programs, including cardiopulmonary conditioning, sports injury rehabilitation, and partial body weight bearing treadmill training
  • Fitting and training for casts, splints and braces
  • Gait training – Improves ability to stand and walk
  • Gross motor (large movement) development
  • Wheelchairs and adaptive equipment evaluations – Identifies devices that make daily activities easier
  • Aquatic Therapy

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a physician’s referral for pediatric physical therapy. Talk to your doctor or call us at 919-843-1758.

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