5 Big Benefits of a Pediatric Physical Therapist

A child’s bones, muscles and joints require special care

A child’s growth plates – the areas at the end of the long bones in the arms and legs responsible for making new bone tissue – are still open. If a child or teenager injures these growth plates, and is not diagnosed or treated properly, it can lead to damage that may leave them permanently sidelined from their favorite activities. Pediatric physical therapists are trained to recognize, identify and treat these types of injuries specifically.

And while general PTs can treat pediatric patients, they may make up only 5-10% of their practice. Pediatric PT’s on the other hand, are kid experts, treating children 100 percent of the time.

Pediatric physical therapists cater rehabilitation specifically to your kids

A child needs to be stimulated and engaged in their physical therapy to reap the biggest benefits and recover quickly. If they aren’t challenged and entertained, they become disengaged – potentially prolonging their recovery time.

Pediatric PTs can translate your child’s therapeutic goals into exercises that seem more like play than therapy, making rehabilitation fun – which translates into better compliance and a faster recovery. 

Kid-centered care may translate into fewer visits and lower risk of re-injury

It's true that some sports medicine programs are hospital-based, which can translate into more up-front costs. However, that cost is providing you with pediatric physical therapists and sports medicine specialists that are experts in treating kids. This means that in most cases, your child will get back to feeling better and playing their favorite sports more quickly, and with fewer visits than with general physical therapy because their rehabilitation programs are high-quality and uniquely catered to a child’s specific needs. This means less long-term costs for your family.

More importantly though, it means your child gets well quicker, and for the long haul.


When a child suffers an acute injury, they may start to feel better pretty quickly after they get hurt, going right back to full steam ahead even if their body hasn’t completely healed. Pediatric physical therapists understand this, and know how to help a child properly progress through therapy and healing; safely guiding them back to their former level of activity and minimizing their risk for re-injury.

Pediatric physical therapists offer higher levels of more specialized attention

Pediatric PTs understand that kids and teens need individualized attention because they are kids. It is not just about assigning physical therapy exercises. It’s about providing that child everything she needs to get the biggest benefits from her physical therapy – from hands-on cuing, to technique and exercise supervision.

A pediatric PT also wants to know about your child specifically. Does she play a sport? How often? What position? The answers to these questions help a pediatric PT cater your child’s rehabilitation program specifically to her body’s needs.

It is not just about treating a diagnosis; it is about the long-term prevention of future injuries for your favorite athlete as they continue to grow.

Passion, atmosphere and experience

Pediatric physical therapists do more than simply diagnose and treat an injury. They have a passion for kids, and will bring that passion into the work they do to get your child back to being a kid. Many pediatric physical therapists were child-athletes themselves, and come to your family with a unique understanding of what your child may be going through.

Many kids who see pediatric physical therapists feel understood and heard during their treatment, rather than being treated as simply another patient. It’s a mutual understanding that fosters mutual respect, and that translates into more effective therapy.

Pediatric physical therapy is also provided in a fun, kid-friendly atmosphere that makes kids and teens feel more at ease during their treatment. It’s warm, welcoming and provides age-appropriate challenges, creating a safe space for your child to get better.

Bringing your child to a Children’s physical therapist also means that you’re now part of a team of highly-qualified, skilled and experienced pediatric sports medicine experts, each one dedicated to providing their expertise, training and knowledge to get your kids back to doing the things they love most.

Learn more about physical therapy at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta