Pediatric Physical Therapy Services

Movement is a critical component to enhancing a child’s development and learning.  Physical therapists work to improve a child’s mobility by targeting specific impairments that adversely affect how the body functions.   Such impairments can include muscle weakness, muscle tone (high or low), muscle tightness, joint laxity, poor balance, poor coordination and pain.  Specific treatment programs vary from one patient to the next dependent upon individual needs, but interventions and strategies used to elicit positive results include:

  • Facilitation of developmental gross motor skills such as rolling, sitting, crawling, standing and walking
  • Improvement of strength and core stability through functional activities
  • Incorporating balance and coordination skills into play based activities
  • Developing stretching programs to promote improvements in muscle length and joint range of motion
  • Decreasing pain through use of therapeutic modalities
  • Acquisition of adaptive equipment and patient education as needed to suit each individual child’s needs
  • Aquatic therapy to assist children in acquiring skills in the water that may be too difficult for an individual child to achieve through land-based activities

Learn more below about how our therapists make a difference, along with why physical therapy is important.

Why choose us

Our team of physical therapists at CFZ has over 45 years of cumulative experience working exclusively with children to promote independence with functional mobility skills.  We work with a variety of patient populations to create individualized therapy programs that help each and every child reach their maximum potential.

Physical therapy can be beneficial for a large number of patient populations.  Click on the any of conditions below for more information and to see how our team of therapists at CFZ can help your child.  Don’t see the condition you’re looking for, contact us to learn more.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders can display some gross motor deficits, but not all of these children exhibit gross motor limitations. In addition to gross motor difficulties, many children with ASD exhibit language delays, difficulties with social interaction, sensory processing difficulties and other fine motor concerns.

At CFZ, our physical therapists often work with children with ASD through a team approach with our occupational therapists and speech therapists to encompass the individual child’s needs as a whole.

For more information visit www.autismspeaks.org new-window-icon

Children with cerebral palsy exhibit abnormalities in muscle tone and strength which can lead to range of motion limitations, bony deformities, balance and coordination deficits. As a result, functional mobility skills (i.e. crawling, standing, walking, etc) are negatively impacted.

Our therapists work with these children to improve upon their specific limitations through individualized functional programs suited to fit each individual child’s needs.  In addition to treatment programming, we work with families to perform adaptive equipment evaluations for wheelchairs, adaptive seating, standers, gait trainers and walking aides as well as orthotic assessments in order to achieve the maximum extent of mobility possible.

Children who exhibit developmental delays are considered to be behind their same age peers in achieving their gross motor milestones.  Learn more about developmental milestones within our Family Resources section.

At CFZ, we work with children and families to determine not only what the delays are, but why the delays are present by completing a comprehensive gross motor evaluation.  Treatment is geared towards improving the impairments that lead to difficulties in performing age appropriate motor skills.

Children who have been diagnosed with genetic disorders face a wide range of challenges and limitations.

Physical therapists at CFZ will work with patients and families perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine each individual child’s impairments and limitations.  The individual needs of each child will be addressed through individualized therapy programs.  Referrals to occupational therapy and/or speech therapy may also be beneficial to address potential concerns in those areas.

Children with JRA often exhibit joint pain and swelling as well as range of motion deficits in the affected joints.

Our team of physical therapists at CFZ works closely with patients, families and physicians to reduce pain and swelling in affected joints as well as improve joint range of motion through a variety of therapeutic techniques including but not limited to passive range of motion, soft tissue massage/mobilization and functional activities as tolerated by the patient.  These children often respond well to aquatic therapy, which helps to decrease weight-bearing through painful joints while increasing the amount of movement within these joints.

This category includes any diagnosis that affects the brain’s ability to transmit neurological signals to the rest of the body. Children with neurological impairments may exhibit abnormalities in muscle tone and strength which can lead to range of motion limitations, bony deformities, balance and coordination deficits.  As a result, functional mobility skills may be negatively impacted.

Our therapists work with these children to improve upon their specific limitations through individualized functional programs suited to fit each individual child’s needs.  In addition to treatment programming, we work with families to perform adaptive equipment evaluations for wheelchairs, adaptive seating, standers, gait trainers and walking aides as well as orthotic assessments in order to achieve the maximum extent of mobility possible.

This category encompasses any diagnosis or disorder that affects one’s ability to move his/her arms, legs or trunk. This includes but is not limited to diagnoses of muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, spina bifida and myopathies.

Physical therapists at CFZ will work with these patients and families to address movement impairments through strengthening, stretching, positioning, and energy conservation strategies.  Our therapists will also work closely with families to obtain adaptive equipment and/or orthotic devices as needed for each individual child.

Toe walking is a commonly seen diagnosis and is often accompanied by tightness of the gastrocnemius/soleus complex (calf muscles). Children who are toe walkers often begin toe walking from an early age and may go undetected for some time before concerns are raised by the parents.  Causes of toe walking can be idiopathic (unknown), neurological impairments or sensory processing disorders.

Our team of physical therapists at CFZ will work with patients and families to determine the cause of toe walking in order to guide treatment appropriately.  If the family expresses some sensory concerns, a referral to occupational therapy may be warranted to rule out sensory processing disorders.  Physical therapy treatment will address muscle tightness, muscle weakness and body mechanics to promote improvements with gait patterns.

Torticollis is a condition primarily seen in infants and is characterized by tightness of the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck, resulting in abnormal positioning of the head. Babies with torticollis may also present with flattening of the head (plagiocephaly) due to poor head positioning.

Physical therapists at CFZ work closely with these families to develop therapeutic programs that incorporate stretching, positioning and gross motor skill development.  Our therapists will also work with families and physicians to determine whether or not there is a need for a cranial orthosis to help with correction of plagiocephaly.

What clients are saying

“Both of our sons have participated in physical, occupational, and speech therapy at Cheshire Fitness Zone. We make the forty minute trek to Cheshire three times per week because the therapists are like none other we have encountered. Our sons (4 and 5 years old) have received therapy since birth and I was so pleased to have found Cheshire Fitness Zone. Both of my kids have been challenged and nurtured by the therapists. They are so amazing with the kids and I am thankful for their dedication.”
Katy Blanchette
“We have been coming to Cheshire Fitness Zone for more than two years. The therapists are friendly, compassionate, and professional. Not only do they do a fabulous job with the therapy, but they also consider the individual behavioral needs for our son. They are caring while pushing him to achieve goals that at times he might feel he can do and he does. Thank you to Craig and the staff for all that you do!”
The Smedbergs
“We have been coming to Cheshire Fitness Zone for fifteen years. Our son has a motor dyspraxia which causes challenges with posture, upper body strength, and affects his fine motor skills too. After coming consistently every week for 1-2 visits he has surpassed many of his physical challenges. Now as a young man he takes physical challenges like 5k’s and bike challenges with a smile. We are grateful to the many physical therapists he has had over the years. Each of them has encouraged him and pushed him to improve in a gentle, but firm way, and always with a sense of humor. Our son looks forward to coming every week.”
The Anthony’s
“The physical therapists at Cheshire Fitness Zone are warm, caring individuals. They have worked with my daughter for about a year and a half now and she has made tremendous progress building her core strength, coordination, balance, and overall strengthening. I recommend them highly.”
Kristine Livolsi
“Cheshire Fitness Zone provides staff at our school that understands the role of related service providers in educational settings, meet the educationally related needs of the students, and communicate well with faculty, staff, and parents. They exhibit a high degree of professionalism and state of the art physical therapy.”
Anonymous
“My twelve year old daughter has been seeing Craig since she was four years old and she loves coming to the ‘gym.’ I love that she refers to it as the ‘gym’ instead of therapy. She sees her therapy as a place where she works her body to become stronger and has fun. She is disappointed if therapy is canceled. The staff is wonderful and works to find the right fit with each child and therapist. They work across modalities and communicate with the school and her doctors. I am thankful to have Cheshire Fitness Zone in my daughter’s life! Thank you!”
Heather M.
“My son has greatly benefited from OT and PT at Cheshire Fitness Zone. The therapists are so patient and knowledgeable. The facility is also very impressive and fun. We look forward to seeing our son progress as we continue therapy.”
Anonymous

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