Physical Therapy

 
 
 
Physical Therapy is a field of science concerned with the ability and quality of motor skills (large motor activities related to movement). An infant, child or teenager who is referred to physical therapy may have a disability from birth, as a result of illness, accident, or there may be no known cause. This may result in them having abnormal muscle tone, muscle weakness, impaired balance, decreased functional movement, pain, or poor coordination.

 
 
 
 
When Is Physical Therapy Needed?

Physical therapy benefits children of all ages and complexities including children with:
  • Developmental delay
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Prematurity
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Hyper (high) tone
  • Hypo (low) tone
  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Spina Bifida
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Brachial Plexus Injury/Erb's Palsy
  • Pulmonary/Respiratory/Cardiac difficulties
  • Cancer
  • Burns
  • Genetic conditions
  • Torticollis
  • Movement disorders
  • Gait (walking) abnormalities
  • Toe walking
  • Hemiplegia
Sunshine Center Physical Therapists
We specialize in working with children from birth to 18 years of age. Children are not small adults and therefore cannot be treated as such. Our pediatric physical therapists are specifically trained to help children improve mobility, motor development, posture, strength, range of motion, balance and coordination. This is accomplished through play, toys, specific techniques, specialized equipment, and home programs that encourage the child to move in ways that develop their motor skills. Pediatric physical therapists focus on movement dysfunctions and help children learn how to move independently or with assistive devices including walkers, wheelchairs, or crutches. We assess the need for braces or orthotics and perform evaluations for adaptive equipment. Our goal is to help each child reach his or her fullest potential. We use a variety of specialized treatment methods in order to maximize their function including:
  • Manual therapy skills
  • Torticollis intervention
  • Myofascial release
  • Fabrication of casts and splints
  • Functional mobility
  • Pain management
  • Kinesiotaping
  • Animal (dog) assisted therapy
  • Infant massage
  • Orthotic evaluation and fabrication
  • Equipment evaluation and recommendations
Children are seen on an individual basis to allow us to develop a program to meet their unique needs in a fun, private, respectful and caring environment. Physical therapy goals often include help with developmental milestones like sitting, standing, crawling and walking. Our licensed physical therapists also assess the need for adjunct therapies such as orthotics (splints and braces) or therapeutic clothing and recommend adaptive equipment. Each therapy program is supervised by one of only two Board Certified Pediatric Physical Therapists in the Tulsa area.

Babies and toddlers grow and develop very rapidly in the early years of life. Certain changes occur at specific times and there are particular "windows of opportunity," during which therapists can both maximize development and address problems. Pediatric therapists are trained to assess the best time to evaluate a child for appropriate development and determine whether therapy is indicated. If a caregiver has concerns about the development of their child, it is best to discuss a referral for a therapy evaluation with their doctor. An evaluation does not necessary mean that therapy will be recommended. Sunshine Center physical therapists support families and help them meet their children's needs. The earlier children with developmental delays or special needs receive help, the more effective the therapy will be.