Paediatric Physiotherapy

What is paediatric physiotherapy and how does it differ from adult physiotherapy?

Paediatric Physiotherapy is the diagnosis, treatment and management of children in relation to their physical function, ability and well being.

All babies, children and young people are important. They each have their own unique personality and potential. They present with different medical conditions, have vulnerabilities   of dependence and age and are very much developing individuals with social, emotional and educational needs. Therefore, each child deserve the best possible care and nurture to support their health and development.

Physiotherapists who work with children are specialist practitioners who have the right skills and specific knowledge to deliver appropriate care and education to encourage family involvement.

In order to provide the best paediatric care possible, we at Wicklow Physiotherapy Clinic aim to maintain our understanding of:

  • child development
  • childhood diseases and  conditions that may impact on development and well being
  • therapeutic interventions  that enable and optimise development and well being
  • the need to place the child at the centre of planning
  • the impact that having a  sick or disabled child has on family life
  • how to keep children safe
  • how to ensure that children  and young people make choices
  • how to develop their own skills and practice how to develop services in line with the Government guidance committed to improving quality and life chances for children.

(As outlined by the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists)


What paediatric conditions can be treated by a Chartered Physiotherapist?
Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists treat any conditions similar to those in general physiotherapy practice. However, there are many pathologies which are related almost entirely to paediatrics. Some of these may be recognised at birth, others may become more apparent later in the child’s development and others may develop as a result of sporting activities.

Conditions common to paediatric practice include:

  • Neuronatal conditions
  • Developmental delay
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Neural tube defect (Spina Bifida)
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Progressive neuromuscular  disorders
  • Motor dysfunction
  • Learning difficulties
  • Rheumatology
  • Weight management
  • Developmental co-ordination disorder
  • Mental health disorders
  • Congenital syndromes
  • Talipes
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Postural problems
  • Osteochronditis
  • Congenital absence/shortening of limbs
  • Trauma/ injury
  • Orthopaedics
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Burns & plastics

Some common sporting injuries in children include:

  • Osgood-Schlatter  s disease
  • Sever  s disease
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Avulsion fractures
  • Sinding-Larsen-Johansson
  • Little League Elbow
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