Physical Therapy

When providing services for individuals with CP, the primary role of the physical therapist is to facilitate independent mobility. For individuals capable of functional movement, independent mobility may require the use of an assistive device such as a walker or orthoses. For individuals incapable of functional movement, the physical therapist frequently serves to ensure proper positioning to prevent the development of secondary conditions such as joint contractures, bony deformities, or skin breakdown. In the child, treatment is often facilitated through play, with an emphasis on age-appropriate developmental milestones such as rolling, sitting, standing, and walking. Moreover, the focus is on the promotion of movement patterns to encourage independence at home and at school.

In the adult, emphasis is placed on mobility necessary for the accomplishment of functional activities of daily living. With all individuals and families, the physical therapist aims to facilitate individual assumption of their own health and the prevention of secondary conditions.

In addition to hands-on intervention, physical therapists provide insight regarding environmental accessibility, activity adaptations, and proper positioning to facilitate the use of augmentative/alternative communication devices.

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