Physical Therapy

Physical therapy isn’t just for injured athletes. It’s for children who are struggling with movement or mobility because of an illness, injury, or developmental delay.

Pediatric physical therapy at Children’s is aimed at improving your child’s ability to function independently and be active in daily life.

Our physical therapists work with you and your child to create an individualized program to improve strength, coordination, and balance through exercises as well as gait, developmental, and endurance activities.

Oftentimes, these exercises and activities look a lot like playtime — but through them your child is working hard toward reaching their movement goals.

What Sets Children’s Apart?

Our physical therapists are focused solely on the treatment of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. We follow evidence-based practices and guidelines in order to provide the best care for your child.

We recognize that all children deserve high-level, individualized evaluations and care. We work to improve your child’s mobility and interaction with the environment. Sometimes that improvement means a full recovery at the highest level of activity. Other times it means maximizing their ability to function in the face of a chronic health issue or developmental disability.

Family Involvement

Children achieve targeted goals, learn functional skills, and show quicker progress when parents and therapists work together. Your active involvement and follow through is key to your child’s success. This can include:

  • Making sure a parent or caregiver attends every therapy session
  • Practicing skills learned during therapy on a daily basis
  • Arriving 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for check-in
  • Attending scheduled appointments: Frequent canceling of appointments will negatively impact your child’s progress, so we expect consistent attendance

During each appointment, your child’s physical therapist will talk with you about:

  • Progress towards your child’s goals and recommended plan of care
  • Your child’s and family’s successes/challenges in completing home activities
  • Activities that you and your child will be working on in preparation for your next session

You are a valuable member of our team and we are here to help you. Please ask any team member if you have questions or need assistance.

Conditions We Treat

Pediatric physical therapy can help with many different medical conditions and disorders, including:

  • Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS)

    This is a condition in which the nerves that sense pain do not fire normally, causing the body’s perception of pain to increase. The pain might be constant, or it may come and go. If your child has AMPS, she may feel pain throughout the entire body, or in just one area.

    At Children’s, patients with AMPS are treated by a team of specialists from multiple departments. Your child may work with experts from rheumatology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychology. Our goal is to help your child feel relief from pain, manage stress or emotional distress related to pain, and get back to everyday activities.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a term that describes a group of neurodevelopmental disorders. Children with ASD often engage in repetitive behaviors and have a hard time communicating and interacting with others. Symptoms of autism usually start to become apparent in early childhood.

    Children with ASD may need physical therapy to help with their gait, coordination, posture, and other movement and motor-skills challenges.

  • Cerebral Palsy

    Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that causes either impairment or total loss of motor function. The brain damage can occur before, during, or after a child is born.

    A child with cerebral palsy may have difficulty controlling muscles, body movement, reflexes, balance, or posture.

  • Concussion

    Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that occur when a blow or jolt to the head or body causes the brain to bounce off of the bony surface of the skull. These are serious injuries that can affect how the brain functions.

    Many concussions heal on their own with plenty of rest and limited physical activity. However, depending on the extent of the damage to your child’s brain, your child may need physical, speech, or occupational therapy.

  • Neuromuscular Diseases

    Neuromuscular diseases occur when the nervous system weakens the muscular system, causing a child to have difficulty with everyday activities, such as walking, running, or getting dressed.

    There are several types of neuromuscular diseases, including:

    • Muscular dystrophy: Defects in a child’s genes cause weakened muscles or muscle loss. There are more than 30 types of muscular dystrophy.
    • Spinal muscular atrophy: When the nerves in the spinal cord are destroyed, causing difficulty with walking, swallowing, speaking, and breathing.
  • Other Conditions We Treat

    • Torticollis
    • Toe Walking
    • Traumatic Brain Injury

What To Do Next

For Patients

You will need a referral from your child’s primary care provider to schedule an appointment. Once you have a referral, appointments for physical therapy can be made by calling any of our Rehabilitation Services locations.

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Specialty Pediatric Center
111 N. 84th Street
Omaha, NE 68114

402-955-3980

Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Spring Ridge
17819 Pierce Plaza
Omaha, NE 68130

402-955-8355

Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Outpatient Rehabilitative Services Clinic – Lincoln
5390 Vandervoort Drive, Suite A
Lincoln, NE 68516

402-420-2099

Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Please have the following information available when you call to make your appointment:

  • Reason for therapy
  • Insurance information including: insurance name, member ID number, group number, customer service phone number, and subscriber name
  • Name of the referring physician
  • Your home, work, and cell phone numbers

For Referring Providers

The Physicians’ Priority Line is your 24-hour link to pediatric specialists at Children’s for referrals, emergency and urgent consults, physician-to-physician consults, admissions, and transport services. Call 855-850-KIDS (5437).

Learn more about referring patients.

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