Physical and occupational therapy often share similar or common goals for their clients and offer complementary approaches to intervention. While both therapies address similar goals, the disciplines use different techniques, theories, and approaches to treat clients. Treatment typically includes therapeutic exercise, cardiovascular endurance and training, and training in activities of daily living (American Physical Therapy Association, 1999). As with occupational therapy, in the pediatric setting PT provides treatment through the use of play.
Physical therapy intervention addresses joint function, muscle strength, mobility and endurance. Physical therapists address gross motor skills that involve the large muscles of the body and help to improve children’s posture, gait, and overall body awareness.
In general services for children provided by physical therapists include (Case-Smith, 2005):
Movement and mobility
Balance and coordination
Recreation, play, and leisure
Equipment design, fabrication, and fitting
Orthotics and prosthetics
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