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  Sanford Downtown Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
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  Sanford North Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
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  Sanford Children's Walk-in Clinic
Serving children
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  Sanford Health Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
Location and hours »


  Sanford Health Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
Location and hours »

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Programs and services : Sanford Rehabilitation Center : Children's Rehabilitation :
Physical Therapy

Sanford Children's Rehabilitation

Related services

Pediatric physical therapy

Goals of pediatric physical therapy:
  • Promote the ability to move by improving muscle strength and endurance and physical abilities
  • Facilitate motor development and function
  • Enhance learning opportunities
  • Promote independence and participation in typical child/adolescent daily activities
  • Ease challenges with daily caregiving
  • Promote healthy lifestyle choices, wellness and fitness
  • Reduce pain
  • Prevent disability

Pediatric physical therapy services at Sanford Health focus on the following areas:

Prematurity: Providing parents of infants born prematurely with guidance in developmental progression, fostering the child's growth and ability to perform age appropriate developmental skills

Torticollis and head shape deformities: Infants may exhibit limited neck mobility due to tight musculature (torticollis) or preferential neck rotation/resting positions with resultant head shape deformation. Pediatric PT treatment will help improve neck mobility and restore rounded head shape.

Gross Motor Delays: Children exhibiting delays in rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking, running or jumping skills may benefit from pediatric PT treatment emphasizing activities to foster gross motor skill progression and strengthen weak musculature or areas of impaired mobility that may be contributing to these delays.

Gait disturbances: Walking disturbances include: in-toeing, toe walking, limping, bow-legged, knock-kneed, etc. Pediatric PTs will help children develop walking skills or improve walking pattern, balance and efficiency.

Foot abnormalities: Children exhibiting excessively flat feet (beyond age 2) with developmental delay, toe walking or other structural abnormalities in the feet would benefit from apPediatric PT evaluation to assess the need for intervention, such as orthotics or implementation of a strengthening and stretching program. Orthotics are foot or leg braces that support foot and leg joints in optimal alignment to function efficiently and pain-free. Pediatric PTs at Sanford Health are trained to assist with the orthotic fabrication process in conjunction with a trained orthotist.

Abnormal muscle tone: Pediatric PTs provide treatment and education to minimize the effects of low or high muscle tone on a child's ability to move and a caregiver's ability to handle, carry or move the child.

Pain: Pediatric PTs can identify strength and mobility impairments contributing to body pain and restore functional, pain-free mobility.

Balance/coordination disorders: Children who fall frequently or demonstrate impaired coordination may benefit from a personalized strength and coordination program developed by a pediatric PT.

Posture and positioning: Pediatric PTs are experts in assessing body alignment and implementing stretching and strengthening programs to improve body posture. Moreover, for a child with special needs, adaptive equipment to support his or her body in optimal alignment may be required. Pediatric PTs at Sanford Health are also trained to assist with this process.

Wheelchair mobility: Following complete assessment of sitting posture and mobility skills, pediatric PTs assist patients and their families in selecting the optimal wheelchair specific to the child's and family's needs. Pediatric PTs will also provide mobility training for functional use of the wheelchair.

Adaptive equipment: Pediatric PTs assist patients and their families in selecting adaptive equipment that will foster the child's functional mobility and postural alignment, including: a walker, crutches, supportive seating devices, wheelchairs, adaptive strollers, car seats, orthotics, and other positioning devices.

In addition to the listed treatment areas above, pediatric PTs would be indicated for the following diagnoses or impairments:

  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Burns
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chronic respiratory dysfunction
  • Congenital amputation
  • Down syndrome
  • Genetic syndromes
  • High-risk neonatal course
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and related disorders
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Orthopedic impairments/disabilities
  • Spina bifida
  • Traumatic brain injury


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