Paediatric Physiotherapy

A paediatric physiotherapist is a qualified physiotherapist who has specialised training in assessing and treating children of all ages. Their role is to enable all children of all ages to achieve their maximum potential throughout their development. Often, they will use play-based therapy to assess and treat your child, depending on the child’s age.


What Conditions do Paediatric Physiotherapists Treat?

Just like with adults, children can have a variety of problems that arise from trauma (falling over), to progressive disorders that come on gradually. A paediatric physiotherapist is equipped to treat all of these. They also have the capacity to assess the development of your child, and can determine if this is where it should be or not, in which case they will provide you with strategies to assist in keeping the development on track.


Some specific issues that paediatric physiotherapy is indicated for include:

  • Babies who have not yet achieved their motor milestones appropriate for their age (your maternal and child health nurse will alert you to this at the regular checks. If there is any concern, paediatric physiotherapy is indicated).
  • Babies and children displaying unusual movement patterns (e.g. toe walking, W-sitting)
  • Postural concerns (e.g. knock knees, bow knees, foot deformities)
  • Children who are unco-ordinated or clumsy
  • Children with a disability that is affecting the way they move or function physically
  • Babies born with or who develop packaging problems (such as mis-shapen heads, torticollis, club feet, talipes, hypermobility in their joints)
  • Children who have had a prolonged hospital stay
  • Children who have underlying medical conditions affecting their ability to move and function, such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis


What will the physiotherapy session involve?

The initial appointment will involve the physiotherapist taking a thorough history of the presenting complaint and the development of your child to date. The physiotherapist will then assess your child using a variety of tests. They will most likely encourage your child to participate in a play-based assessment, as this keeps the child more relaxed and engaged, allowing the physiotherapist to assess their movement with ease.

Catherine is Performance Medicine’s resident paediatric physiotherapist. If you have any questions, or would like to book your child in for an assessment, please call the clinic on 9686 2373.

Team members who can help with this

Catherine Etty-Leal (she/her)

Titled Physiotherapist - MACP