Physiotherapists working in the area of paediatrics are  concerned with all aspects of Physiotherapy relating to the needs, care and wellbeing of the sick and developing child and his/her family. A child is defined as a person being under 18 years of age.

Conditions Treated by a Paediatric Physiotherapist

Paediatric Physiotherapists treat many conditions similar to those in general physiotherapy practice. However, there are many pathologies which are related almost entirely to children. Some of these may be recognised at birth, while others may become apparent later in the child’s development.

Conditions common to paediatric practice include:

  • Developmental delay
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Neural tube defects (Spina Bifida)
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Progressive neuromuscular disorders
  • Motor dysfunction
  • Learning difficulties
  • Rheumatology
  • Weight management
  • Developmental coordination disorder
  • Mental health disorders
  • Congenital syndromes
  • Talipes
  • Arthrogryphosis
  • Postural problems
  • Osteochondritis
  • Congenital absence/shortening of limbs
  • Trauma/injury
  • Orthopaedics
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Burns & plastics


Paediatric Physiotherapists work in many different settings, including hospitals, clinics and private practice, special schools, primary care teams, educational and developmental centres  – along with the child’s own home.

Treatment given by the Physiotherapist is based on an accurate assessment of the child followed by an individual treatment programme. The treatment programme includes explanation and instructions as appropriate to the child, the parents/ carers and those responsible for the child’s development.

Paediatric practice takes into account the fact that the child is not a small adult, but a developing human being.