The HSC Health Care System logo: Blue diamond with a white half heart, yellow stylized stick figures of man, woman, and child standing in the heart and the HSC Pediatric Center written at the bottomThe HSC Pediatric Center, The HSC Health Care System and Health Services for ChildrenA set of three pictures: the one on the left shows a social worker hugging a child, the one in the middle shows a girl smiling and the third one shows a group of standing children clapping
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Two Redskins football players standing behind a child on a wheelchair.What is Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy in a pediatric facility emphasizes and focuses on the following activities:

  • Fosters gross motor skill acquisition by using a variety of theoretical motor learning approaches, such as The Dynamical-Systems Theory Approach, Neuro-developmental Treatment Concepts along with traditional therapeutic exercise programs that involve Strength Training and Fitness, Partial Weight-bearing Treadmill, Aquatic Therapy, and Observational Gait Analysis.
  • Emphasizes independent movement strategies for the infant, and toddler to teach (habilitate) this age group new and refined gross motor skill for exploration by using a development frame-reference, as well as family-centered goal-directed approach.
  • Initiates a collaborative treatment regimen (rehabilitation) with pre-schooler to adolescent age population and the family in order to promote independent mobility by using assistive technology and/or adaptive equipment for walking; orthoses for proper foot alignment; and other traditional therapeutic treatment strategies.
  • Prevents additional loss of function by educating, interacting, and collaborating with the patient, family or caregiver to promote continued home exercise programs and independent functional mobility; and recognize the warning signs that may cause additional functional delays.

What do we do at The HSC Pediatric Center?

We provide an in-depth assessment and individualized treatment program based on a professional and objective analysis of the child’s movement abilities.

Physical Therapy at The HSC Pediatric Center evaluates and treats in-patients and outpatients between the ages of 34 weeks gestational age in our Preemie Express/Little Bits Unit to the energetic toddler on our 2-East Unit/Transitional Care Unit, and our adolescent on The Rehabilitation Unit.

We have designed a variety of individualized treatment programs that include the following treatment interventions:

  • 1:1 direct treatment with the family and patient
  • Electrotherapeutic Modalities, such as electrical stimulation and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Physical Agents, such as hot packs and cryotherapy
  • Hydrotherapy, such as whirlpool
  • Assisitive and Adaptive Devices, such as a detailed evaluation of orthotic devices and assistive devices (wheelchair mobility and seating systems) or equipment (walker, crutches, etc) in order to enhance independent mobility
  • Supportive devices or equipment, such as supportive elastic wraps, and serial casting in order to foster appropriate postural alignment during functional activities
  • Variety of handling techniques that focus on neuromuscular education and reeducation; motor function or retraining; postural awareness training; developmental activities training and balance and coordination
  • Manual therapies, such as massage and infant massage
  • Aerobic endurance training, conditioning and reconditioning, and strength training
  • Aquatic Therapy

Physical Therapy at The HSC Pediatric Center can be summarized as a department that fosters a fun-filled challenging program that promotes independent mobility and other functional motor skills using a life span approach.

Professional Credentials:

All of the Physical Therapists employed at The HSC Pediatric Center have earned their degrees from an accredited college or university in the area of physical therapy at the baccalaureate or advanced professional degree levels. All of the physical therapists are registered with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and are licensed by the District of Columbia Department of Health.

Professional Affiliations:

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

APTA, Pediatric Section

APTA, Orthopedic Section

APTA, Education Section

APTA, Aquatics Section

American Burn Association

American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine

Kinesiotaping Association

International Association of Infant Massage


To contact the PT department, please call (202) 832-4400


© 2009 The HSC Pediatric Center
1731 Bunker Hill Road, NE • Washington, D.C. 20017 • 202-832-4400 • 1-800-226-4444
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