OT / PT Services

OT / PT Services

Occupational and physical therapists are part of the healthcare team at the Rheumatology Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s. The therapy we offer is aimed at maintaining and restoring your child’s ability to function in her everyday environment.

Our occupational and physical therapists evaluate each patient and develop a home exercise program that fits his unique needs. They also work with each patient and her family members to educate them about how to manage the child’s condition and achieve the highest possible level of activity.

Occupational and physical therapists have similar areas of focus, but address different parts of the body and prepare patients to handle different types of activities.

Occupational therapists focus on the fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck. They evaluate how your child uses these body parts in activities such as writing, getting dressed and carrying things.

Physical therapists focus on the feet, ankles, knees, hips, back and neck. They evaluate how your child uses these body parts for activities such as walking and playing. They also teach your child how to maintain good posture during daily activities.

How Often Will I Need Therapy Visits?

Most therapy visits take place at the Rheumatology Clinic on the same day as your child’s doctor appointment. Occasionally we may recommend that a child return for one or two therapy sessions between doctor visits depending on how far apart the visits are scheduled.   

Therapy is family centered, and we teach you how your child should do exercises at home, how to adjust activities and how to reduce pain.

We assess your child’s physical condition and functional status at each visit and adapt the home exercise program as needed. There may be times when patients need occupational or physical therapy more often because of special issues, such as serial casting for tight joints, splinting adjustment or iontophoresis treatment. If your family lives far from the hospital, we will make every effort to work with therapists in your area so your child can get the treatment he needs closer to home.

Conditions Treated

Therapists work with your child to restore full movement to joints, keep muscles strong and keep her as mobile as possible. They teach your child how to protect sensitive joints while doing activities and may provide splints or casts for extra support for short periods of time. Therapists will also provide suggestions for how school staff can help your child function best at school.
Therapists teach your child exercises and positioning to prevent the affected muscles from becoming very tight. As soreness in the muscles goes away, the therapists work on helping your child strengthen muscles that have become weak.
Therapists teach stretching and positioning to prevent tightness and loss of movement. They may offer suggestions to help your child maintain good posture.
Therapists teach your child exercises for joints that are affected by arthritis. They may also give you ideas for changing activities to help your child deal with fatigue or overall physical fitness.
Therapists offer suggestions to decrease pain through changes in activity level, diet and sleep patterns. These suggestions can also help your child better participate in daily activities. Therapists also provide guidelines for stretching and exercise programs.
Therapists work extensively with patients with these disorders, teaching patients how to protect their loose joints by adjusting posture and positioning during physical activities. Strengthening exercises are gradually increased to help your child’s muscles better support the loose joints. Therapists may also provide supportive splints for fingers, or shoe inserts for feet, to help keep loose joints in better positions. There are intense, two-week therapy programs available for patients who have been recommended by their therapist or physician.
Therapists teach your child muscle stretches, pain relief techniques and ways to improve posture. They offer guidelines for increasing your child’s activity level. In some cases, therapists may provide specific muscle relaxation techniques to help your child manage pain.
Therapy is the main treatment tool for these disorders. Therapists teach patients techniques that help decrease pain, increase movement and make it easier for them to return to normal activities.
Therapists teach muscle stretching and strengthening exercises to help these patients improve posture. In some cases, they may provide your child with shoe inserts or other types of support.