The Physical Therapy Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute provides a full range of comprehensive and specialized physical therapy services to patients recovering from injuries and/or developmental disabilities.
Our team helps thousands of individuals participate more fully in activities designed to increase independence, develop and enhance functional skills, and accelerate progress, such as sitting, transferring in and out of positions, walking, and engaging in leisure and sport activities.
Who We Serve:
We see children and young adults with a wide variety of rehabilitative challenges in an outpatient setting, enabling them to be more successful and independent at home, at school, and in their communities. While we focus strongly on brain and spinal cord injuries, we also work with individuals with a wide range of diagnoses and disabilities, including:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Bone and orthopedic disorders and injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Coordination disorders
- Developmental disabilities
- Down syndrome
- Movement disorders
- Pain disorders
- Spina bifida
We have a dedicated staff of physical therapists who are skilled in assessing and treating neurodevelopmental and musculoskeletal disorders that limit an individual's ability to participate in daily activities, movement, and functional mobility. Our team brings together specialists from a variety of clinical disciplines, including occupational therapy, speech, behavioral psychology, nutrition and neuropsychology, to create individualized treatment plans for each patient. These specialists collaborate ensuring coordination of care and convenience for families.
Our therapists are trained and certified in a variety of specialties, including:
- Manual therapy which helps improve range of motion of joints, reduce pain, and promote relaxation.
- Neurodevelopmental treatment for patients who have difficulty controlling movement as a result of neurological challenges such as brain injury.
- Infant massage to help babies sleep better and reduce agitation.
- Casting and bracing to increase joint mobility and stability when standing and walking.
- Aquatic therapy that uses the effects of water to help patients move, walk, and strengthen their bodies.
- Therapeutic taping that uses various taping techniques to provide joint support and muscle re-education.
- Locomotor training that re-teaches walking by using body weight support and a treadmill system in combination with manual assistance by specially-trained physical therapists.
- Electrical stimulation which uses electrical current to stimulate muscles and nerves and strengthen muscles to help patients improve mobility, flexibility, and range of motion.
- Serial casting helps children and adults improve their range of movement through the application of casts to hold the body in a position that will stretch a tight muscle.
The Physical Therapy Clinic uses a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach based on individual treatment goals. Our team uses a range of therapeutic exercises, devices, and procedures to improve muscle strength, range of motion, posture, balance, and coordination.
The clinic offers both traditional and short-term, intensive treatment, based on individual goals.
- Traditional Delivery Model: Many patients with developmental disabilities and injuries require traditional physical therapy, for example, to assist with mobility or flexibility, and often visit the clinic on an ongoing weekly basis.
- Short-Term Intensive Therapy: The clinic also works with patients who require more intensive therapy in a short amount of time to work on a specific goal, such as transitioning from a walker to crutches. These patients typically receive physical therapy for one to three hours a day, three to five days a week.
Other services offered include:
- Consultative evaluations
- Recommendations for home programs
- Training to patients, families, and caregivers in the use of specific equipment and orthotics
The Physical Therapy Clinic is located in our state-of-the-art Outpatient Center. The 2,400 square-foot physical therapy gym is a spacious, light-filled environment featuring the latest rehabilitation technologies. Some of our facilities include:
- A split treadmill that allows therapists to control the direction and speed of each side of the body to help retrain nerves and the brain to walk.
- A healing garden, which features several outdoor "therapy rooms" that allow patients to work on their goals. The rooms provide natural surfaces and challenges, including gravel, curbs, and grass. The garden is also a place for rest and relaxation.
- Our aquatherapy center, which offers a unique opportunity for patients to escape the limitations of gravity as they learn new skills and undergo therapy. Two pools are equipped with underwater treadmills, video systems, sensory temperature controls, and hydraulic lifts that allow the floors to be raised and lowered for easy access by patients in wheelchairs.
The Physical Therapy Department participates in the Kennedy Krieger Institute/JHMCH Bureau/LEND Program, and has a direct educational link to the University of Maryland School of Medicine Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Department. We also provides clinical affiliation opportunities with a variety of colleges and universities across the country.
For more information about professional training opportunities in the Physical Therapy Department at Kennedy Krieger Institute, please visit our professional training web page.