Our children and young people’s physiotherapists and physiotherapy technicians use a range of approaches that are tailored to individual needs, to maximise potential and wellbeing.
We provide physiotherapy for those needing support with physical development when learning to roll, crawl, stand or walk. We also provide tailored physiotherapy following an injury or to support children and young people with both short and long-term conditions, such as:
- Pain affecting joints or muscles such as back pain, hip pain, knee pain or ankle pain.
- Rehabilitation after injuries such as ankle sprains, or after an orthopaedic surgery.
- Conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord or nerves such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida
- Conditions affecting the muscles such as muscular dystrophy
- Rheumatological conditions (childhood arthritis)
- Respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis
- Babies that have been born prematurely (before their due date)
- Developmental delays, for example children who are later learning to walk
Appointments often take place in out-patient clinics, but your child may also be seen in a hospital, at home, or in their school or nursery, depending on what they need from physiotherapy. Please check your appointment letter for confirmation where the appointment will take place.
We also support patients on the Children’s Ward at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in Gloucester.
Some common childhood conditions can be easily managed with simple advice and exercises – please take a look at the information for conditions below before making a referral.
If you have read the information below, you can make a referral to the Children’s and Young People’s Physiotherapy Service below. Please read our referral guidance.
Useful resources for parents, carers and families
Please let us know if you would like a paper copy of our GHC leaflets for any of the following areas:
A flat foot is when the inside of the foot (the arch) appears reduced or absent in standing. The arch often ‘reappears’ when sitting with the weight off the foot.
Before the age of 3 years, most children naturally have flat feet. The arch only starts to develop around this age.
Children’s feet grow very quickly and it’s important that the bones grow straight. Therefore, choosing the correct fitting footwear is essential during this stage of development.
There is no need to put your child in shoes until they can walk. You may wish to buy soft shoes. These help to protect the feet and keep them warm when outside.
Bow legs is the term used to describe outward curving of the legs. Most children have some bowing of the legs when they start to walk. It is common from birth and usually straightens by itself by the time the child reaches 3 years old. This bend in the leg often causes children to walk with their feet turned in (in-toeing).
It is normal for infants to be born with bow legs. Bow legs are a normal part of a child’s growth and may become more obvious in toddlers as they begin to walk. When a child with bow legs stands with their feet and ankles together, the knees stay apart. In most children bow legs disappear without treatment by the time they are two or three years old.
A child with knock knees has a large gap between their feet when they’re standing with their knees together. Many young children have knocked knees, which tend to be most obvious at around the age of 4. It’s almost always just a normal part of their development, and their legs will normally straighten by the age of 6 or 7.
Development of Gait
Gait is the technical term for walking pattern. When children learn how to walk it is normal for them to stretch out their arms and to step with their feet apart to maintain their balance.
As children practice walking, they can walk really fast and may trip or fall down more frequently, especially before 3 years old.
As toddlers grow, the length of the steps tends to increase and they start to walk slower. As the young children grow and develop, there are various changes that may concern parents, but are usually part of normal development.
Heel pain is a common growth-related issue in children, and can be due to the calf muscle pulling on the heel bone. It is usually irritated by walking and running, and settles with rest. It can be self-managed and you do not necessarily need to see a physiotherapist.
Osgood Schlatters is a growth-related condition of the knee which is caused by an irritation of where the thigh muscle attaches to the shin bone. This is one of the most common causes of knee pain in young people aged between 10–15 who are growing rapidly.
Hypermobility describes joints that are particularly flexible. This can affect just one joint or many joints. It is not an illness or disease and is a normal variation. Hypermobility is commonly seen in young children, who are naturally more bendy.
Most children are flexible but some more so than others. Between 25-50% of children under 10 are considered hypermobile. Most children will get less flexible as they get older and any difficulties should improve as the child’s strength and co-ordination develop.
Back pain is common in children and young people and studies have shown that back pain affects over half of all children in primary and secondary school at some time. Back pain can be frightening for children and you may worry that it is something serious. The good news is that the back is very strong and by making small changes in posture and lifestyle, you can often improve back pain.
Other useful links
Read the full range of the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapist’s parent information leaflets here>
If you are concerned about your child’s health or development you may find the links to external resources below useful. These will give you helpful advice to help you manage their needs and enhance their skills.
Baby Buddy: Advice about early child development.
BBC Tiny Happy People: Explore their simple activities, videos and play ideas and find out about your child’s early development.
NHS Healthier Families: Information about healthy eating, useful recipes, activities in your local area to get involved in, getting children active and lots more.
These websites may also be of use to you if your child has specific needs or conditions:
- Dyspraxia Foundation
- Hypermobility Syndromes Association
- Down’s Syndrome Association
- National Autistic Society
- Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association
- Cerebra, children with brain conditions
- Movement Matters
Speech and language:
- I can, talking
- Words for life
- Selective mutism
- Cleft Lip and Palate Association
- National Deaf Children’s society
- Disabled Living
- Whizz-kids, help with mobility aids
Other related services
Please be aware we do not provide support for the following conditions:
- Hand/finger concerns – please see Hand Therapy for referrals
- Vestibular issues
- Continence issues
- Weight management concerns
Physio Direct advice line
Physio Direct is a telephone advice line for parents and carers. It is open in the mornings from 9am to 12pm daily. Leave a message on 0300 421 6980 and a qualified physiotherapist will return your call as soon as possible.
Parents, GPs or other professionals can refer to Children and Young People’s physiotherapy by completing the form below:
Alternatively, referrals from GPs, consultants and other healthcare professionals are accepted in writing. Send these to: Childrens Physiotherapy, Quedgeley Clinic, St James, Quedgeley, GL2 4WD.
The frequency and number of physiotherapy appointments will vary for each individual. Parents and carers are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s physiotherapy treatment, following an exercise programme or advice at home between appointments.
While you are waiting for your appointment, you may be interested to explore the Useful resources for parents, carers and families.
If you are concerned about your child or the problem is getting worse whilst waiting for our support, seek advice from your GP or call our Physio Direct advice line.
If you are aged 16 or over you can self-refer to the Adult Physiotherapy service here>
Our physiotherapists work in specials schools across the county to support children and young people at school and at home.
We work with children with a variety of presentations and conditions including cerebral palsy, neuromuscular conditions, Down’s syndrome and developmental delay. We work with children, their families and carers and educational staff to improve a child’s access to the curriculum. This may include providing a physiotherapy programme that is carried out in school, specialist equipment, postural management ideas and working alongside other healthcare professionals to encourage function, movement and posture.
Our therapists can be contacted Mon-Fri on our main number: 0300 421 6195 – leave a message on this number and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Transition to adult services
Transition is the process of preparing, planning and moving from children’s to adult services. You or your child may have known your physiotherapist for a long time and we understand that it can be scary thinking about moving onto adult services. We aim to get you and your family involved in your transition so that we can support you through this process. We have now started using the Ready, Steady, Go transition programme.
If you are aged between 11-18 with a long-term condition, you can ask your physiotherapist about Ready, Steady, Go! or find more information and downloads on our website here
Friends and Family Test
Your feedback is important to us!
The Friends and Family Test is an important way for our Trust to receive feedback from our service users and their families about their experience. Listening your views helps us identify what is working well and what can be improved.
You can complete our Friends and Family Test here: https://ghc-nhs.welcomesyourfeedback.net/GHC_FFT?Q0_1=53
You may also be contacted by text message or email to seek your views about our services.
Find out more about the NHS Friends and Family Test at www.england.nhs.uk/fft