This website uses cookies to give you the best experience. By continuing to use this website you are consenting to cookies being used. You can delete and block cookies from within your browsers settings. For more information please refer to our privacy and cookie policy page.


When to refer to physiotherapy

Referral to physiotherapy is common in children with established musculoskeletal disease. For children with rheumatic disease such as inflammatory arthritis, the management is multidisciplinary; the physiotherapist will work to improve joint range of movement, muscle strength and optimise function alongside medical treatments.

The physiotherapist will often work with an occupational therapist as part of the assessment and management plan. They also play an important role in helping young people to adjust their routine to minimise fatigue and interruption into school, play or sports activities. 

For children who do not have an inflammatory rheumatic disease, referral to physiotherapy is also reasonable in the following situations:

  • Concern about normal variants (e.g., bow-legs, knock-knees, flat feet). 
  • Functional problems (walking, clumsy) as part of the assessment to reach a diagnosis.
  • Mechanical joint pain (e.g., anterior knee pain, heel pain).
  • Chronic pain syndromes.

The paediatric physiotherapy assessment may result in referral back to the GP to refer on for specialist opinion if there are concerns to suggest pathology. 

Access to paediatric physiotherapy is variable and may be through the family doctor / primary care or paediatrician or paediatric specialist or self-referral.


Site Statistics

To date (end of August 2021) PMM has >910,640 hits and >376,455 users from 221 countries!

Why register?

Some parts of PMM which involve pictures or videos of children, can only be viewed by registered users. Registering also allows you to bookmark favourite pages and track your viewing.

find out more

Short online courses

from Newcastle University, UK

e-resources from PMM

pmm for you

Please help us ensure pmm is as useful to you as possible by completing this short survey

complete survey