Pediatric Physiatry (PM&R)

Help your child continue to learn, grow, and develop even with an injury or disorder that affects their ability to move and function. While most of Essentia’s physiatrists care for kids, you’ll find our only pediatric specialist in Duluth, Minnesota.

What’s a Pediatric Physiatrist?

A pediatric physiatrist is a pediatrician with specialized training in the treatment of children ages birth to 18 who have disabilities. Pediatric physiatrists are also known as pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors, or PM&R for short.

When to See a Pediatric Physiatrist

You should see a pediatric physiatrist if you’re:

  • Concerned about your child’s development in relation to a traumatic injury or condition
  • Seeking a diagnosis
  • Coordinating many types of care
  • Having trouble choosing between school therapy and medical therapy
  • Curious if therapy might help your child

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Your First Visit

Your first visit with our pediatric physiatrist will be all talk and play. During a 40-minute visit, our doctor will ask about your child’s history and past treatments. She'll also asses your child’s development and physical well-being. Then, you’ll get a personalized care plan, which will likely include forms of exercise and therapy including:

  • Behavioral, physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy
  • Equipment, such as orthotics and prosthetics like braces
  • Specialist visits, including urology, neurology, and orthopedics
  • Medication management
  • Feeding help
  • Bowel and bladder management
  • School therapy

Team-Based Care

Our pediatric physiatrist is like the captain of the team. She decides what types of care to work into your child’s treatment plan. She may have one or many of the following providers help care for your child:

  • Physical therapists – Provides hands-on treatment to improve your child’s ability to move
  • Occupational therapists – Provides hands-on treatment to help your child do daily tasks
  • Speech-language therapists – Provides hands-on treatment to help your child with communication and swallowing
  • Behavioral therapists – Helps your child cope with physical, emotional, and social challenges
  • Neuropsychologists – Offers therapy for behavior issues due to abnormal brain function
  • Orthotics and prosthetics specialists – Provides and fits braces, artificial limbs, and equipment
  • Orthopedists – Helps treat muscle, bone, and joint disorders, and perform surgery if needed
  • Neurologists – Helps diagnose and treat brain and nerve conditions if needed
  • Urologists – Helps diagnose and treat bladder management problems if needed

Multidisciplinary Clinics

Patients with complex needs may benefit from our multidisciplinary clinics in Duluth, Minnesota. This allows children to see many doctors and therapists in one day, and usually in one location. Ask about our:

  • Cerebral palsy clinic
  • Spina bifida clinic
  • Muscular dystrophy clinic

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a referral from your child's primary care provider for this service.

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