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Cerebral Palsy Therapy & Treatment

Updated on November 16, 2010

Cerebral palsy is generally classified as any number of specific conditions that inhibit balance, mobility and posture in people who suffer from it. It is caused by many different factors, all of which relate to brain damage sustained before, during, or shortly after childbirth.

Cerebral palsy is not viral or contagious, and cannot be spread from one person to the next. Some children who develop this disorder may overcome it naturally in time. Most don't, and they carry it with them for the remainder of their lives.

This condition cannot be cured theoretically, but it can be treated. And the sooner cerebral palsy treatment begins, the quicker the rehabilitation process can begin.

Seeking therapy for cerebral palsy will require a great investment of time, money and commitment from everyone involved. It is, quite possibly, the only way for a person with the disorder to have a chance at becoming a functioning, independent participant in society.

The objective of this Hub is to reveal and detail some of the most common forms of therapy and treatment for cerebral palsy, as well as divulge additional information regarding its symptoms and causes.

Cerebral palsy stems from damage to critical areas of the brain that control motor function and muscle tone. It cannot be cured, but with proper treatment, it can be overcome.
Cerebral palsy stems from damage to critical areas of the brain that control motor function and muscle tone. It cannot be cured, but with proper treatment, it can be overcome.

Identifying Cerebral Palsy

There are four main varieties of cerebral palsy, each with its own handicaps and limitations.
There are four main varieties of cerebral palsy, each with its own handicaps and limitations.
Starting cerebral palsy therapy early will lead to a more productive and independent life for those with the condition.
Starting cerebral palsy therapy early will lead to a more productive and independent life for those with the condition.

Cerebral palsy is separated into four main classifications: spastic, athetoid, ataxic, or mixed. Here are the symptoms, along with percentages of people who are affected:

Spastic Cerebral Palsy (~50-75%) - Characterized by difficult movement and stiff / contracted muscles.

Athetoid [Dyskinetic] Cerebral Palsy (~10-20%) - Mostly slow, uncontrolled movements.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy (~5-10%) - Distorted sense of balance, depth perception and coordination.

Mixed Cerebral Palsy (~10%) Occurs when multiple types are evident.

Identifying the type of cerebral palsy will help determine what kind of treatment will be most effective. Many of the symptoms of the disorder are characterized by muscle control, balance and mobility, which are simple enough to diagnose.

If you notice someone having difficulty with walking upright, maintaining balance, using utensils or other common body motions, it may be an indicator of cerebral palsy. Some symptoms are as severe as seizures or mental retardation.

If you suspect a child / person may have CP, take them to a pediatrician or physician to know for sure. In the event that it is indeed cerebral palsy, and severe enough to warrant treatment, you will want to consult the same pediatrician / physician about what kind of therapy to pursue.

Types of Cerebral Palsy Therapy

Depending on the patient's needs, the type of cerebral palsy treatment will vary.
Depending on the patient's needs, the type of cerebral palsy treatment will vary.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is geared toward improving balance and mobility. The two main objectives of physical therapy are to prevent muscle degredation from lack of use, and to prevent limbs and muscles from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.

This inlcludes teaching children how to walk, use stairs, operate wheelchairs, and also how to run, kick, and even how to ride a bicycle. This kind of cerebral palsy treatment is typically the first to be implemented in the therapy process. As the patient matures, the therapy will likewise change to help prepare the person for school and funtioning in the real world.

Behavioral / Psychotherapy

Behavioral / Psychotherapy uses psychology to encourage muscle and motor development and reinforce positive habits in the patient. It is often used in conjunction with other types of cerebral palsy treatment such as physical or speech / language therapy.

One use of this type of therapy is as a reward system to keep those in it motivated to overcome obstacles. Another use of this therapy is to discourage bad behavior and habits through similar means.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy focuses on the growth and development of the body's smaller muscles like the face, hands and toes. It also helps teach cerebral palsy patients how to properly operate eating utensils and other small instruments like pens and pencils. In addition, daily living skills like dressing, tieing shoes and eating are taught and fostered.

Speech / Language Therapy

Some people affected by cerebral palsy have trouble pronouncing words, or are prone to drooling due to a lack of jaw control.

Speech / language therapy is not only designed to help build communication skills, it can also improve basic eating abilities such as swallowing and help prevent drooling. If the patient is unable to speak, undergoing speech therapy could mean learning how to communicate using sign language, or finding specialized equipment to make communication possible.

Drug Therapy

Drug therapy involves taking prescribed medicine to control / prevent seizures, control spasticity following surgery, or to reduce abnormal muscle movements. In regards to seizures, the patient may be given several different types of medication to combat the different types. As of now, there aren't any drugs that can eliminate cerebral palsy, it can only be controlled.

As a caretaker, the best help you can contribute is to be involved in the cerebral palsy therapy process.
As a caretaker, the best help you can contribute is to be involved in the cerebral palsy therapy process.

Conclusion

The earlier cerebral palsy therapy begins, the sooner the results can take place. Like similar incurable conditions, treatment will require a great commitment of time, money and most importantly, support. Since the person undergoing therapy will likely be someone close, the best way to encourage rehabilitation is to provide emotional support and to get involved. Emotional support and encouragement can do what do medicine or exercise regiment can, and that is provide hope.

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      tawna worley 4 years ago

      My son was 7 weeks early my water brok and had c sec. At 6mo we found out he had spastic cp now he is 17 mo has a 5 sec delay when eating have to pura his food and is on peddiasure cause he is only 16 pounds and now might have to have a feeding tube cause he won't gain wight and we don't know why going this Monday for a gi apt to see what's wrong any advice please help my baby boy so small and week

    • profile image

      cptreatments 6 years ago

      Cerebral palsy is usually includes various conditions such as that inhibit balance, mobility and posture in individuals who suffer from it. It is caused by numerous dissimilar factors which generally relates to brain damage. This website includes various therapy treatments for the children having cerebral palsy problems.

      http://www.helpforcerebralpalsy.com/

    • profile image

      Raisa 6 years ago

      Dear Mr.CEO.

      Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!

      Hello!

      Please help Arthur.

      My son Arthur Akhtyamov is a disabled child, he has cerebral palsy.

      He will be 6 years old on October 29, but he has already had a lot to suffer in his short life, and there will be more to come. Arthur was born at 33 weeks, delivery was induced by doctors because they incorrectly timed the pregnancy and then made a Caesarean section at 33 weeks.

      Arthur was very sick after birth, on the second day his lungs burst (caused by overpressure, as explained by my child's surgeon) this led to four incidents of pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and two big scars on each side of his chest. He could not breathe by himself and spent 20 days on artificial ventilation, and for 18 days his lungs had to be drained of water and pus. On the day 25 his diaphragm burst, and stomach drifted under the left lung. Arthur had to spend a month in Intensive Care unit, then another month in the surgical department.

      So many things he had to suffer... God alone knows. For all is God's will.

      Russian help fund help only to russian peopls(Christian)children.To children of Moslems don't help.In Russia very bad relation to Moslems.It because of war between Russia and the Chechen republic.Sick children aren't guilty......We the small people - Bashkirs.It is very heavy to us to find money for treatment of the son in Russia.It is very heavy to find money for treatment of the Muslim child in Russia.Please help Arthur.

      All treatment became very expensive.The state to the invalid pays to the child 110 USD pensions.

      So many tears I shed, and how I survived all those I even do not know. As I write this, my tears keep flowing and flowing...

      At the age of 8 months Arthur was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We started treatment:sabril,riziym, massages, physical therapy, paraffin, and medical baths.

      For the last 5 years we spent 348 days away from home, this number speaks volumes.

      All these treatments cost large amounts of money. We have to buy expensive foreign-made medicaments: gliatilin, ceraxon, citocalin, cerebromin, etc.

      For almost 5 years my husband and I are fighting for our son. My husband is the sole breadwinner.All treatment became very expensive.

      I am unable to work, taking care of Arthur. Doctors promise that after a few more rounds of treatment, he will be able to walk long distances by himself!

      We were accepted for treatment, but it is very expensive: 4077 USD each round. Travel there also cost money: 1167 USD. We need to undergo 6 rounds a year. ( 4077USD+1370USD)X6 = 32682USD

      Website of the clinic:http://www.reha.lviv.ua

      Now Arthur can walk with support by one hand (he can crawl properly, sit and stands with support). He can walk 30-40 meters by himself, without any support, also can walk by walls or with other support, but not all by himself. It feels like he needs just a little bit more, but he will not walk without a professional help.

      We took out several loans from a bank, now we are in process of repaying.

      We live in a village, we are not able to find such a large sum here. But we are so eager to finally see Arthur walking like the rest of the children.

      We really need your help.

      Help please, your support can change the life of our child.

      With hope and respect, Arthur's mother, Akhtyamova RaisaOur account Bank

      SWIFT code:SABRRUMMEA1

      SBERBANK (URALSKY HEAD OFFICE)

      BRANCH

      EKATERINBURG,RUSSIA

      Corr. / account

      Deutsehe Bank AG,Frankfurt am Main EUR 10094987261000 DEUTDEFF

      Dresdner Bank AG,Frankfurt am Main EUR 499/08122337/00/888 DRESDEFF

      SWIFT code: SABRRUMMEA1

      Savings bahk of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION

      EKATERINBURG office

      BRANCH ? 8598/ 00163

      Bashkirskoe OSB 8598/0163

      Acc 40817978506002665010

      Akhtyamova Raisa

      EMAIL- rauissa123@yandex.ru

    • MistHaven profile image
      Author

      MistHaven 6 years ago from New Jersey

      @Cerebral palsy therapist & hebaeraky - Thanks for reading!

    • hebaeraky profile image

      hebaeraky 6 years ago

      Thank you

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      Cerebral palsy therapist 6 years ago

      Thank you for your post, It is really to hard for the parents and caregivers to take care of a cerebral palsied patient, and up till now the physical therapy goal is only to make the patient independent.

    • MistHaven profile image
      Author

      MistHaven 6 years ago from New Jersey

      I'm sorry to hear that. I know that cerebral palsy is a very hard thing to live with. I can only hope that technology will one day help prevent children from being afflicted with it.

    • profile image

      brooke 7 years ago

      i have spaastic quadrepegic and dyskenite cerebral palsy. Cant even hold my head up straight. I have to stay in a wheechair full time

    • MistHaven profile image
      Author

      MistHaven 7 years ago from New Jersey

      I've met only a handful of children with cerebral palsy, and I always get a little choked up. It's one thing to have lived a little and then suffer from a disorder, but being born with it and having to grow up with such an unfair disability always gets me.

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 7 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      i always get affected seeing little children afflicted with cerebral palsy. sometimes it seems it's beyond my understanding how sweet little angels are suffering such illness.

    • MistHaven profile image
      Author

      MistHaven 7 years ago from New Jersey

      Yeah, especially one that can't technically be cured like cerebral palsy. That's the worst thing in the world for a child to have to grow up with a disability, but unfortunately, that's the way the world works sometimes.

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 7 years ago

      It must be very hard for parents faced with a child suffering from this condition.It is hard enough raising a normal child.

    • MistHaven profile image
      Author

      MistHaven 7 years ago from New Jersey

      I'm glad you enjoyed my hub on cerebral palsy. I didn't know much about the condition until recently when I saw a picture of an infant who suffered from it, and it made me want to know more.

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      Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

      Mist--this is a fantastically constructed hub. Brilliant information on this topic very well executed and a very important topic. Well done.