Cerebral Palsy Physiotherapy
Cerebral Palsy Physiotherapy treatment
The brain controls all that we do. Different parts of the brain control the movement of every muscle of the body. In cerebral palsy, there is damage to, or lack of development in, one of these areas of the brain. 'Cerebral' – refers to the brain. 'Palsy' – can mean weakness or paralysis or lack of muscle control. Therefore cerebral palsy is a disorder of muscle control which results from some damage to part of the brain. The term cerebral palsy is used when the problem has occurred early in life, to the developing brain. Children with cerebral palsy can have problems such as muscle weakness, stiffness, awkwardness, slowness, shakiness, and difficulty with balance. These problems can range from mild to severe. In mild cerebral palsy, the child may be slightly clumsy in one arm or leg, and the problem may be barely noticeable. In severe cerebral palsy, the child may have a lot of difficulties in performing everyday tasks and movements
Paediatric therapists are skilled in working with children with cerebral palsy and provide assessment, advice and/or treatment. They may work with children and their parents either individually or in small groups. Those most commonly assisting children with cerebral palsy are physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists. Not every child needs to have assistance from all of these people. However, they often work together in planning or providing treatment. Therapists aim to teach parents how best to help their children learn to move and acquire all the practical skills needed for living. All young children learn through play and this principle is used when advising parents about the best way to encourage their child’s development.
The physiotherapist advises parents on ways to encourage children to move, and to develop skills such as sitting, crawling and walking. Practical advice on ways to lift and carry children, and on positioning children for play and eating, can also be given. The physiotherapist may also give advice on suitable footwear, splints to improve children’s foot posture and gait, and equipment such as supportive chairs and standing and walking frames.
Source: Cerebral Palsy an Information Guide for Parents produced by RCH http://www.rch.org.au/uploadedFiles/Main/Content/cdr/CPBooklet.pdf