Physiotherapy is often used as an additional tool for the treatment of cerebral palsy. Children, as well as adults, can use this type of therapy to improve mobility and coordination.
Cerebral palsy is a blanket term used for disorders that are caused due to the damage in the brain tissue during pregnancy, birth or early childhood. An abnormal growth of tissue and injury in the brain interrupts the nerves’ signals to the muscles. This interruption causes problems such as difficulty in movement and coordination.
There are four types of cerebral palsy that can be treated with physiotherapy:
- Spastic cerebral palsy
- Athetoid cerebral palsy
- Ataxic cerebral palsy
- Hypertonic cerebral palsy
Physiotherapy uses massages and exercises that help in gaining muscle strength and decreasing muscle tightness, thus promoting mobility. For children suffering from cerebral palsy, physiotherapy aims at promoting movements such as walking, sitting or crawling. On the other hand, in the case of adults, this treatment is aimed at controlling and activating muscle action, improving functional abilities and aligning posture.
- Physiotherapy helps in strengthening the muscles and improving mobility and flexibility by putting weights on their arms and legs. It has been observed that when children go through this exercise while maintaining good posture, they show better results.
- Therapists use an exercise called the balance weight shift to improve the balancing ability of children. This exercise begins with children lying on the floor, after which they are made to roll on the ground. Children have fun during this exercise and usually do it again and again once they learn how to turn. As a result, children can move independently, while also resulting in an improvement in their joint movement and muscle flexibility.
- With the help of joint balancing exercise, children with cerebral palsy improve their controlling abilities. While performing this exercise, a therapist holds the uncontrollable joints of the children and move them slowly. This exercise mainly aims to make children perform movements independently.
Specialized services to treat cerebral palsy for adults is not as widely available as it is for children. Physiotherapy helps adults suffering from cerebral palsy in the following ways:
- Strengthening and mobilization exercises help to increase muscle strength and improve posture alignment.
- Realignment and activation of muscles helps in minimizing abnormal muscle movements
- Sensory stimulation is used to increase the sensation in the body.
- Stretching exercises help in reducing the muscle tension and increase flexibility.
At Emerald Hill Physio and Sports Clinic, we provide neurorehabilitation services that include treatment for cerebral palsy for both children and adults. Get in touch with us for more information about its treatment.