Cerebral Palsy is a general term used to describe a large group of disorders affecting muscles, resulting in problems with movement and posture. Affecting about 1 in 400 children, it is usually caused by permanent non-progressive dysfunction of a part of the brain, which fails to develop either before birth or in early childhood.
The main effects of cerebral palsy are difficulty in controlling movement, posture and balance. Sometimes other parts of the brain are also impaired resulting in sight, hearing and learning difficulties.
Cerebral Palsy is diagnosed at birth and is based on the patient’s medical history as well as, any significant delay in gross and fine motor function. Physiotherapy plays an important role in both the diagnosis and management of this condition and will for the years to come.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy is the most common form where the muscles appear stiffer and movements may be jerky with difficulty moving from one position to another.
Physiotherapy plays a central role in managing this condition, often from birth. If a problem is identified, our highly skilled Physiotherapists will assess the child and record and monitor their development.
As part of a tailored treatment plan, they will teach the child how to control their head movements and how to sit, roll, crawl and walk, encouraging normal motor development and function. Their treatment will also strive to prevent and inhibit abnormal reflexes and patterns of movement.
Physiotherapy and adaptive equipment are often the primary treatment for Cerebral Palsy. However, medication prescribed by your GP to help manage symptoms such as spasticity may be required.
Physiotherapy is used to help cerebral palsy patients improve movement and motor skills. We have highly skilled Physiotherapists working within our team who have specific clinical experience in the treatment and management of this condition.
Our Chartered Physiotherapists will also teach parents how to handle their child at home for feeding, bathing, dressing and other activities, guiding them in the implementation of home based exercise programmes to help improve and develop motor function and movement.
They will also advise on the best and most appropriate adaptive equipment to help the child’s mobility, improving independence, quality of life and maximising their learning potential.