Physical Therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Physical Therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by brain damage and is generally used to describe a group of symptoms and disabilities that affect the development of basic movement. Children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy will have changing degrees of muscle control, mobility, and balance. While there are a number of treatments to help a child’s development, physical therapy can offer some of the best benefits. It can assist children through posture, balance, walking, climbing, and other strength exercises. CP is considered one of the most common motor and movement disabilities found in children and can result in issues concerning speech, hearing, vision, spine, joints, and cognitive abilities.

Different Types of Cerebral Palsy

There are four main types of cerebral palsy:

  1. Spastic cerebral palsy: The most common type of CP and accounts for 75% of all cases. It causes delayed movement, uncontrollable muscles, and moving from one position to another. Spastic CP is typically diagnosed by which parts of the body are affected and can be classified into the following conditions:
    • Spastic diplegia - muscle stiffness is mainly in the legs or lower half of your body
    • Spastic quadriplegia - affects both lower limbs and upper body
    • Spastic hemiplegia - affects only one side of the body, usually the arm
  2. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy: Children with CP will have trouble controlling movement in hands, feet, legs, and arms, which can result in difficulties sitting and walking.
  3. Ataxic cerebral palsy: This is the least common type of CP and causes symptoms of limited coordination, poor balance, and tremors.
  4. Mixed cerebral palsy: This can mean you hold symptoms of multiple types of CP. The most common mixed CP is spastic-dyskinetic.

How Can Physical Therapy Treat CP?

Although there is no cure for CP, a variety of treatment options can improve the lives of children who have the condition. PT treatment will ultimately depend on what type of CP your child has, as well as its severity. However, it’s important to note that if PT is started early enough in childhood, it may reduce impairment and other health risks.

Physical therapists use the following exercise to help children with CP:

  • Range of motion
  • Breathing
  • Strength
  • Flexibility & balance
  • Joint integrity
  • Cognitive functioning

Before deciding on a treatment plan, consult with medical a professional so you can understand the potential risks and benefits. At ProFysio, we can create a specialized program based on your child’s needs, and we will work diligently to improve coordination, balance, and muscle strength so your child can start building confidence.

Call (732) 812-5200 today for a free consultation with one of our experienced physical therapists!

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