What are the therapies and treatments for cerebral palsy?

Reducing pain, increasing range of motion or providing emotional support are just some of the objectives that rehabilitation can have for children and young people. In the following blog we tell you about these treatments.  

Of children and young people with a physical disability, about 18% of new cases are due to cerebral palsy. 18% of new cases are due to cerebral palsy.l.
As we saw in the blog What types of cerebral palsy are there, there are multiple subclassifications of this condition and the treatment that each child has to follow will depend on this.

While cerebral palsy has no cure and each treatment will depend on the complications, most targets can be classified into:

  • Management and control of medical conditions.
  • Management to reduce pain
  • Assistance to improve behavior and social interactions.
  • Promoting independence, i.e., providing assistance to achieve autonomy in activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. 
  • Optimization of mobility and assistance with educational and learning processes.

The most commonly used drugs are used to reduce spasms and seizures, as well as to manage spasticity and improve sleep patterns (a considerable problem among children with this condition). a considerable problem among children with this condition).).

On the other hand, surgeries are usually indicated to increase flexibility, reduce spasticity and enhance mobility. However, it is not optional for all cases due to its complexity and the risks involved.

Therapies such as physical, occupational, psychological and social therapies can benefit and reduce the risk of developing disabilities. These are often assisted by medications, surgeries and assistive technologies. In other words, they work together.

But physical therapy is the mainstay of all interventions for cerebral palsy, its goals being regulated according to the degree of muscle control, balance and mobility. 

Functional electrostimulation in cerebral palsy 

Among the effective and highly evidenced tools to treat this condition is functional electrostimulation (FES). 

This allows for the re-education of motor patterns, muscle strengthening, spasticity and pain management, as well as pelvic floor re-education.

One of the advantages of this therapy is that it can be coupled to walking, rowing or cycling training. This type of rehabilitation can be very significant for training predominantly hemiparesis CP, because it stimulates both sides of the body, increasing symmetry, improving posture and contributing to the optimization of balance.

Conclusion

The primary goals for children with cerebral palsy are to improve balance, posture, crawling, climbing, walking and muscle strengthening.

Other important objectives are to increase range of motion, improve muscle tone, reduce joint contractures and deformities, use adapted equipment, reduce pain, increase physical and cardiovascular capacity, and improve posture and balance. In summary, all treatment should seek to enable the child to overcome physical limitations and increase independence.

 

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