Cerebral pertains to the brain. Palsy pertains to the paralysis or the loss of the ability to move by a certain body part. Cerebral palsy therefore is a disorder affecting the control of movement, balance and the posture of a certain individual due to brain damage. It is a non contagious condition and usually caused by permanent brain damage which is present at birth. It is also non progressive which means it does not worsen but still the symptoms are dynamic as the patient ages. Therefore, several treatments are done to control or sometimes overcome the condition. The following are treatments of cerebral palsy:
It is essential to start physical therapy as soon as diagnosis is made. The important goals of this treatment are to avoid muscle atrophy and spasticity; improve the movement, physical activities and motor skills of the patient; avoid contractures and to help the patient avoid involuntary muscular movements. With this therapy the physical therapists help the patient by assisting and guiding them to do some physical activities which involve the utilization of large muscle parts such as the legs, arms and abdomens. They help the patients do some walking, climbing the stairs, teach patients to use crutches and wheelchairs and also help them learn to control their balance.
This may include prescribed drugs and medications by the patient’s doctor to prevent and control seizures and other involuntary movements. These drugs can also manage problems related to muscle spasticity.
Speech and Language Therapy
This therapy includes activities to help the patient communicate effectively either through sign language or using communication aids. Also, the therapist help the patient to overcome the frustrations that they encounter during the treatment as inability to communicate well can be really frustrating. It also helps in swallowing and proper talking and pronunciation.
This therapy helps the patient to go with their everyday activities that the patient needs to do. It helps the patient become independent and carry on the tasks that needs to be performed in school or at work.
This therapy is not really essential but it is done to patients with severe muscle contractures which do not respond to any other cerebral palsy therapies. Conditions needing surgery are when the contractures already inhibit the movement and disrupt body movement and coordination. Probable use of surgery to improve physical deformities in patients is still under study.
Behavioural and Social Therapy
Patients with cerebral palsy often develop some behavioural and emotional problems due to their condition. First of all, the family of the patient should be understanding with their condition and supportive to all the therapies undergone by the patient. Social workers and caregivers should assist not only the patient but also the family as well so that they would know how to deal properly with the patient.
Therapy includes activities to discourage destructiveness and encourage independence and productiveness of the patient. Promote a conducive environment for the patient to learn. Make sure that there is a hands-on guidance as well as verbal guidance. Allow group interaction sessions so that the patient can socialize.