Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder of the brain’s ability to control movements and postures. It is caused by damage to the developing brain, before or at the time of birth. A diagnosis of "Cerebral Palsy" covers a wide range of disability with no two people having the same difficulties. The movement problems vary from barely noticeable to severe.
Cerebral Palsy can be classified in several ways.
Most children do not fit perfectly into one category of muscle tone and demonstrate ‘mixed’ tonal patterns.
A specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist will assess and treat a child as a whole and not just focus on the affected area, as secondary difficulties may arise with the unaffected parts of the body.
The Gross Motor Function Classification System looks at abilities at different ages and classifies on a scale of 1 to 5. This system provides an insight into the abilities a child will have as they get older. Briefly, in relation to mobility:
It has been shown that specialised Paediatric Physiotherapy can help babies and children with cerebral palsy to learn how to move, maximising their abilities and preventing stiffness and tightness in their joints and muscles.
Your Physiotherapist will fully assess your child and use an eclectic approach to their physiotherapy management. Depending on their difficulties and desired outcomes may:
Kids Physio can provide a flexible approach to your child’s physiotherapy management to suit you and your child’s needs. We will aim to integrate your child’s physiotherapy programme into your day.
Many Health Authorities have waiting lists for Paediatric Physiotherapy and babies have to wait a long time for treatment. KidsPhysio can offer early intervention. It may be that you would like a couple of physiotherapy sessions to help you learn some activities to assist your child until they are seen by the NHS Physiotherapists, or you may prefer your child to have regular physiotherapy treatment sessions. Many families have extra private physiotherapy to supplement the treatment offered by their NHS Physiotherapist.
Many children with CP need additional physiotherapy when they reach adolescence, for muscle tightening and joint contractures. A combination of growth spurts, school commitments making NHS appointment attendance difficult and teenage rebellion make this is a high risk time. KidsPhysio can provide after school appointments at your convenience to help manage joint and muscle contractures and maintain your child’s function.