What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a condition affecting the immature tissues of the brain during or soon after birth. It can cause difficulty with development and a child can struggle to achieve their normal developmental milestones.
How does Cerebral Palsy affect an individual?
- Change of muscle tone
- Weak arms or legs
- Fidgety, jerky or clumsy movements
- Random uncontrolled movements
- A range of other problems such as swallowing difficulties, speaking problems, vision problems and learning difficulties
The severity of symptoms can vary significantly. Some people only have minor problems whilst others may be severely disabled.
Neurological Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists work with you and your child to optimise their opportunities for normal movement experiences to enable them to integrate with and learn from their environment.
Most people with cerebral palsy will find therapy beneficial at different stages throughout their life.
We treat children, young people and adults with cerebral palsy as it is a lifelong condition.
If you would like to discuss how we might be able to help please contact us on 0161 764 3799 or email us at [email protected] and we will arrange for a Therapist to contact you.
How can Physiotherapy help children living with Cerebral Palsy?
Children with cerebral palsy differ from adults in that their brains (their movement control centre) and their musculo-skeletal system (bones and muscles) are not yet fully developed. Cerebral palsy impacts on a child’s ability to control movement making muscles floppy (low toned or flaccidity), stiff (high toned or spasticity) or uncoordinated (dystonia and ataxia). Children learn through movement they explore play and learn about, depth, shape, texture, volume distance and harm by moving through their environment. When moving is difficult learning becomes a greater challenge.
Stiff, floppy or uncoordinated muscles pull on the immature and growing skeleton and this can cause developmental problems such as scoliosis, contractures and joint problems especially in the hips.
Physiotherapists work to re-educate more normal movement patterns and treat and manage the muscles to maximise the child’s opportunity to learn through movement and reduce the impact of the pull on growing bones.
How can Occupational Therapy help children living with Cerebral Palsy?
It is often said a child’s “work” is to play, this vital job is how a child learns, and anything that interferes with a child’s ability to “work” can impact on their daily lives. For some children the impact of their brain injury is immediately visible for other children the problems only become more apparent as the child develops and grows.
Cerebral Palsy can cause a child to have difficulty tying shoelaces, getting dressed, managing sums, writing stories, or controlling their behaviour. All of these things need a high level of brain activity such as sequencing, organising, planning, finger control and balance. The ability of the brain to manage and coordinate all these activities can be impaired.
An Occupational Therapist works with the child, their families and school to problem solve and provide treatment and strategies to make the child more successful and support their learning and ability to play. Occupational Therapists ensure a growing child has the appropriate postural equipment e.g. a special chair to use in the classroom and they may recommend appropriate adaptions in the home to ensure the child can be as independent as possible.
Our Occupational Therapists work with families in Lancashire and Cheshire.
How can Physiotherapy help adults living with Cerebral Palsy?
Although every individual with cerebral palsy is different, the main focus of physiotherapy is to improve a person’s ability to move and maximise their independence. To achieve this a physiotherapist will work to:
- Improve posture and walking
- Improve balance and reduce the risk of falls
- Strengthen muscles, and reduce muscle stiffness
- Mobilise joints and improve the quality of movement
- Improve respiratory function and challenge the cardiovascular system
- Provide education and training to support teams and families
The SP Therapy Services Physiotherapy Team can work with patients at our Clinic in Bury or at your home address. We have Physiotherapists working in the Greater Manchester/Lancashire and West and South Yorkshire regions.
How can Occupational Therapy help adults living with Cerebral Palsy?
People living with cerebral palsy can have movement problems and thinking problems referred to as cognitive difficulties, making everyday tasks difficult.
An Occupational Therapist uses their skills to analyse the task and identify why the person is having difficulty. This could be a physical problem such as using the toilet independently or finding a suitable wheelchair to suit your needs. Occupational Therapists can restructure the task, recommend specialist equipment and support or strategies to make easier for the person to be more independent and successful.
Our Occupational Therapists work with patients in their own homes, in their local supermarket, or in their place of work, worship or interest. We have Occupational Therapists working in our communities in Greater Manchester/Lancashire and Cheshire.
We can provide home visits & clinic appointments.
SP Therapy Services take great care in providing an exceptional standard of therapy to all our patients, whatever their individual age, diagnosis or location.