Cerebral Palsy Treatment

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Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a condition, or group of conditions, that are chronic neurological disorders. Cerebral palsy is not a condition that is catching nor is it a disease; rather, it is a condition that people may be born with, or acquire in the first years of their life. The neurological condition may appear as a result of damage to the brain that occurs during fetal development, before, during, or shortly after birth, or during early childhood and can effect a child's movement, posture, and muscle coordination. While cerebral palsy affects an individual's muscle coordination, it does not actually occur in the muscles, but rather is a condition that effects the parts of the brain that control motor function and muscle coordination.

Unfortunately, at this time, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. Children who have cerebral palsy are often not easily able to control their body. Their muscles may stiffen to the point of locking the joints, making movement more difficult, or they may be extremely loose, not allowing the child to stand unassisted. While there is no cure, there are several cerebral palsy treatments available that will help improve the quality of your child's life and possibly enjoy near-normal lives.

There are many kinds of cerebral palsy treatments to be considered. Medical professionals will help you to determine what sorts of treatments and/or therapies will be most appropriate for your child. A number of tests may be ordered to assess your child's physical needs, from X-rays and CT scans, to blood work and intelligence tests. A complete family history will be taken including detailed information about the mother's labor and delivery. It is only after a comprehensive examination has been completed that the doctors will be able to suggest cerebral palsy treatments that will target the specific aspects of your child's cerebral palsy and improve the quality of his or her life.

One of the most important cerebral palsy treatment options is physical therapy. Physical therapy utilizes exercises and activities that work towards the prevention of injury, prevention of muscle deterioration, and keeping muscles from taking on a permanent, abnormal position. Once a diagnosis has been made it is important to start treatment swiftly in order to help release the spasticity of their muscles. Since the bones in your child will still grow, as the muscle will remain tight, the bones will outgrow the muscle potentially causing some serious problems as your child grows older. Physical therapy can help to stretch the muscles, so that the bone and muscle can grow evenly. A medical brace, known as an orthotic, may be prescribed in order to help with this process.

If your child has a difficult time speaking or eating, speech therapy is an important treatment that will help your child learn to control the mouth and will also help them learn to chew and swallow better. If vocalization is difficult or impossible, a speech therapist will be able to teach both the child and the parent different ways to communicate, from sign language to using a assistive technology, such as a communication board or or computer program.

For children with cerebral palsy who have seizures, medication can be an invaluable cerebral palsy treatment option. The medication can help slow seizures and, sometimes, stop them altogether. This will allow for a much better, and possibly longer, quality of life.

Medications can also play an important part in cerebral palsy treatment if your child has muscle spasms or extremely tight muscles. Doctors may want to prescribe muscle relaxants in order to loosen stiff muscles. If your child suffers from these extremely tight and sometimes locked muscles, a good deal of pain can be eased with the use of muscle relaxants. When they are used properly, they can help alleviate stress on the joints, resulting in a minimum amount of damage to the joints.

If your child has an extreme case of cerebral palsy, surgery may be a necessary step. If the muscles or tendons have become so tight that they have atrophied, a surgeon will need to cut the tendon and loosen the muscles to allow for them to stretch more easily as well as to ease any pain your child may be feeling from the taut muscles. Your child may need to have a surgery done on his or her spine if it has curved due to the muscle imbalances.

In addition, teachers may also be an important part of your child's cerebral palsy treatment. Educators will work with students who have learning disabilities in conjunction with their cerebral palsy.

While cerebral palsy treatment is integral to improving your child's cerebral palsy condition and life style, it can be very expensive. If you believe that your child may have developed cerebral palsy as the result of preventable birth injury caused by medical negligence, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance.


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