Treating Cerebral Palsy

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Although there are treatments available to manage pain and function for children with cerebral palsy (CP), there is unfortunately no cure for the condition. Children who have cerebral palsy are 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 give your child a better, more fulfilling life.

There are many kinds of cerebral palsy treatments to be considered, which is why a group of experienced specialists will get together to thoroughly examine your child. A number of tests may be ordered, 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 done and your child has been determined to have CP that the doctors will be able to suggest cerebral palsy treatments that will help your child.

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 voice synthesizer or computer program.

For children with cerebral palsy that may suffer from seizures or tremors due to CP, medication can be an invaluable treatment option. The medication can help slow seizures and, sometimes, stop them altogether. This will allow for a much better, safer, 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.

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 surgery performed on his or her spine if it has curved due to the muscle imbalances.

One of the most important cerebral palsy treatment options is physical therapy. Once a diagnosis has been made, it is important to start treatment swiftly in order to help release the spasticity of the muscles. Since the bones in your child will still grow, as the muscle remains tight, the bones will outgrow the muscle, potentially causing some serious problems down the road. 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.

While cerebral palsy treatment is essential for your child, it is generally very expensive. If you believe your child's cerebral palsy is a result of a birth injury or medical error that could have been prevented, it is very important that you contact an experienced attorney to see if you qualify for compensation and damages from your physician.


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