Physiotherapy is all about improving and maintaining movement, and that’s why it’s a treatment that is very useful to people with cerebral palsy. Movement can become limited for people suffering from this condition if the proper treatment, including physiotherapy, is not provided. In the medical world, physiotherapy is considered to be one of the best methods of treating cerebral palsy, and the results back that up.
The Aims of Physiotherapy Treatment
It’s important to, first of all, be aware of what the aims are of physiotherapy treatment. As mentioned above, the most important thing physiotherapy does is encourage movement. The amount of movement and the level of its intensity will depend on the individual and what their physical condition is like. It’s important that the approach is always tailored.
One of the other aims of physiotherapy treatment is to strengthen the muscles of the patient. Muscles can become weak when you have cerebral palsy if you don’t get the right amount of physical activity. This can lead to them shortening, and then their range of movement decreases. This is called contracture, and physiotherapy aims to prevent it because it can cause pain and impact on how muscles and bones grow.
What Does Physiotherapy Treatment Involve for People with Cerebral Palsy?
Physiotherapy treatment is different for each individual. But there are some things that can be expected in each case. Exercise places an important part in physiotherapy; this is the basis of what the treatment is all about. Anything from walking to rolling and stretching can be used to increase movement and mobility for people with cerebral palsy. Massages can also sometimes be used to improve muscle health and flexibility.
For some people, assisting with posture can be the most important thing. There are special exercises that can be done that help a person with cerebral palsy to maintain a good posture. This can also help things like balance and overall mobility. Sitting, kneeling and standing exercises are used to improve posture. For children, it can also be very helpful to do some transition movements that include rolling over and sitting up.
Aids That Can be Used Alongside Treatment
There are types of equipment and tools that physiotherapists often use when working alongside people with cerebral palsy. These can make the treatment more effective and improve outcomes. There are things like shoe inserts, casts and braces that can be used to help with walking. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though; there are so many other aids that are used during the treatment process.
Exercise balls are commonly used because they help promote the use of muscles, allowing them to be strengthened. The same applies to resistance bands. Of course, all of these aids are used carefully and in a fully supervised way to ensure that safety is maintained. Swimming pools are used because they allow people to get exercise in a way that doesn’t cause any negative impact on their bodies. Hot and cold packs, as well as electric muscle stimulation, can also be used in some circumstances.