Some children with cerebral palsy are able to enjoy very active lives. For example, Chris Beck, a high school student in Newark, NJ was recently profiled in the Newark Advocate for his athleticism. Competing in track events and football, he has been able to demonstrate that people with cerebral palsy – sometimes with the aid of surgery and other treatments – can gain a great deal of control over their bodies, sometimes to the point of being very good athletes. Another student, profiled only as Matt W due to his age, recently ran a 400 meter run at his elementary school in Ohio. Understanding a bit about cerebral palsy might help you to understand how some people who suffer with this disorder are able to achieve so much.
Treating spasticity is one of the primary goals of any treatment for cerebral palsy. Spasming muscles cause the lack of coordination, inability to move and other common features of this disorder. Treatment can involve many different options but, quite commonly, surgery is preferred.
In some cases, the surgeries involve severing some tendons and elongating others. For example, there are some cerebral palsy sufferers whose hands end up permanently stuck in a claw like position. To alleviate this, doctors will sometimes perform a surgery that involves severing and reattaching one tendon that causes the immobility and, thereby, releasing the tension and permitting a more normal range of movement.
Drug therapies are also used to treat spasticity. Newer devices allow these drugs to be loaded into containers that are actually . These containers can release controlled amounts of the drug, allowing the individual who suffers with cerebral palsy to enjoy greater mobility and fewer muscle spasms. These are among the most exciting treatments available for cerebral palsy at the moment, as they hold a great deal of hope for those who suffer with permanently spasmed muscles.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy comes in many different types. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, and other types of cerebral palsy all have their own unique features. Many people who suffer with cerebral palsy have more than one type, which may necessitate different types of treatment to deal with the various symptoms of their disorders. The available treatments are always increasing in number and effectiveness, however, so there is hope for just about anyone who suffers with this condition. If you are seeking treatment for cerebral palsy, be aware that today’s world holds many more options than did the world of even 10 years ago.