The term “cerebral palsy” essentially refers to a group of neurological disorders caused by damage to the developing brain. Cerebral palsy (CP) manifests itself primarily in movement-related problems as well as cognitive difficulties.
Cerebral palsy is caused by irreversible brain damage, and as such, the condition has no “cure.” That being said, as a parent, it’s important to know that there are certain things you can do with regard to treatment in order to help raise your loved one’s quality of life.
Treatment options for a child with cerebral palsy usually depend on the nature of the condition as well as its severity. Cerebral palsy can manifest itself in many different forms, so there’s no one-size-fits-all kind of treatment.
Here are a couple of things that have been shown to help:
1. Oral medications and injections.
A common hallmark of cerebral palsy is muscle stiffness. This is caused by damage to parts of the brain that control smooth muscle contraction and relaxation. Muscle stiffness can make it hard for people born with this condition to fully relax or even move around comfortably. If left untreated, muscle stiffness can cause chronic pain, nerve damage, headaches and other uncomfortable conditions that can impede on someone’s quality of life. Certain sedative medications given orally or via injection can help relax muscles and alleviate pain as well as improve movement range.
In some cases, children born with cerebral palsy may need surgery to restore movement or muscle coordination. Surgery is particularly effective if it’s done during a child’s formative years. Surgeons usually target certain nerve sheaths found near the spinal cord. Severing them from the network of nerves interrupts message relays from the brain, reducing spasticity as well as involuntary movements. That being said, it’s important to note that a child necessitating surgery may need a series of surgical procedures in order to gradually get the desired result.
The prohibitive costs of this kind of treatment is perhaps one of the reasons why you need to seek out a good cerebral palsy lawyer to help you recover money damages so that your family can afford surgery for your child. Selective dorsal rhizotomy is often an effective surgical option that’s been practiced for decades. Other types of surgical intervention include vision correction surgery, neurosurgery, gastroenterology surgery and hearing correction surgery. Please consult your doctor to learn more.
3. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy involves the manipulation of soft body tissue in order to relax muscles as well as boost blood circulation to various parts of the body. This is not only clinically proven, but it also is a great way to bond with your child through the healing and reassuring power of touch.
Massaging a child with cerebral palsy is said to help direct nutrients and blood as well as electrical impulses to the areas that may be deficient of these life-sustaining nutrients. It’s also said to boost levels of the body’s natural pain-killers (called endorphins), helping with both physical and emotional pain. One can use their hands, a cold and hot packs, vibration tools, warm towels, scented oils, background music and aromatherapy to achieve the best results.
4. Speech and Language Therapy
Speech is controlled by a set of muscles in the oral cavity. Given the fact that children born with cerebral palsy have muscle coordination problems, they may find it hard to articulate certain sounds and vowels, leading to poor speech. Speech and language therapy can go a long way in helping these children train their vocal muscles to speak effectively and clearly.
It’s not uncommon for children with cerebral palsy to stutter, stammer, slur their words, have problems with rhythm and intonation and so much more. A speech pathologist will address this by using speech boards, training, computer-based aids and gestures to help the child correct their speech patterns gradually.
Cerebral palsy shouldn’t have to be the end of your dreams or those of your loved ones. By seeking out treatment options, children born with this condition can go on to live fulfilling and productive lives.