Cerebral Palsy

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is the general term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. The condition can occur if the brain develops abnormally or is damaged before, during or shortly after birth.

Common causes of cerebral palsy include: an infection caught by the mother during pregnancy, a difficult or premature birth, bleeding in the baby’s brain, changes in the genes that affect the brain’s development.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy

The symptoms of cerebral palsy normally become apparent during the first three years of a child’s life.

The main symptoms are: muscle stiffness or floppiness, muscle weakness, random and uncontrolled body movements, balance and co-ordination problems.

These symptoms can affect different areas of the body and vary in severity from person to person. Some people will only have minor problems, whereas others will be severely disabled.

Many people with cerebral palsy also have a number of associated problems, such as repeated seizures or fits and swallowing difficulties. Some people with the condition may have communication and learning difficulties, although intelligence is often unaffected.

Treatment of cerebral palsy

There is no cure for cerebral palsy but physiotherapy is helpful for improving many of the symptoms. Physiotherapy is particularly important in preventing muscle weakness and muscle shortening.

Following a detailed assessment, your physiotherapist will set specific goals with you/your child and plan a programme of treatment which may involve: hands on treatment and stretches, specific exercises, suggestions of equipment or aids, use of splints, lycra garments and supports, practical problem solving and advice to improve day-to-day situations.

How can Neurocare Physiotherapy help me?

At Neurocare, we are all highly specialised in treating neurological conditions, so you can be confident that your physiotherapist will have the necessary experience to provide you with the specialist level of treatment which you deserve.