What Different Types of Treatment are there for Cerebral Palsy?

There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but there are several treatments that help to relieve some of the extreme symptoms that the disorder displays. A patient should be advised by a multi-disciplinary team that encompasses physical therapy, occupational therapy, drug interventions, surgery, speech therapy, sensory integration, and adaptive equipment. Each patient is different and requires one or a combination of therapies that is individualized for that specific patient. The team should look at how the therapy will improve the quality of life of the patient and relieve pain, both physical and emotional, so that the quality of life will improve.

As rigidity or stiffness sets in, the physical therapist can concentrate on the large muscles of the legs and arms to build strength and movement to both. As exercise increases and the muscles develop, less pain and immobility will be present. On the other hand, the occupational therapist specializes on the small muscles of the body. The treatment should loosen up fingers and toes and let the patient perform simple tasks that take dexterity in the extreme digits. By combining exercise with the proper utensils, the cerebral palsy patient will be able to do simple or complex tasks as the severity of the condition exists.

If the cerebral palsy affliction is located around the facial muscles, the speech and language specialist can create therapies that will strengthen the muscles to help with expression and vocal annunciations. If the patient is severe, sign language will be taught to help the patient communicate their needs. Surgery is not always need for the cerebral palsy patient but if performed, it sometimes helps muscle development or dexterity. It has been found the children with the disorder often walk upon their toes. Corrective surgery on the in seam and heal may lengthen the muscle so that the child may walk more correctly than if the surgery was not attempted.

Drugs do not take away all symptoms of cerebral palsy but the do diminish the occurrences of seizure and spactisity. Some common drugs for these symptoms include Tegriatol and Dilantin. The team must only recommend drugs for short term use to control symptoms and not a catch all to recommend a long term therapy. Remember, each patient is different and one or all of these therapies might be recommended by the team. The cure may not be available, but with these treatments the quality of life will improve for most patients.