Cerebral palsy has no definite treatment and this fact makes the condition even more daunting for the families of the patients. A multi-dimensional treatment approach is followed to manage the condition. The approach may vary on the basis of how the condition differs in different patients. While some may require more of physiotherapy, others may demand surgical treatment. The cerebral palsy treatment protocol can be rightly named as combination treatment. Below discussed are some of the main parts of this treatment approach.
Physical Therapy for Improvement in Movements
The main goal of physical therapy among cerebral palsy affected individuals is to improve movements and gait. This type of treatment helps in:
- Development of muscles and motor skills among the affected children.
- Improving the abilities to walk independently, sit, rise and use bathroom.
- Preventing weakness and stiffness in limbs and dislocation of joints.
- Encouraging participation in routine activities.
The use of aids like stick, rollater and elbow crutches is an important part of this treatment approach.
Occupational Therapy to Promote Self-dependency
One of the important parts of cerebral palsy treatment is occupational therapy that requires essential participation of the patient’s parents and other family members. The main goal is to make the patients self-dependent in various activities like writing, eating, dressing up and others.
Speech Therapy for Communicational Improvements
Cerebral therapy patients are expected to face problems in eating, talking, swallowing, breathing and so on. This happens because of the imbalance and weakness of muscles present in jaw and mouth. Speech therapy is conducted to teach these individuals to control over these muscles. It helps the patients to learn how to talk clearly, bite and chew properly, swallow the food and to breathe conveniently.
Treatment Using Drugs
The role of medications in cerebral palsy treatment can’t be overlooked. One common occurrence among the patients is that of seizures that call for the need of administering drugs. Muscle relaxants, antispasmodic drugs, anti-spastic drugs, laxatives and anti-cholinergic drugs are among the common ones used in the treatment but not without side effect so it should be used cautiously.
Surgical procedures in cerebral palsy sufferers are done to treat certain conditions and also to improve the overall quality of life among these individuals. Relaxing joints and stiff muscles is possible by performing surgery on knee, hip, ankles and other body parts. These procedures are also followed to release contractions; to straighten the abnormal leg twists & dislocation of joint. Earlier traditional surgeries were used often in these conditions but outcome was not so good always. Nowadays with the use of SEMLS by the concept of OSSCS we can expect excellent outcome in most of our children if they were selected properly and good post operatively rehab programme has been given to them .Few neurosurgical procedures like selective dorsal rhizotomy & selective nerectomy has also been used but results are good only in experienced hand otherwise child is left out with permanent weakness in the extremity.
Other Treatment Approaches
Behavioral therapy is another important part of the treatment to improve behavior among the patients. Psychotherapy is done to improve the productivity level of the mind among these individuals.
Stem cell treatment is among the latest in this direction and it involves production of new cells in the damaged tissues of the body but results are awaited and still under research. Counseling, emotional therapy and educational therapy are the important add-ons that can make treatment much more effective for the patients. The following of a multi-dimensional treatment approach can definitely improve the living state of cerebral palsy patients.
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Need more information on how to organize your efforts to manage your child’s care?
Dr. Jitendra Kumar Jain
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