Cerebral Palsy is a disorder related to the posture, movement or muscle tone, mostly due to immature development of the brain in a baby. This condition usually crops up, when the baby is already in the womb. The symptoms may surface when the baby is in its infancy or even later. Irregularities in the reflexes, posture, walking style, etc should ring a bell for the parents. Kids suffering from cerebral palsy may also suffer from muscle imbalance of the eye muscles, leading to problems focusing on an object. The range of motions becomes limited as well. There could be conditions such as deafness, epilepsy, impaired brain function and blindness associated with this disease.
Whom to consult for cerebral palsy in kids?
A kid suffering from Cerebral Palsy might have to work with a medical team for a very long time. Parents might need the help of a paediatrician, orthopaedic surgeon, paediatric neurologist, physical therapist, speech-language pathologist, mental health specialist, developmental therapist, recreation therapist and special education teacher.
Treatments that are available for Cerebral Palsy in kids Medication:
Medications: Medications are often used to improve the functional abilities of a kid. Certain spasticity related complications, treatment of pain, and other symptoms of Cerebral Palsy can be treated with medications. It is important to discuss with the doctor, the side-effects involved in taking the medication. There are two types of medications- for isolated spasticity and for generalized spasticity. In case of Isolated spasticity, doctors recommend Botox injections every 4-6 months to stabilize one muscle group. If the whole body is affected due to cerebral palsy, doctors recommend medications such as baclofen, diazepam and dantrolene to relax the contracted and stiff muscles.
Therapies: While there are many therapy treatment, three types of therapies are the most important for treating a child suffering from cerebral palsy. They are physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech& language therapy. Physical therapy is necessary for the flexibility, mobility and motor development of the child. Occupational therapy helps a kid imbibe alternative strategies to participate in daily activities. From teaching a child to walk with a cane to help them operate a wheelchair, physical therapy makes a child self-sufficient as much as possible. Speech and language therapy helps child’s ability to communicate either verbally or with sign-language.
Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to loosen the muscles, correct abnormalities of the bone etc. An orthopaedic surgery is necessary in cases where a kid was born with several deformities. The correction can decrease pain and increase mobility. In severe cases when the normal treatments do not help, doctors cut the tendon of spastic muscle. It helps to relieve the pain and relax the muscle.
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