Cerebral Palsy – What to know about?
This is Sasa, your Health Assistant from Treat at Home and today, we’ll get to know more about Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a non progressive central motor deficit with multiple causes and manifestations. It is a congenital birth disorder and some of the causes may include brain injury, problems during pregnancy, premature birth and complications during delivery.
Sometimes, cerebral palsy may develop within the first 2 to 3 years of a child’s life. Now a days, screening is done at the early stage of pregnancy to rule out anomalies in brain development. This helps to have a healthy child.
In general, CP is divided into 4 types and Spastic CP is the most common presentation. Other types include dyskinetic, ataxic and mixed CP.
Children with cerebral palsy may show poor coordination, muscle stiffness, muscle weakness, tremors, floppy limbs, involuntary motions (child may not have urine or fecal control), intellectual disability, problems with sense perception (vision, hearing or speech), changes in structure of the spine (scoliosis), joint abnormalities (contractures), restrictive pulmonary disease and nutritional problems.
Whenever there is query regarding the child’s development or other health issue, be swift in consulting a paediatrician or a nearby general physician and get it cleared. Now health care professionals are also available at your door step.
Health Care Tips
A child with cerebral palsy (CP) requires special care than a normal child. They need a balanced diet, regular physical exercises, massages, specialised learning activities, customised entertainment, family support and other medical needs. Optimistic handling will nurture confidence in the minds of patients.
Encourage the child to consume foods that strengthen bones and muscles, such as calcium-rich dairy, leafy greens, and pulses. In general, children with CP may have nutrient deficiencies, constipation, refluxes, oral motor dysfunction and low appetite. It is also preferred to provide soft food like fruits and juices for easy consumption.
Consult with a paediatrician or a nutritionist for specific dietary needs to address these issues.
Resistance training is important in cerebral palsy because it helps to increase their strength without an adverse effect on muscle tone. Aerobic exercises like arm cycling, chair aerobics, dancing, jogging, leg cycling, rowing, swimming, walking, water aerobics and wheeling are beneficial. It is always better to get routine physiotherapy and massages through the professionals.
Since cerebral palsy lasts for the entire life time, tremendous will power, love of the family and caretaker are the most important treatment measures.
Author: Dr. Manasa