The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement, posture, and muscle coordination. It can cause physical impairments, but with the right treatments, individuals with cerebral palsy can reach their full physical potential. Therapists can help identify what functions need improving and develop personalized rehabilitation plans to help them reach their goals. Muscle Activation can help with exercises and physical therapy methods that can make a significant in a patient’s life.
Goals of Physical Therapy for Cerebral Palsy
Physical therapy for cerebral palsy aims to improve motor control, strength, coordination, and balance to help individuals move more easily. It also promotes the brain’s ability to make adaptive changes based on our actions (neuroplasticity). Through highly repetitive, task-specific exercises, individuals with cerebral palsy can promote neuroplasticity and achieve their optimal functional potential.
Some of the goals of physical therapy include:
- Increasing the range of motion in joints
- Strengthening muscles that are weak or tight
- Improving balance and coordination
- Proper body mechanics (how to walk safely)
- Support during activities like feeding or dressing
A muscle specialist will work closely with an individual to determine what goals are best for them based on their needs and abilities.
Common Exercises Used in Physical Therapy for Cerebral Palsy
The types of exercises used in physical therapy for cerebral palsy vary greatly depending on the individual’s needs and abilities. Some common exercises used in physical therapy are:
- Stretching exercises
- Increase flexibility or range of motion
- Strengthening exercises such as weight lifting
- Balance training
- Aerobic exercises such as swimming or biking
- Gait training (learning how to walk properly)
A physical therapist may also use other techniques such as electrical stimulation (just little pulses) or ultrasound to help reduce pain or improve muscle tone/strength. The goal is always to promote neuroplasticity by repeating specific tasks over time so that they become second nature.
Where To Start
Physical therapists play an important role in helping individuals with cerebral palsy reach their full potential by helping them learn how to move more easily through repetitious activities tailored to their individual needs. Through a combination of stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, balance training, aerobic exercise, gait training, and other techniques like electrical stimulation or ultrasound treatment – people with cerebral palsy can learn how to move more efficiently while promoting neuroplasticity at the same time! With guidance from a skilled specialist – anyone with cerebral palsy can gain improved mobility which leads to increased independence! Contact MASJ today if you have questions about how physical therapy can help your loved one.