Even though cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition, there are still steps you can take to ensure your child has the highest possible quality of life. If your child has this condition, our caring physical therapists are here to help. Keep reading to find out what cerebral palsy is, what causes it, and how its symptoms can be managed with pediatric physical therapy.

What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects the development of a child’s brain. This, in turn, affects their physical growth and ability to achieve many gross and fine motor skills. Essentially, this condition makes it difficult for a child to control the movement of their muscles because one of the parts of the brain responsible for that has been injured.

The brain works by sending electrical signals throughout the body’s nerve channels to cause all kinds of movement, like breathing, walking, or digesting food. If the brain is injured, its ability to send these electrical signals can be affected or stopped. This is what happens with cerebral palsy.

Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy

The most common risk factors of cerebral palsy include:

  • Premature birth
  • Multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • Low birth weight
  • High fever during pregnancy
  • Complicated delivery/birth
  • Substance abuse during pregnancy
  • Certain infertility treatments
  • Severe untreated jaundice
  • Infections of the mother during
    pregnancy (herpes, rubella, etc.)

Common Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy does not affect everyone the same. This condition can affect the entire body, one or two limbs, or one side of the body. The following are general symptoms of cerebral palsy:

  • Delayed development
  • Unusually small or large head
  • Lack of muscle tone (limbs seem “floppy”)
  • Stiffness in limbs that make them hard to bend
  • Involuntary muscle movements
  • Excessive drooling
  • Trouble with speech
  • Difficulty feeding or nursing
  • Struggles with fine motor skills like holding crayons
  • Struggles with gross motor skills like walking

How Can Physical Therapy Improve My Child’s Cerebral Palsy Symptoms?

Our pediatric physical therapists have experience working with children who have cerebral palsy. We use proven therapeutic exercises, techniques, and activities to help children build their developmental skills for more independence in life. We can also give you tips and activities you can do at home with your child to assist them between therapy sessions. With our one-on-one treatment and your support, we can work together to give your child the highest possible quality of life.

Benefits of Pediatric Physical Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

If your child has cerebral palsy, physical therapy can give them incredible benefits such as:

  1. Stronger gross and fine motor skills
  2. Better ability to feed themselves
  3. Improved muscle tone
  4. Reduced stiffness and pain in limbs
  5. Expanded range of motion
  6. Reduced risk of bone deformity
  7. Increased independence
  8. Improved quality of life

Schedule Your Child’s Evaluation

Pediatric Therapy Partners has clinics in Bossier and Shreveport, LA, to meet your family’s needs. All you have to do is call us at (318) 746-1199 or fill out the contact form below and our Intake Coordinator will help you schedule your child’s speech therapy evaluation.

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