A Look into Cerebral Palsy (CP)

Mar 19, 2014
Tagged with: A Look into Cerebral Palsy (CP)

Cerebral palsy is a condition that mainly affects physical motion. The term cerebral palsy is actually used to define a group of disabilities that affect movement. CP can occur when a baby is forming in utero and experiences a brain trauma, during childbirth or in the first few years of life. CP is always diagnosed within a child’s first months or years. Cerebral palsy is a condition that can cause a wide range of disabilities. Some of the outcomes of CP include: musculoskeletal problems, spasticity, impaired eyesight, impaired ability to communicate, and motor dysfunction.

Since not all people with cerebral palsy are affected in the same way, there are different types of treatments. There are numerous forms of occupational, physical, and speech therapy that produce positive results in a CP patient. Medical and alternative therapies are often used in conjunction with the therapies listed above.

 

Dealing with Cerebral Palsy

There are two ways that people with cerebral palsy can thrive: from having a strong friendship for emotional support, and having the right equipment for independence. Being diagnosed and living with a disability can be a difficult experience; however, having at least one good, trusted friend can be invaluable. Reaching out and leaning on a friend during those tough times is very important. The connection and trust that develops between friends can be enough to help anyone get through the hardest days.

Exercising

No matter what your fitness level may be, exercise will improve your health and well-being. Exercising could decrease the severity of some symptoms and in general make you feel better. For aerobic exercise, use an arm bike or recumbent bicycle. Start slowly and work to increase the intensity and duration of your workout. Other forms of aerobic exercise that will help you increase your fitness include leg cycling, rowing, water aerobics, and swimming.

It is also important to incorporate resistance training, or strength training, into your workout. Use free weights or even weight machines to target different muscle groups. Perform these movements slowly and with as full a range of motion as possible. As with any fitness program, begin and end each workout by stretching.

Equipment

Each person with cerebral palsy will have different ability levels and need different equipment. Some will need the help of walkers, braces, and crutches. Having high quality walking aides can help you feel more comfortable, support weight, and walk further for a better exercise experience.

Another piece of equipment to help with exercise and independence is a wheelchair. Modern technology has helped to create wheelchairs that are very light weight, as well as used for sport activities that can be used in both indoor and outdoor terrains thanks to having the proper wheels. The right wheelchair is instrumental in gaining independence and successful exercise.

Accessible Vans are a very useful piece of equipment in continuing the growth of independence. It may be incredibly difficult or near impossible to transport a non-mobile adult without their wheelchair via a standard car. A van that is designed and equipped to travel with a wheelchair can provide an amazing quality of life to participate in activities with their friends and family.

Cerebral palsy affects the independence of many people. However, with some creative thought, having a strong support system, and obtaining the proper equipment it can help people lead a healthy active lifestyle..  As the medical community and the community of patients learn more about CP, advancements are being made and patients’ quality of life continues to improve.

Articles on CP:

http://www.ncpad.org/147/1131/The~health~of~women~with~cerebral~palsy~

http://www.ncpad.org/499/2389/Focus~on~Secondary~Condition~Prevention~~Promotion~of~Physical~Fitness~and~Prevention~of~Secondary~Conditions~for~Children~with~Cerebral~Palsy

Exercise ideas:

http://www.ncpad.org/CRx

 

Author: David Glenn