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Cerebral Palsy Facts And Treatments

by | Mar 29, 2022 | Acupuncture, Health

Reading Cerebral Palsy facts and treatments can help you better care for your loved ones with Cerebral Palsy. The information in this blog will get you acquainted with the condition and how Dr. Cook can help.

What Is Cerebral Palsy?

The condition is a group of health problems that affects your ability to maintain your balance and move. Cerebral Palsy is caused by brain damage or abnormalities that hinder your ability to move your muscles. Symptoms vary per individual, and someone with severe CP may need equipment to walk or need lifelong care. Milder versions of the condition may enable you to walk without special help.

The condition does not get worse over the years, but the symptoms may change in your lifetime. All people with CP will have movement and posture problems. Intellectual disabilities and other problems may also occur as part of the condition.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

Doctors will identify your type of CP by the kind of movement disorder you exhibit. They classify the type of Cerebral Palsy by checking which part of your brain is affected.

One or more of these movement disorders can occur with CP

Spasticity (stiff muscles)
Ataxia ( poor coordination and balance)
Dyskinesia (uncontrollable movements)

Here are the four main types of CP

Spastic Cerebral Palsy

This type of CP affects about 80% of the people with CP. The disorder causes an increase in muscle tone, which means your muscles become stiff and it makes your movements awkward.

Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy

If you have Dyskinetic CP, then you have problems with moving your arms, hands, legs, and feet. The condition also makes it difficult for you to walk. Your movements become slow and jerky, which may make even swallowing and talking difficult. If you have Dyskinetic CP, your muscle tone may change during different times of the day.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

This type of Cerebral Palsy affects your coordination and balance, which may affect how you walk. Writing or reaching for an item will be difficult with this type of CP.

Mixed Cerebral Palsy

You may also exhibit symptoms from multiple types of CP at the same time. The most common combination you may find is Spastic-Dyskinetic CP.

Early Signs

The symptoms you experience from CP vary greatly because there are many levels and types of disability. The first sign to look for in your child is a delay in reaching the normal motor skills milestones such as standing and walking. You should seek a doctor’s help because even children without CP may exhibit some of these difficulties.

Screening

A doctor will examine your child to check for CP or other conditions hindering your children’s movements.

Here are the steps to Diagnose Cerebral Palsy

Developmental Monitoring

This type of monitoring tracks your child’s growth and development over a period of time. Once anything unusual is found, then a developmental screening test will be administered.

Developmental Screening

A short test is administered to check if your child has specific developmental delays. Movement and motor skills are checked to ensure that your child is healthy. Your doctor will make referrals if there are irregularities in your child’s screening.

Developmental and Medical Evaluation

The goal of the evaluation is to identify and diagnose the specific disorder that your child is experiencing.

Treatments

Sadly, there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy but treatment can improve your life. It’s best you start treatment as soon as possible. The diagnosis is made by a team of healthcare professionals.

Here is a list of common treatments for CP

Surgery

Surgery may improve your movement difficulties by restoring movement from tight muscles, repair dislocated joints, and fixing your spine. Surgery is a long time investment and it may take you months or years of therapy to see the full results from your surgery.

Medication

Medications can be used to treat the many symptoms you suffer because of CP.

Here are some of the following conditions that medication can treat

1. Sleeping difficulties
2. Muscle stiffness
3. Seizures
4. Constipation

Physical Therapy

This treatment is done by having you exercise to maintain and improve movement.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy involves helping and training you to perform everyday tasks independently. You will receive advice on the best way to do complex movements like
getting dressed or writing. Gadgets and equipment may also be recommended to help you live independently.

Please note that every case of CP is different and no single treatment is the best for all cases. You need to speak with a doctor to find out what treatment will work best for your case and what are the risks.

Speech Therapy

Your therapist can help you speak properly by helping you strengthen your muscles that enable speech. This treatment can also help you eat independently by helping you learn how to swallow and chew.

Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbs can help you deal with some of the symptoms of CP through natural means. As you know, pharmaceuticals can cause some unpleasant side effects when taken. Using natural treatments like Chinese herbs can give you comfort with little to no side effects. Some herbal teas can help you sleep, reduce constipation, and may help with muscle stiffness.

Book a consultation with Dr. Cook to find what herbal formulas will help you manage CP. Be sure to explain all the difficulties you are having along with prior conditions for the best results.

Acupuncture

You can get acupuncture as a new type of treatment for Cerebral Palsy. Searching for this treatment will show you that results have been positive based on the previous trials. Getting acupuncture in your scalp and behind your ears for stimulation may improve your movement when done in weekly or bi-weekly sessions. The treatment may help you gain more control of your body.

Getting better control of your facial muscles may enable you to speak. You may be able to dress yourself, write, and paint with acupuncture.

Nutrition

Anyone with Cerebral Palsy may experience movement problems, motor skills issues, and muscle tone problems. You may find it hard to swallow and chew when eating with CP. Digestive issues are also a problem for you if you have CP. You must address these issues to ensure you get enough nutrition to ensure you live a good life.

Your child with CP may need different nutrients at differing doses.

Here are the nutrients you need to have strong bones if you have CP

Calcium is needed for strong teeth and bones. It can be obtained from yogurt, milk, and cheese.

Vitamin D is required to help your body absorb calcium. You can get Vitamin D from Tuna, Salmon, and sunlight.

Phosphorus is a mineral that plays a small role in growing your teeth and bones. You can find the mineral in fish, nuts, and seeds.

When you visit Dr. Cook, she will ask for a record of what your child drinks, eats, and their level of physical activity. You should include everything such as formulas, drinks, food, and blended feedings. She can then understand your child’s condition once she has their information to come up with better diet plans. It’s best to set up follow-up appointments as your child ages to ensure their nutrition plan is updated.

In conclusion, Cerebral Palsy is a condition that can be managed with proper care. Don’t give up and call Dr. Cook to ensure your loved ones with Cerebral Palsy are getting the best care possible.

Contact Miami Herbs today to set an appointment to care for your loved ones!

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