Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition that affects a significant number of children throughout the UK and causes a wide variety of problems. It is thought to occur during pregnancy with damage to certain areas of the child's brain and usually slowly becomes evident as a child develops over the first 12 months, with most children receiving a referral to a paediatrician and a diagnosis by the age of 3. Cerebral Palsy is usually thought of as an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of motor and movement problems that children with this condition can face. We offer a paediatric physiotherapy service to help with the effects of Cerebral Palsy, we are based in Lichfield and serve surrounding areas such as Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth, Rugeley, Cannock and Walsall.
The effects of Cerebral Palsy in children can vary from minor deficits in strength, balance and postural control to quadriplegia causing high levels of dependency. Commonly with Cerebral Palsy children will have increased tone (spasticity) in their muscles which can cause muscle shortening, loss of joint movement and pain. This increased tone (in the lower limbs especially) often causes the typical knees in gait and sometimes toe walking of a child with Cerebral Palsy. Physiotherapy will be essential for any child with Cerebral Palsy to promote normal movement patterns, strengthen limbs, improve balance and maintain good range of motion at each joint - especially those affected with high tone.
How can ThreeSpires Physiotherapy help?
Our paediatric physiotherapist has extensive experience of working with children with Cerebral Palsy of all ages and difficulties. Once an appointment has been made our physiotherapist will visit you and your child at home to conduct the initial assessment session. In general, it is recommended that the initial session takes place at home to make your child feel relaxed, facilitate a thorough discussion to take place and also to allow our physiotherapist to assess how therapy can take place at home. Follow up sessions may be at home, school or nursery as required. Below is a description of a typical initial assessment:
Subjective - in this section a discussion takes place between you, the physiotherapist and dependant on age your child. The physiotherapist will discuss medical history, current difficulties, potential goals and anything that may be important to you and your child. This is an essential component of the session as it enables you to talk over any concerns and allows your physiotherapist to understand what is important to you and your child and where the main difficulties are.
Objective - this part comprises of a thorough physical examination by the physiotherapist who will look at how your child is able to move, motion at each joint, their balance, strength and overall capabilities. Our paediatric physiotherapist is able to make this a fun and relaxed process and children will often not be aware that it is an assessment.
Our physiotherapist is a paediatric specialist and as such is an expert at engaging children in play that assesses a wide range of components such as strength, balance, function and range of motion at various joints. When working with children this is a vital skill and serves to make each session fun, rewarding and also therapeutic for your child!
Treatment - during the session your child and physiotherapist will practice various movements, work on strengthening, balance and the physio may also stretch some of your child's limbs (such as ankles or knees) to improve or maintain muscle length. This is always conducted in an entertaining and fun manner in order to maximise engagement and benefit of each session. Your physiotherapist will also discuss and demonstrate ways in which you can help with rehabilitation and exercises at home.
At the end of the initial assessment session your physiotherapist will discuss with you how best to proceed and will talk through an overall plan in terms of number of sessions needed, how often sessions should be, what it is important to work on and initial goals for physiotherapy.
They will also discuss where it is best to conduct each session, generally some sessions will be at home and some will be at school. Your physiotherapist (with your permission) will be able to liaise with school, the GP, your surgeon and any other staff involved in the care of your child and can provide a report if required.