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Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of lifelong conditions affecting movement and co-ordination. This can occur before, during or soon after birth.

What causes it?

Cerebral palsy can be caused by many things, which result in either a bleed in the brain (haemorrhage) or lack of oxygen to the brain (anoxia). Examples of these are: infections before and after birth , traumatic birth, problems in utero (in the womb), abnormal brain development, head injury.

Who can be affected by cerebral palsy?

In the UK cerebral palsy affects about 1 in every 400 children. Cerebral palsy can affect people from all social backgrounds and ethnic groups.

(Credit Bobath Wales)

Symptoms are not usually obvious just after birth, but tend to become more noticeable during the first year or two after birth.

Symptoms may include:

  • Delays in reaching developmental milestones,
  • Floppiness or stiffness,
  • Jerky clumsy or uncontrolled movement.
  • Abnormal gait patterns, eg walking on tip toes.

Severity of symptoms can vary significantly.

Treatment is usually delivered by a team of professionals, physiotherapy can include stretching, exercises to encourage movement, provision of walking aids, strengthening exercises, and provision of splints where required.

 

What is Bobath Therapy?

Bobath therapy is an effective holistic approach for children and young adults with all types of cerebral palsy regardless of the severity, age or accompanying disabilities, and is practised all over the world.

It combines occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy and aims to give each child the skills to explore the world, communicate their needs and participate as much as possible, not just in therapy sessions, but in all aspects of their lives.

Bobath Therapy is as individual as each child.

The main aim of treatment is to encourage and increase the child’s own movement and functional abilities in more typical ways. Children and young people with cerebral palsy usually have reduced variety of movement and postures. Bobath therapy aims to increase their variety of movement and change atypical postures. This helps them to adapt to their environment and develop better quality of movement and bigger repertoire of functional skills.

(Credit Bobath Wales)

Our Bobath Therapists include our Paediatric Neurological Physiotherapist Clare Gough