Cerebral palsy can present itself in four different forms: spastic, athetoid, ataxic and mixed type. The most common type is spastic cerebral palsy, which makes up 70-80% of cases. People with spastic cerebral palsy often suffer from hypertonia, which often involves exaggerated or jerky movements.
Physiotherapy can play an important part in helping people manage their cerebral palsy – it can benefit both adults and children with the condition by assisting them with their mobility difficulties.
For children, physiotherapy can aid their physical development, whether that be walking, crawling or sitting. The physiotherapy can, and should, be done on a regular basis to ensure continuing muscle development and to help decrease muscle tightness and spasms. It can also help children with weak arms or legs, and manage uncontrolled movements.
For adults, physiotherapy is more about trying to control muscle action but it can also improve mobility and can help adults with balance and to reduce their risk of falls. The physiotherapy can improve quality of life by increasing independence. Some forms of physiotherapy can also increase muscle sensation through sensory stimulation.
Home physiotherapy is also available for anyone suffering with cerebral palsy and can increase intensity of muscle therapy. It also gives parents a chance, particularly with children, to get more involved with the therapy and help in goal setting/training, and improve parents’ general education about the condition.
As can be seen above, physiotherapy plays an important part in the treatment for people suffering with cerebral palsy and can help improve their quality of life.