Understanding the Limitations of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a static neurological condition that results from brain injury that occurs before brain development is complete. It can cause a range of physical and mental health issues, from difficulty walking and rolling over in bed to problems with eating, communicating, and even mental health. In this article, we'll explore the various limitations associated with cerebral palsy, as well as the treatments available to help manage them. Children with cerebral palsy have different degrees of difficulty moving depending on the type and severity of their condition, as well as the area of the body affected. For example, some may have difficulty using cutlery, holding a cup, or transferring food from a plate to their mouths with their hands due to impaired fine motor skills.

Others may experience gastroesophageal reflux, in which stomach acid rises into the esophagus, making eating uncomfortable or painful. In some cases, people with cerebral palsy may not be able to eat food by mouth and need to be fed through a feeding tube. Communication problems are also common among those with cerebral palsy. From birth to age 5, a child must achieve movement goals, also known as milestones, such as turning around, sitting, standing and walking. A delay in reaching these movement milestones could be a sign of cerebral palsy.

Other signs include uncontrolled or unpredictable movements, muscles that are stiff, weak, or tense, and shaky movements or tremors. When children have cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability, the incidence of epilepsy is higher: 48%. People with severe cerebral palsy may also have difficulty swallowing, breathing, controlling their head and neck, controlling their bladder and bowels, eating, and have dental and digestive problems. Caring for a disabled child can be a big burden on a family. However, with patience and the right treatment plan – such as muscle strengthening and fitness programs – it's possible to make life much easier for those with cerebral palsy. Mental health can also be affected by chronic pain, social isolation, and the loss of functionality and independence associated with cerebral palsy.

Caregivers and family members are at equal risk of depression and isolation. The summary results showed limited evidence of a reduction in spasticity in the lower extremities with unclear effects on the upper limbs. The American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) reported that while patients who received treatment for neurodevelopment showed some immediate improvement in dynamic range of motion, there was no consistent evidence that neurodevelopmental treatment changed abnormal motor responses or facilitated more normal motor development of functional motor activities. Cerebral palsy can be a difficult condition to manage but with good planning, routines, medical care, resources, and support it's possible to provide a great life for a child with cerebral palsy. From providing alternative activities for those with limited mobility to finding ways to reduce pain and improve communication skills – there are many ways to help those living with cerebral palsy.