The best part of a cerebral palsy therapy is exercising. There are numerous advantages for a child suffering from cerebral palsy to exercise because it improves muscle strength, flexibility, muscle tone and mobility. Exercises also help the bones, since it gives them structure and also improves their strength. There is a misconception that one has to employ an expert therapist for the treatment of cerebral palsy. But parents themselves can teach and help their children perform exercises if they are willing to spend some time with the child. However they should remember to consult an expert in regard to the exercises for cerebral palsy, so that the therapist can advise good programs considering the child’s age.
In the normal development of a baby we can notice that the arms and legs of the baby are in continuous motion. When a baby rolls, crawls and sits, the baby will be exercising without any efforts. Spontaneous exercises are limited for babies with cerebral palsy because they will not be able to do all these movements. Babies with CP are inactive when compared to other babies because of which exercises are very essential for children with cerebral palsy. Movements of any type will help the child to maintain its potential. Sensory and motor exercises are the building blocks for development of cognitive skills.
Some of the exercises that a child can be made to do are as follows:
If throwing the child up in the air helps the child to become stiff, think of some activity involving the trunk rotation and even leg separation, this can be done to reduce the child’s tone. Another alternative for this is the game of merry-go-round. One should always remember that a low-tone child responds to fast movements, while a child with high-tone will respond in slower pace. There are two common guidelines which can be followed by the parents and caretakers of the children suffering from cerebral palsy to make the child move which is a part of their exercise regimen. The first guideline is that they can place the objects necessary far from the child, so that the child may crawl to get them. And the second is to encourage the child to do physical activities those of which the child is capable of doing independently.
Arm and leg cycling are the best exercises for children with cerebral palsy. Stationary machines can be used while doing this in indoors, and fitted machines are used in the outdoors. The child can enjoy doing this while it strengthens the muscles. Another basic thing that a child with cerebral palsy should do is stretching. This should be considered as the base of all other exercises along with jogging and stair climbing which are simple activities that help in muscle flexibility.
One can encourage movement of the child through roughhouse play for young children whereas other children make it a part of their regular exercise. This cerebral palsy exercise is important for the development of touch and vestibular which means response to movement. The child will enjoy roughhousing and it will be beneficial only if the caretakers pay attention to the child’s body.