Cerebral palsy is a disorder that is caused because some parts of the brain that control muscular movement are damaged. There is still no single cure for this disorder but various treatments are available to help elevate the patient’s suffering.
No single doctor can help to treat a patient who has cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy patients need a team of health care professionals who can develop a treatment especially for them depending upon their needs and problems. When planning a series of treatment for a cerebral palsy patient it is necessary to involve the family members, teachers, caregivers so that everyone gets a role to play in the treatment.
A team of health care professionals involving a pediatrician, pediatric psychiatrist and a pediatric neurologist gives those suffering from Cerebral Palsy treatment. A team of doctors comprising a family doctor, neurologist and a psychiatrist treats adults with cerebral palsy. While a pediatric psychiatrist provides primary care for a child suffering from cerebral palsy, a psychiatrist provides primary care for adults suffering from cerebral palsy. Other specialised health care professional who are also involved in treating patients with cerebral palsy include an orthopedist, physical therapist, speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, social worker and a psychologist.
Physical therapy is an important aspect of treatment, which should begin the moment cerebral palsy, is diagnosed in a patient. The patients should be taught a series of exercises that would involve moving their limbs so that it will help prevent their muscles form becoming weak or rigid due to contracture. Physical therapy when used in combination of special braces will help a child immensely and prevent contraction of spastic muscles that are stretched.
Treatment involves teaching children small exercises so that they can about their work independently. Most of these are suitably designed for children with cerebral palsy so that they can do small chores like brushing their teeth, dressing, writing and using the bathroom with any help.
Speech therapy, psychotherapy and medication for seizures are some of the other treatment that patients of cerebral palsy given. Speech therapy helps children with Cerebral palsy as they have problems when pronouncing words. Because of the disorder, cerebral palsy patients would often find it difficult to swallow and this often leads to drooling. Speech therapy helps in both communication and swallowing.
Medication is given to help prevent seizures from occurring. Almost all patients with cerebral palsy will be susceptible to seizures and to prevent this medications are given. Patients are also prescribed muscle relaxants and other medicines to help relieve their symptoms. Psychotherapy is used along with physical therapy so that the patient learns to improve both motor and muscular development. Lots of kind words and praise will help to instill confidence in their child suffering from cerebral palsy.
Positive reinforcement is an important tool that is used when treating children with cerebral palsy as it encourages them to use their weak limbs to walk, overcome defects in speech and helps to prevent negative behavior like biting and hair pulling.