Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of neurological disorders and disabilities that affects movement, balance, and posture. If you break up the words, cerebral has to do with the brain and palsy means weakness or lack of muscle control.

There is no one cause, but a combination of events before, during or after birth may lead to CP through an injury to the developing brain. As you can expect, these various causes can result in very different presentations or types of CP in both children and adults:

  • Spastic: Stiff and tight muscles; most common
  • Dyskinetic: Involuntary movements that is out of the individual’s control
  • Ataxic: Shaky movements that affect balance and positioning in space
  • Mixed: Combination of spastic, dyskinetic & ataxic
  • Quadriplegia: Both arms and legs affected
  • Diplegia: Both legs affected
  • Hemiplegia: One side of body affected (arm and leg)

Signs & Symptoms:

Cerebral palsy manifests differently in each individual, resulting in a wide range of symptoms. For instance, one individual may require a specialized wheelchair and lifelong care due to an inability to walk, while another may walk with a slight limp but remain entirely independent, without their condition being immediately apparent.

Whether an individual with CP is a child or adult, the most commonly experienced symptoms include:

  • Low tone
  • Muscle spasms and stiffness
  • Poor motor control
  • Delayed motor development and milestones
  • Pain
  • Intellectual disability
  • Inability to walk
  • Hip displacement
  • Inability to speak
  • Epilepsy
  • Incontinence
  • Behavioural or sleep disorders

Although cerebral palsy (CP) does not inherently cause other health conditions, it frequently coexists with additional issues. Caregivers and individuals with CP should be proactive in managing these co-occurring conditions to maintain overall health and quality of life:

  • Hearing deficits
  • Vision impairment
  • Seizures
  • Cognitive disability
  • ADHD
  • Behavioral, emotional issues
  • Feeding problems and nutritional deficiencies
  • Gastric reflux
  • Constipation
  • Scoliosis
  • Joint problems
  • Sleep disorders

How we treat Cerebral Palsy at Neuromotion:

Here at Neuromotion, we support clients with CP from an interdisciplinary approach. This includes having access to physiotherapy, kinesiology, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and counselling.

Movement difficulties, such as walking and functional mobility, are addressed with physiotherapy and kinesiology. Together, they help to build strength, optimise movement patterns and encourage participation in daily tasks (i.e. transfers, mobility) through various interventions, including resistance, balance and task-practice training, electrical stimulation, gait-retraining using overground, body weight-supported treadmill and Lokomat walking, and hydrotherapy. Alongside this, occupational therapy interventions address the needs of everyday tasks, such as feeding and dressing through fine-motor task practice and bimanual training, play therapy for physical development and skill acquisition, participation in cognitive learning activities and specialised equipment prescription or advice to support independence (i.e. walking frames, wheelchairs, car modifications and orthoses).

Speech pathology supports individuals with CP in developing their communication skills, including comprehension and expressive language abilities. Speech pathologists work on enhancing these skills and may also implement augmentative or alternative communication systems, such as signing, communication boards, and speech-generating devices. Additionally, speech pathologists play a crucial role in providing strategies and assistance for saliva control and swallowing.

Addressing the emotional and behavioral challenges faced by individuals with CP, our counselors offer behavior and cognitive-behavior therapies, as well as strengths-based counseling and support, to both individuals with CP and their families.

At Neuromotion, our clinic is dedicated to holistically enhancing the overall well-being and quality of life for those with cerebral palsy, empowering them to live well with their condition.