Effective Treatments for Cerebral Palsy in El Paso
Knowing what is best for your child if diagnosed with cerebral palsy can be challenging. Often, a doctor recommends starting your child off with the least invasive treatments. If these treatments help, surgery or medication might not be needed. To help you learn more about your options, we discuss several treatments.
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
Physical therapy is one of the first forms of treatment that a doctor will have a patient partake in, usually a couple of years shortly after diagnosis. Physical therapy is one of the most important and helpful steps that one can take. This treatment includes activities designed to improve the following:
- Muscle strength
In addition to physical therapy, children will usually start out with occupational therapy. This treatment helps a child learn how to do everyday activities such as:
- Getting dressed
- Picking things up
- Going to school
- Other fine motor skills
A therapist helps a patient develop and improve the skills needed for daily living and operating.
Speech therapy is also part of treating children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. A therapist can help a child learn the following through speech therapy:
- Speaking more concisely and clearly
- Chewing and swallowing
- New ways to communicate (sign language, special communication devices, other methods)
This form of therapy often goes hand in hand with occupational therapy, especially if a child has problems with eating and swallowing.
Recreational therapy for children is designed to help them learn, build and improve their physical, social, and intellectual skills. A therapist will often have patients participating in the following to improve skills:
- Art programs
- Cultural activities
- Sports or athletics
- Board games
- Dance and movement
- And much more
Recreational therapy is also helpful in improving one’s psychological health and well-being.
There are certain medicines that an El Paso doctor can prescribe to help relax stiff or overactive muscles and to help reduce abnormal movement. Most medicines for cerebral palsy can be taken by mouth or can be injected into the muscles. Sometimes, medication can be infused into the fluid surrounding the spinal through a pump. But a doctor will recommend therapy before prescribing medication.
Thanks to advances in technology, there are assistive devices to help those with cerebral palsy. Many of these assistive devices include special computer-based communication machines, which can help make daily life and activities easier to accomplish.
If you are not seeing progress with your child during physical therapy, a doctor may recommend your child use a brace or other orthotic devices. These devices make certain movements much easier, allowing those with cerebral palsy to be more independent. Orthotics also include:
- Rolling walkers
- Powered scooters
If a child’s symptoms are severe, a doctor may consider surgery. Surgery can help stiff and tightly contracted muscles. A surgeon can also correct the positioning of arms, legs, and/or an abnormally curved spine. Surgery, additionally, can be used to cut certain nerves to treat abnormal, spastic movements. Before proceeding with surgery, a doctor will carefully analyze the biomechanics of the joints and muscles.
Learn More About Your Child’s Diagnosis Can Be Treated at Pasitos Clinic
Now that you know that there are many forms of treatment available for your child’s condition, you can get started with just the right clinic. Contact us online or call (915) 307-7612 today to learn more about how we can help.