Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a lifelong condition that often results due to a traumatic brain injury that occurred during birth. Many children who get diagnosed with it spend years of their early lives doing intensive physical therapy, getting operations, and taking medicines that help them deal with the muscle pain that can happen with this disorder.
However, that same kind of regimen should ideally be followed for people with Cerebral Palsy in adulthood, too. The bones and muscles of people with the disorder are often put under unusual, lifetime strain. As such, adults can experience degenerative problems that make it especially difficult to handle everyday activities, even if they were possible to achieve as children.
Even so, it’s crucial for adults to remain as active as possible as they learn how to cope with adulthood while also experiencing the effects of Cerebral Palsy.
Physical Therapy Can Be Beneficial
There are some similarities in adults with this condition, but no two people are exactly alike. As mentioned earlier, many people start going to physical therapy sessions soon after their childhood diagnoses. But, there’s no reason why those appointments should stop once the patients become adults.
Physical therapy can help adults with CP maintain their existing muscle strength. Also, some adults notice their muscles become progressively less flexible as they age. Physical therapists can target the most rigid muscle groups and place them in gently stretched positions to restore some of the original flexibility.
It’s common for people with CP to attend weekly physical therapy sessions as adults. Most physical therapists encourage their clients to stay as active as possible between visits. So, they frequently give people home programs to follow. Then, they can boost the chances of making gains even outside of therapists’ treatment rooms.
Massage Improves Quality of Life
Adults with Cerebral Palsy often have significant gait abnormalities and have to use mobility aids to remain mobile. Moreover, activities such as walking short distances or standing for prolonged periods can cause substantial muscle fatigue.
Although it’s essential for adults who have CP to maintain lifestyles that keep them in motion as much as is practical, some of them may find consistent physical activity causes extraordinary soreness. Then, they may feel discouraged about maintaining high levels of activity, despite knowing it’s necessary.
In those cases, massage therapy may improve the quality of life for the people concerned. Ideally, the professional who gives the massages should have an understanding of how the needs of people with CP may differ from those their other clients have. If the massage therapist has never treated a client with CP, that person can help by explaining which parts of the body are in the most discomfort.
It’s also helpful for a person receiving massage therapy to talk about their typical levels of activity and how they feel after those periods of being active. Those first-hand accounts can guide the massage therapist in understanding how best to help adults with CP feel better as they strive to stay active.
Cerebral Palsy Management Requires a Proactive Mindset
Innovations in medicine have made it so that some specialists can offer prenatal testing for people who are expecting kids. Harry Stylli is an expert in turning medical technology advancements into commercial activities. As the former president and CEO of Sequenom, a company that specializes in prenatal testing, he’s undoubtedly well aware of how valuable it can be for expectant parents.
However, Cerebral Palsy is not a disorder that’s evident through testing that occurs before birth. Some people who have it don’t receive diagnoses until two to three years after they’re born or even later. That means that the parents, caregivers, and friends of people with CP must be as proactive as possible while assisting in treatment plans — whether the individuals are children or adults.