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By Tara Shakti, eHow Contributor
In patients with cerebral palsy, the brain (cerebral) has difficulty communicating with the muscles of the body (palsy). As a result, poor muscle coordination and movement control often result, and depending on the severity of the condition, symptoms can range from mild (clumsiness) to severe (not being able to walk at all). In most cases, balance is compromised. Here a few therapies used to help improve balance in patients with cerebral palsy.
1. Practicing yoga poses will not only help to loosen and stretch tight muscles, which is so often characteristic of children with cerebral palsy, but will also help to balance both sides of the body and improve core strength, which is necessary for good balance and posture.
2. A horse's gait provides a sense of rhythm to a patient with cerebral palsy and encourages the patient to align his torso and hips correctly. This alignment improves posture and balance, not to mention core strength and coordination, all of which aids in sitting and eventually standing and walking. A physical therapist will often have your child sit in a variety of positions and reach for items to help increase her balance.
Using an Exercise Ball
3. In 1965, physical therapists in Switzerland started using an exercise ball (also called
a gym ball, stability ball, fitness ball, therapy ball, balance ball, or medicine ball) for children with cerebral palsy. Use an exercise ball to increase flexibility, stretch and tone different muscles, as well as improve balance and posture. Have your child sit on the ball. Hold her thighs for support and then gently tilt her to one side. Wait a beat and then tilt her to the next side. All the while, encourage her to place each opposite hand on the ball for support.
Using a Balance Board
4. According to a study published in the Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (2003), balance training in children with cerebral palsy demonstrated an overall improvement in their ability to recover stability, indicating that balance board training may be an effective tool to use in treating patients with cerebral palsy.
Read more: Ways to Improve Balance in Cerebral Palsy Patients | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/way_5316801_ways-balance-cerebral-palsypatients.html#ixzz1CAL1CU6U
Deborah Kartin PhD PT3. A single-subject. Robert Price MSME4. two females.e.2003. Area per second (i. All children demonstrated a significant improvement in their ability to recover stability as demonstrated by reduced center of pressure area and time to stabilization following training. two with spastic hemiplegia (Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] level I) and four with spastic diplegia (GMFCS level II. 3. mean age 9 years 2 months. immediately posttraining. The intervention phase consisted of massed practice on the moving platform (100 perturbations/day for 5 days). range 7 years 5 months to 12 years 11 months) with cerebral palsy (CP). Anne Shumway-Cook PhD PT1. pages 591–602. 4. Six children with CP (four males. Analysis included hierarchical linear modeling and a repeated measures ANOVA. Susan Hutchinson MS PT2.1111/j.tb00963. Four children were diagnosed with spastic diplegia (Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] level II) and two with spastic hemiplegia (GMFCS level I). 2. two females. These improvements were still present 30 days following completion of training.) were given 5 days of intensive training in reactive balance control (100 perturbations per day on a moveable force platform). Effect of balance training on muscle activity used in recovery of stability in children with cerebral palsy : a pilot study Résumé / Abstract This study explored possible neural mechanisms that contribute to improvements in balance control produced by reactive balance training in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Surface electromyography was used to characterize changes in neuromuscular responses pretraining.*. September 2003 Effect of balance training on recovery of stability in children with cerebral palsy 1.Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology Volume 45. Training in reactive balance control resulted in improvements in . mean age 9y 4mo). area covered by the center of pressure over a one second period) and time to stabilization from center of pressure measures were calculated following perturbations.x This study examined the effect of massed practice in balance recovery of stability in six children (four males. Issue 9. SD 2 years.1469-8749. A moveable forceplate system was used to test and train reactive balance control. 5. multiplebaseline experimental design involving three pairs of children matched for diagnosis was used. Marjorie Woollacott PhD5 Article first published online: 13 FEB 2007 DOI: 10. and 1 month posttraining. Results suggest that postural control mechanisms in school-age children (7 to 13 years) with CP are modifiable.
Jia-Jin Jason PhD. and both types of children were equally affected by the type of visual input.directional specificity of responses (a basic level of response organization) and other spatial/temporal characteristics including: (1) faster activation of muscle contraction after training.lww. http://journals. reducing coactivation).pp 336-343 Research Articles Performance of Static Standing Balance in Children With Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Under Altered Sensory Environments1 Cherng. Kuan. Su. allowing children to recover stability faster.com/ajpmr/Abstract/1999/07000/Performance_of_Static_Standing_B alance_in_Children. the difference in stance stability between the children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and their matched controls was significantly greater when the visual input was deprived (occluded) or unreliable (sway referenced) than when it was reliable. The type of visual input (full. These results suggest that the children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy may have difficulties in resolving intersensory conflicts for maintenance of standing balance. Each child with spastic hemiplegia or diplegia showed a different combination of factors that contributed to improved performance. (2) emergence of a distal-proximal muscle sequence.inist.8. PT2.and gender-matched nondisabled children participated in the present study for an investigation and comparison of their static standing balance under altered sensory environments. or sway referenced vision) and the type of somatosensory input (fixed or compliant foot support) were varied factorially to give six sensory environments.Volume 78 .aspx . However. the level of change in neural factors depended on the severity of involvement of the child: hemiplegia vs diplegia. http://cat. occluded. and (3) improved ability to modulate the amplitude of muscle activity (increased amplitude of agonist and decreased amplitude of antagonist. and level of involvement within each diagnostic category. MD Abstract Seven children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and 14 age. A force platform collected the ground reaction force. there was no significant difference in stance stability between the children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and their matched controls. or the demands of motor control in sensory conflict conditions outweigh the motor ability of children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.Issue 4 . Each participant was tested barefooted for 30 s under all six conditions. Rong-Ju MA. from which standing balance was calculated as the sway area of the center of pressure. Ta-Shen MS. The results showed that when somatosensory information was reliable (fixed foot support). Fong-Chin PhD.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=16874890 American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: July/August 1999 . when somatosensory information was unreliable (compliant foot support). Chen.