Cerebral Palsy stretches

The stretches and exercise a physical therapist recommends will depend on how bad our cerebral palsy is.

No two people with cerebral palsy are alike and therefore no two treatment programmes are likely to be the same. As a general rule, neuro-physiotherapists (who deal with brain injuries) who deal with cerebral palsy patients, will apply techniques that work on muscle stiffness and tension that is a characteristic of cerebral palsy.

The techniques include both a strengthening and stretching component. Stretches will aim to apply a constant pull of the muscle, whilst being gentle at the same time. This will slowly increase in intensity.

Since cerebral palsy is a permanent condition, both stretches and exercises should be practiced daily so that wellness may be achieved. Around five to twenty hours a week should be spent on building muscle strength.

The physical therapist’s job is to help you achieve a smooth but healthier muscle tone so that you can function. As well as stretches that aim to build strength, other exercise and cerebral palsy stretch programmes will be used to help correct the affected muscle groups.

Cerebral Palsy patients tend to have to deal with mobility and incorrect posture which add to their problems. Because most of the problems tend to be in the arm and leg area, techniques will be used to concentrate on those areas in order to keep them limber. In time a more smooth and uniformed muscle tone should develop.

Safe stretching and exercise in water is also a good way for people with cerebral palsy to do their daily exercises as more therapists now use this technique. Water tends to offer a more natural resistance and assistance when performing daily exercises without putting too much pressure on the joints.

Currents in the water are used to pump up natural resistance, making it easier to work the muscles harder whilst assisting in movement and mobility.

22 Jun, 2010

8 thoughts on “Cerebral Palsy stretches

  1. Wow, it takes alot of exercise and dedication to exercise for you to deal with your CP. I commend you for this and I am joining you in exercise as I have started to do yoga at home with a video teacher. Just to get limber and feel good about myself, learning breathing techniques and overall well being. Don’t we feel better after we exercise?? I know I do…

    1. I do Maria, but it is very short lived for me. My CP prevents me from doing as much as I would like. So proud of you.

  2. You are right about stretching being important. I find it much easier said than done to do it everyday. I’m more motivated now since my last surgery to lengthen my muscles but it is still a constant struggle. Always good to know we don’t go through the fight alone.

  3. You are right about it being easier said than done, but I think on the days I cannot motivate myself I tell myself it is okay not to them, as I probably wouldn’t do a good job on them. I always go back to them though, that is my life.

  4. Stretches and exercising are very important. When I was kid at school that wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but back then i didn’t know why I needed those types of stretches. Now I am older I am regretting it more. Who knows if I keep doing them I will be much better then I am today. However, it’s never too late to get a program at home and keep working at it..

    1. You are absolutely right Jr. It’s never too late to start. It may take you longer to get to the stage you would have got to had you started your exercises earlier, but exercise is always beneficial, especially because you have CP. Never give up.

  5. My son has a pretty severe case of CP, but he has a mixture of decreased and increased tone in his muscles. He is also visually impaired, so he goes to the school for the blind in our state (Wisconsin, USA). I am so thankful for that school.

    He gets every type of therapy he needs, occupational, physical, speech, vision, orientation and mobility, music therapy, you name it. He also gets to go swimming, which he absolutely loves!

    I recommend that anyone who visits this site, should try aquatic therapy because it’s easier on the joints and muscles. Just try and find a pool where you live that is at a warmer temperature and feel the stiffness melt away, if only for an hour.

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