Management / Treatment of Cerebral Palsy

The best term used for treatment of cerebral palsy is management rather than treatment. The management process is called Habilitation. Habilitation is a process of making the child with disability maximally able through the application of habilitation principles & techniques.

Principles of proper habilitation

  • Proper evaluation for individual management
  • Early intervention
  • Holistic program
  • Team work

 Proper evaluation means

  • to do proper assessment to know the abilities and disabilities of the child
  • to plan a pediatric therapy program to assess progress.
  • to add observation to the diagnostic picture.

Early intervention

  • Increasing functional ability to decrease the secondary effects of Spasticity &other primary problems

Holistic program
The program should contain the following components

  • Handling, carrying and transfer techniques
  • Postural management
  • Movement therapy
  • Play therapy

Team work

  • It is necessary to have a team. As cerebral palsy is considered a complex disorder, the child can have a combination of associated problems. There is a great need of Family support and Professional support.

Management Team
The management team should have the following Experts to get the best result.

  • Pediatrician ( Developmental Pediatrician)
  •  Neurologist (Pediatric Neurologist)
  •  Developmental Therapist
  •  Pediatric Occupational Therapist
  •  Pediatric Physiotherapist
  •  Pediatric Speech Therapist
  •  Special Educator (Trained for CP not MR /Autism)
  •  Clinical Psychologist
  • Orthotician
  •  Specialized Carpenter
  •  Orthopedic Surgeon ( Trained for CP)
  • Urologist
  • Eye Specialist
  • ENT Surgeon
  • Others

Parents should visit those centre / hospital where there is a competent team available. It is not necessary that all the Experts should be under one roof only. But there should be coordination between professionals and one professional should be the team leader or key worker. Generally Developmental Pediatricians are considered best team leader as the consultant knows all about the medicines and therapies. Poor results have been seen with children who have visited isolated professional.   

Management Techniques
The available management techniques are classified into three categories namely,
- Standard Techniques
- Experimental Techniques
- Exploratory Techniques

Standard Techniques
The management techniques which have been used universally are considered as standard techniques. It has the following components

  • Pediatric Therapy
  • Drugs Therapy
  • Chemodenervation 
  • Orthopedic Surgery

Experimental Techniques< Those techniques which are used in selective cases with some result are considered as experimental techniques.

  • Intrathecal baclofen therapy
  • Rhizotomy
  •  Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy
  •  Stem Cell therapy

Exploratory Techniques
Those techniques which are used to explore the possibility of improvement are considered as exploratory techniques

  • Acupuncture
  •  Reflexology
  •  Homeopathy
  •  Ayurveda
  •  Unani
  •  G-therapy
  •  Adeli Suit therapy
  •  Dolphin therapy
  • Osteopathy
  •  Biofeedback therapy
  •  Others

Always remember- Pediatric therapy is the universal components of any therapy program. Without good pediatric therapy arrangement, no experimental or exploratory therapy should be started.