Currently, there’s no cure for cerebral palsy. But a variety of resources and therapies can provide help and improve the quality of life for kids with CP.
Different kinds of therapy can help them achieve their maximum potential in growth and development. As soon as CP is diagnosed, a child can begin therapy for movement, and other areas that need help, such as learning, speech, hearing, and social and emotional development.
In addition, medicine, surgery, or braces can help improve muscle function. Orthopedic surgery can help repair dislocated hips and scoliosis (curvature of the spine), which are common problems associated with CP. For severe muscle pain or stiffness, kids can take medication by mouth or given through a pump (the baclofen pump) implanted under the skin.
Kids can improve their bone health by eating diets high in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. These nutrients help keep bones strong. Doctors, nutritionists, and even speech-language therapists can work with families to make sure kids are getting enough of the right nutrients and suggest changes to their diets or mealtime routines, if needed.
A variety of medical specialists might be needed to treat different medical conditions. Even if several medical specialists are needed, it’s still important to have a primary care doctor or a CP specialist. This doctor will take care of your child’s routine health care and also help you coordinate your child’s care.
CP is partly preventable through immunization of the mother and efforts to prevent head injuries in children such as through improved safety. Medications such as diazepam, baclofen, and botulinum toxin may help relax stiff muscles. Surgery may include lengthening muscles and cutting overly active nerves. Often external braces and other assistive technology are helpful. Some affected children can achieve near normal adult lives with appropriate treatment.