Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned about the stiffness in your 17 month old baby diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy hinders proper motor development due to which a child's movement and muscle coordination gets impaired. However, there are a number of treatments that help a child overcome his disabilities. Of all these, physical therapy for cerebral palsy is of great help. A physical therapist is trained to improve muscle coordination and movement, through exercise and other devices. Positioning is done to reduce unwanted tone and to attain long stretches. For this purpose, a number of devices like braces, knee mobilisers, pillows, casts or splints may be used.
The Bobath treatment aims to improve posture and movement to enable more realistic functioning in daily life. Through specialised ways of handling, stiffness can be reduced, muscle control against gravity increased and fluctuating muscle activity stabilised. Depending on the severity of the condition, the child may be better able to learn how to sit up, use his/her hands, to stand up, to stand, and to walk. Ideally the treatment will be an integral part of the daily routine for that child. For example, the way the child is picked up, carried, put down, or positioned when sitting, will enable parents/carers to enhance the child's ability and function.
The aims of the treatment are goal-orientated and influenced by several factors such as the age of the child, severity of their condition and their motivation. Treatment is planned for each child via assessment. Some of the areas that will be assessed are:
â¢ the patterns of movement the child presents with;
â¢ age-appropriate movements that the child may not be achieving or may find difficult;
â¢ the child's present capabilities;
â¢ examination of the child's posture in different situations and positions.
Once the child has been assessed, a prioritized 'problem-solving' list will be formulated, and then appropriate techniques used to address these areas.Positioning is very important in Bobath treatment. Correct positioning helps improve movements. Experience of different positions is necessary to improve overall body control and reduce the risk of unnecessary poor posture.Handling a child using key points on the body allows the therapist to manipulate the child to correct their movements. Help may be given with movements like chewing, handling objects, moving about, sitting or lying down. Even when a child is being carried, using correct positioning and handling of 'key points' on the child's body, is considered very important, as this lets the child experience, as far possible, normal movement patterns.
You may consult a physical therapist for more detailed assessment and the use of devices and machines.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.
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