Cerebral palsy is not a single condition but rather a wide term that includes a number of non-progressive motor conditions that are responsible for severe disability in human development. Cerebral palsy mainly affects different areas of body movement. This disorder involves connections between the cortex of the brain and other parts such as cerebellum. Therefore, it causes damage in motor control centers, which are caused during the development of a brain, during pregnancy, during childbirth, or any time before the child is three years old.
Manifests of cerebral palsy
When damage to the motor control centers is done, a child will start to manifest severe limitations in movement and posture. In some cases, even the disturbances in sensation, depth perception, communication and cognition are possible. People affected with cerebral palsy usually have abnormal muscle tone, they have strange reflexes and their motor development and coordination are very poor. Most of the individuals will also suffer from some kind of joint and bone deformities and may suffer from spasms, involuntary movements, problems in balance and decreased muscle mass. Most of these individuals may have problems with walking but their motor dysfunction can range anywhere from mild clumsiness to severe impairment.
Exercises for people with cerebral palsy
As stated many times before, all individuals can benefit from regular exercise: old, young, healthy and disabled. Exercises for cerebral palsy offer many great advantages to patients affected with this disease. Exercises may improve flexibility of these patients; improve their muscle tone, strength and overall mobility. Regular physical exercise preserves bone structure and bone health, but its benefits are reaching to all other realms of healthy living. For example, patients will benefit from better lung function and improved blood circulation. Last but not the least, after being physically active a patient will benefit from general feeling of well-being, reduce negative emotions and feel much more refreshed.
However, not every kind of exercise is appropriate for people with cerebral palsy. Patients should consult with their physicians and occupational therapists and try to find the type of exercise that works the best for them. For example, patients may perform arm and leg cycling exercises on stationary machines, or enjoy stretching exercises that are very beneficial for all body systems. Patients may also enjoy dancing or swimming and promote mobility, breathing and circulation. Actually, any kind of activity that encourages movement can be extremely beneficial. Not only the physical exercise delivers a lot of benefits to health but it also promotes greater independence and self-sufficiency.