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Exercise Physiology for Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition caused by injury to the brain that happens during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood, with one in 500 children born with cerebral palsy each year. Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for a group of movement disorders which affects people in many different ways depending on what part of the brain has been injured.

There are four main types of Cerebral Palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy is where muscles become stiff and tight. This makes it difficult to use muscles easily. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is where muscles move uncontrollably and involuntarily. Ataxic cerebral palsy is characterized by clumsiness, imprecision or instability. Mixed cerebral palsy is a combination of the above symptoms. Cerebral Palsy can also be classified as: Monoplegia - affecting one limb; Hemiplegia- affecting one side of the body (arm, trunk and leg); Diplegia - affects either both legs or both arms; and Quadriplegia - affects both arms and both legs.

Unlike many neurological disorders, cerebral palsy is not progressive. The first step of treatment is to have an initial consultation with an Exercise Physiologist. This consult will be used to assess CP symptoms, level of mobility and function and impact on your activities of daily living. The team at Exercise Matters will then tailor exercises to specific needs.

Exercise can help increase functional capacity and reduce risk of secondary health conditions due to inactivity for those with an ABI. As there can be large variation in ABI symptoms, individuals with ABI should always seek exercise programs tailored by an Exercise Physiologist according to the type and level of impairment. Exercise  rehabilitation is an important step towards recovery after an ABI. The team at Exercise Matters will tailor an exercise program to your needs with typical goals aimed at improving mobility, function, balance and coordination. The long term goal is to improve overall functional capacity.

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