Alternative Therapies for Children wi...

Alternative Therapies for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Posted in the Cerebral Palsy Forum

Since: Aug 12

Fredericksburg, TX

#1 Aug 9, 2012
Alternative Therapies for Children with Cerebral Palsy
By Antonia Lloyd-Davies

For some children with cerebral palsy, traditional therapy options just don't lead to big enough improvements. The families of these children may be interested in pursuing alternative therapies to better manage their child's cerebral palsy. There are several different alternative therapies available. Some of the most popular therapies pursued are therapeutic electrical stimulation, threshold electrical stimulation, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Therapeutic (Subthreshold) Electrical Stimulation

Also called neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NES), therapeutic electrical stimulation sends mild pulses of electricity into the body's motor nerves. This stimulation causes select muscle groups to contract. Many studies have demonstrated that NES appears to be effective in increasing range of motion and muscular strength. For children with stiff muscles or locked joints, NES can also help relax and strengthen these muscles, leading to greater control of the area.
Threshold Electrical Stimulation

Threshold electrical stimulation also involves the application to motor nerves of electrical stimulation. With this type of stimulation, however, the electrical pulses are sent at intensities too low to stimulate muscle contraction. The validity of this therapy is more highly disputed. Studies have not been able to confirm its effectiveness or show much improvement in patients who underwent the therapy.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

In some cases, cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage as a result of oxygen deprivation. Proponents of hyperbaric oxygen therapy propose that the brain tissue surrounding the damaged area can be “awakened” by forcing high concentrations of oxygen into the body under greater than atmospheric pressure. In this therapy, the child undergoes a number of treatments in an enclosed oxygen chamber. The extent of this therapy’s effectiveness remains unclear.

For more information about cerebral palsy and available treatments, please go to http://www.cpfamilynetwork.org/ .

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