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Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is an umbrella term which is used to describe a broad spectrum of symptoms and presentations that can effect a child. Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the developing brain either in utero, during birth or during the early years.

The cause of CP is sometimes unknown but typical causes include prematurity, birth asphyxia, trauma, infection (meningitis and encephalitis) vascular and genetic causes.


When children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy different terminology is often used to describe possible characteristics of each child’s individual presentation cerebral-palsy-2depending on distribution and muscle tone.

  • Quadraplegia (all 4 limbs are affected)
  • Diplegia (Lower limbs are predominantly affected)
  • Hemiplegia (one side of the body is affected)
  • Hypertonia (an increase in muscle tone / stiffness)
  • Hypotonia (reduction in muscle tone, muscles appear floppy and weak)
  • Dyskinetic (fluctuating muscle tone ranging between low and high)

When does my child require Physiotherapy?

Early intervention is of paramount importance in the treatment of Cerebral Palsy.

Beth Williamson has specialist training in Prechtls Assessment of general movements to aid assessment and detection of abnormal neurology in high risk infants.

Babies learn from their environment from the moment they are born. A baby with cerebral palsy is not able to learn from their environment and develop normal movement patterns in the same way that other babies and children learn.

Early physiotherapy intervention will aim to promote and develop normal movement patterns encouraging your children to reach key developmental milestone and reach their full potential, we will work closely with family and carers, educating and empowering parents to help their child to succeed.

As my child gets older!!!

As your child ages and increases in height and weight it may become more difficult for them to maintain their posture and limbs against gravity and the effort required to maintain their physical abilities can be difficult.

Bones and muscles don’t grow at the same rate and during periods of growth you may notice your child has increased difficulties carrying out their normal daily activities. This is due to increased tightness and weakness during periods of growth. If your child is in mainstream school the gap between their abilities and those of their peers can widen over time.

Aims of physiotherapy may include:

  • Maintaining / improving joint range
  • Facilitation of normal movement
  • Muscle strengthening
  • We can advise on your child’s statement of educational need to help them to get additional support in nursery, school and college.

Would you like to find out more about the Physio Hub based in the North East? Send us a message or call us on 01429 869283.

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