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Cerebral Palsy And Massage Therapy Treatment

Susanna Gunn
Cerebral Palsy And Massage Therapy Treatment

Cerebral Palsy And Massage Therapy Treatment

What is Cerebral Palsy?

The term “Cerebral” means a disorder of the brain and “palsy” means weakness of muscle”. in simple words, a Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect the balance, movement, and muscle tone of an individual. As it is a disorder that affects the functioning of the brain and movement of muscles, it can affect any person at any age. It is quite strange that some people are inherently affected by cerebral palsy right from birth. People with cerebral palsy are found to be encountered problems related to muscle movement and they find it difficult in walking, speak, etc. Some affected with cerebral palsy are also found to be suffering from intellectual disabilities. 

Causes And Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

As mentioned above, cerebral palsy is primarily caused due to abnormal brain development or damage to the functioning of the brain and muscles. However, some of the major causes of cerebral palsy are:

  • Gene mutations
  • Maternal infections
  • Fetal stroke
  • Bleeding into brain
  • Infant infections
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Lack of oxygen

The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from person to person. Some of the common symptoms noticed in people affected by cerebral palsy are as follows:

  • Stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes
  • Variations in muscle tone
  • Stiff muscles with normal reflexes
  • Lack of balance and muscle coordination
  • Jerky involuntary movements
  • Favoring one side of the body
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills
  • Delays in speech development
  • Excessive drooling
  • Intellectual disability

Types of cerebral palsy

The brain and muscular disorder, Cerebral palsy is mainly classified into four major types:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy

Spastic cerebral palsy is one of the most common types of CP found among many. It usually occurs when your muscles are stiff, tight, or spasm. It is further divided into three sub-categories named, spastic diplegia (where muscle stiffness occurs in the legs), spastic hemiplegia (one side of the body s affected), and spastic quadriplegia ( limbs, torso, and face are affected equally).

  • Dyskinetic cerebral palsy

This very kind of cerebral palsy occurs when the muscle tone and movements are uncontrolled. Here muscle tone would be too tight or too loose, followed by slow and twisting, or quick and jerky movements. It is also divided into three sub-categories athetoid (movements are slow and curvy), choreoathetosis (movements are not controlled), and dystonic (muscle tone is not normal). 

  • Ataxic cerebral palsy

The ataxic type of cerebral palsy occurs due to problems related to coordination and balance. Due to this, you may face issues while walking, speaking, writing, and so on.

  • Mixed cerebral palsy

Here as the name suggests, it is a type of cerebral palsy that occurred due to a mixed reason. It is mainly a combination of spastic and dyskinetic cerebral palsy. 

How does massage therapy help in the treatment of cerebral palsy?

Massage therapy plays a vital role in the treatment of cerebral palsy as it is a manual manipulation of soft body tissues such as muscles, connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments. Some of the prime benefits of using massage therapy for the treatment of cerebral palsy are as follows:

  • Increase or reduce muscle tone depending on how you apply massage
  • Reduce spasticity
  • Encourage muscle flexibility
  • Assisting posture and walking
  • Encourage motor function
  • Help loosen tight muscles which hold bones and joints in a particular position
  • Increase range of motion
  • Help to ease muscle tension and stiffness
  • Improve cognition
  • Less limb activity during face-to-face play interactions
  • More positive facial expressions


Approaching the right registered massage therapist is the step involved in the treatment of cerebral palsy. It improves muscle tones, and motor skills and prevents movement problems from getting worse. The massage therapy sessions will help to improve the strength and flexibility of muscles as well.

Susanna Gunn
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