Cerebral palsy (CP) is a movement disorder that usually arises during infancy or childhood. Early intervention is essential, as it can help children overcome many of the most challenging symptoms.
If you think your child may be experiencing cerebral palsy symptoms in Northern California, meet with a neurologist at Dignity Health North State for personal care. Find a Doctor at one of our nearby neurology centers:
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that cause trouble with physical movement. This chronic (lifelong) condition is due to abnormalities in the regions of the brain that control muscle movement and balance. While there is no cure for the disease, cerebral palsy treatments can help alleviate symptoms.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Researchers do not yet know exactly what causes cerebral palsy brain abnormalities. Most children are born with the condition, but it is not hereditary. Other children develop CP due to brain trauma, insufficient oxygen to the brain prior to birth or during delivery, premature birth, intrauterine growth restriction, or an infection (like meningitis) early in life.
Cerebral Palsy Symptoms
Because the condition affects the parts of the brain responsible for muscle movement, the earliest cerebral palsy symptoms include problems with balance and walking in toddlers.
Other signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy can include:
- Poor coordination
- Stiff muscles or muscle spasms
- Muscles that are either too rigid or too floppy
- Dragging a foot or leg when walking
- Walking on the toes instead of using the heels of the feet
- Impaired hearing and/or vision
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Developmental delays
Cerebral Palsy Treatments at Dignity Health North State
Treatments for cerebral palsy focus on improving symptoms and may include:
- Medications to treat seizures, stiff muscles, or pain
- Physical and occupational therapy to address poor coordination or muscle spasms
- Speech therapy
- Braces and orthotics for walking
- Wheelchairs and walkers to assist mobility
- Surgery to release severely tight muscles or correct anatomical abnormalities
Some children have mild symptoms that require modest treatment, while others have more severe symptoms that require additional support and care. Doctors at Dignity Health North State recognize that each child experiences cerebral palsy differently and offer all patients a personalized treatment plan. With early intervention, many children with cerebral palsy live full, rich lives.
Dignity Health North State cares for the mental, physical, and spiritual needs of patients with cerebral palsy in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.