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Important information about

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

"Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain. This usually happens before a child is born, but it can occur at birth or in early infancy. In many cases, the cause isn't known"

CEREBRAL PALSY describes a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation, that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain.

Cerebral Palsy


  • Ataxic cerebral palsy
  • Poor balance and lack of coordination
  • Wide-base gait
  • Tendency to fall and stumble
  • Inability to walk straight line
  • Least common (5-10%) cases

Athetoid/Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy

  • Abnormal involuntary movements
  • Fluctuating tone
  • Interferes with speaking, feeding, reaching, grabbing, and any other skills
  •  20% of the CP cases
  • Increased muscle tone, tense and contracted muscle
  • Have stiff and jerky or awkward movements
  • Limbs are usually underdeveloped
  • Increased deep tendon reflexes
  • 70-80% cases

Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy:
Don't Ignore These!


Children who weigh less than 5 1/2 pounds (2,500 grams) at birth, and especially those who weigh less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces (1,500 grams) have a greater chance of having CP.


Children who were born before the 37th week of pregnancy, especially if they were born before the 32nd week of pregnancy, have a greater chance of having CP.


Twins, triplets, and other multiple births have a higher risk for CP, especially if a baby’s twin or triplet dies before birth or shortly after birth.


When too much bilirubin builds up in a new baby’s body, the skin and whites of the eyes might look yellow. This yellow coloring is called jaundice. When severe jaundice goes untreated for too long, it can cause a condition called kernicterus. This can cause CP and other conditions.


Children born from pregnancies resulting from the use of some infertility treatments have a greater chance of having CP. Most of the increased risk is explained by preterm delivery or multiple births, or both.


Infections can lead to increases in certain proteins called cytokines that circulate in the brain and blood of the baby during pregnancy. Cytokines cause inflammation, which can lead to brain damage in the baby. Fever in the mother during pregnancy or delivery also can cause this problem.


Mothers with thyroid problems, intellectual disability, or seizures have a slightly higher risk of having a child with CP.


Detachment of the placenta, uterine rupture, or problems with the umbilical cord during birth can disrupt oxygen supply to the baby and result in CP.

How Physiotherapy Help? - Cerebral Palsy

(1) Manual stretching – may increase range of movements, reduce spasticity, or improve walking efficiency in children with spasticity. Stretch may be applied in a number of ways during neurological rehabilitation to achieve different effects.

(2) Weight bearing – to reduce contracture in the lower limb through use of Tilt-tables, and standing frames through a prolonged stretch.

(3) Splinting – Splints and casts are external devices designed to apply, distribute or remove forces to or from the body in a controlled manner to perform one or both basic functions of control of body motion and alteration or prevention in the shape of body tissue.

(4) Muscle strengthening exercise – It aims to increase the power of weak antagonist muscles and of the corresponding spastic agonists and to provide the functional benefits of strengthening in children with CP.

(5) Functional activities – Training related to specific functional activities combining aerobic and anaerobic capacity and strength training in ambulatory children, has been shown to significantly improve overall physical fitness, the intensity of activities, and quality of life.

(6) Hippotherapy – Gross Motor Function including Muscle tone, Range of Movement, Balance, Coordination and Postural Control in children with CP have been shown to improve with Hippotherapy – Therapeutic horse-back riding which may reduce the degree of motor disability.