Cerebral palsy is where multiple neurological conditions cause impaired movement and coordination. Neurological conditions occur due to an abnormality or damage to the brain or nervous system. The abnormality or damage usually occurs before, during or shortly after birth.
The main causes of cerebral palsy include;
- Infection during pregnancy
- Bleeding in the baby’s brain
- Changes In genes that affect the development of the brain
- Premature birth
- Difficulties during birth
Those affected by cerebral palsy often experience a range of negative effects caused by the condition. The most common negative effects of cerebral palsy include;
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle stiffness
- Problems with balance or coordination
- Fits or seizures
- Swallowing difficulties also known as dysphagia
- Uncontrolled body movements
How can massage help cerebral palsy?
A massage at Massage.physio.co.uk can help to relieve a range of symptoms people may experience when suffering with cerebral palsy. The most common ways a massage can treat cerebral palsy include;
- Reduced muscle stiffness
- Improved muscle tone
The most often ways a massage can help treat cerebral palsy includes reduced muscle stiffness and improved muscle tone.
Reduced muscle stiffness
A massage is a hugely effective method to help reduce muscle stiffness. Muscle stiffness can increase pain, restrict movement and increase stress. A massage helps to reduce muscle stiffness by encouraging muscle relaxation. During a massage friction created between the skin and fingers causes an increase in circulation. An increase in circulation helps to increase the temperature of muscular tissues. Increasing temperature of muscular tissues helps to loosen and relax muscles enabling them to stretch further. Increasing relaxation of muscles results in increased flexibility and range of movement, therefore reducing muscle stiffness. A study by Hernandez-Reif M et al also shows massage can improve movement ability in those that took part, proving massage is an effective form of treatment for those with cerebral palsy.
Improved muscle tone
Poor muscle tone can be described as either ‘high’ muscle tone of ‘low’ muscle tone. Poor muscle tone can increase muscle tightness, contribute to muscle weakness and can often cause muscle imbalance around the body. A massage helps to improve muscle tone by relieving muscle tightness and tension whilst also increasing healing. Muscle tightness and tension reduces when muscle temperature increases due to an improvement in blood flow. An increase in muscle temperature allows muscles to relax and tension to release. Improving blood flow provides muscles with an increase in oxygen and nutrients essential for the repair and regeneration of damaged or weakened tissues. Increasing healing also helps to build muscular strength. Reducing muscle tightness and increasing healing help to improve muscle tone. In the same study by Hernandez Reif M et al, the results had shown that massage had improved muscle tone in the arms. Improving muscle tone helps to increase strength and mobility.
Overall a massage can produce a range of effective and positive effects for those suffering with cerebral palsy. The overall benefits of a massage for cerebral palsy include;
- Decreased muscle tightness
- Increased relaxation
- Reduce pain
- More independence
- Reduced stress
How can I arrange a massage for cerebral palsy?
To arrange a massage for cerebral palsy at (re brand), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0161 883 0077.
You can also book an appointment onlineand save £10.
References 1. Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Largie S, Diego M, Manigat N, Seoanes J, et al. Cerebral palsy symptoms in children decreased following massage therapy. . Early Child Development and Care. 2005;175(5):445-56. 2. Macgregor R, Campbell R, Gladden MH, Tennant N, Young D. Effects of massage on the mechanical behaviour of muscles in adolescents with spastic diplegia: a pilot study. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Mar;49(3):187-91. 3. Glew GM, Fan MY, Hagland S, Bjornson K, Beider S, McLaughlin JF. Survey of the use of massage for children with cerebral palsy. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2010;3(4):10-5. 4. Powell L, Cheshire A, Swaby L. Children's experiences of their participation in a training and support programme involving massage. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010 Feb;16(1):47-51. 5. Barlow J, Powell L, Cheshire A. The training and support programme (involving basic massage) for parents of children with cerebral palsy: an implementation study. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 2007;11(1):44-53. 6. CanChild. What is the GMFM? [13th January 2013]; Available from: http://motorgrowth.canchild.ca/en/gmfm/ove rview.asp.