What is Cerebral Palsy?
According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, (www.cerebralpalsy.org), Cerebral Palsy is an umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth.
Cerebral palsy affects people in different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. Although cerebral palsy is a permanent life-long condition, some of these signs of cerebral palsy can improve or worsen over time.
Individuals who have cerebral palsy may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech and intellectual impairments.
What is a Power Protocol Exercise Program for Children with CP?
A Physical Therapist is able to create a power protocol exercise program targeted to your child’s specific needs based upon groups of muscles that are weak. A Power Protocol Exercise Program involves high velocity, high intensity exercises that are performed in groups of 6 repetitions for 6 sets. This has been the number found to be most effective in children with CP among several clinical research trials that have been performed. These high velocity, high intensity exercises are designed to target major muscle groups in your child’s body. Muscles targeted may be leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings, abductors, and adductors, arm muscles such as biceps, triceps, and deltoids, abdominal musculature, or a combination of any of the three.
How will a power protocol help my child with CP?
The benefits of a power protocol for children with CP are numerous, and include:
- Improved balance
- Greater overall strength
- Improvements in gait speed
- Increased muscle length
- Improved scores on Peabody and BOT-2 Testing
- Can be individualized to your child’s specific needs