Neurological conditions are conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. These conditions cover a wide range of diseases and disorders. In children, causes range from injury to the developing brain of an unborn or newborn child, to a traumatic acquired brain injury in childhood or adolescence. It may also present as degenerative disorders that become apparent when gross motor milestones are not met or there is regression in already developed skills.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability of childhood. Cerebral Palsy is a general term used to describe a group of disorders that affect the normal development of movement and posture. CP is caused by an injury to an infant’s developing brain. Though the damage doesn’t get worse, symptoms can change over time with growth and development. Difficulties from CP can range from mild to severe. The physical therapist will provide care at different stages in the individual’s development, depending on his or her unique needs.
The CYP team has a lot of experience treating children with cerebral palsy. We are an important partner in the health care and fitness for anyone diagnosed with CP. Together with a child’s family and healthcare team, our therapists work on strength and movement so they can function at their best throughout all the stages of life. Fitness training, functional and strength training, stretching and home-based programs focusing on task-based goals are all important pieces of the treatment puzzle.
Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic diseases that causes progressive weakening and loss of muscle control over time. Children with muscular dystrophy may experience muscle weakness, shortening or hardening of muscles, tendons, or tissues that affect the joints, the curvature of the spine, breathing and heart problems. Symptoms related to muscular dystrophy may contribute to delayed walking, frequent falls, toe walking, other difficulties with motor function.
Children with muscular dystrophy should begin seeing a physio as soon as possible after diagnosis—before joint and muscle tightness develop. Every child will have unique needs based on age, the type of dystrophy they are diagnosed with and the progression of symptoms. Our team will work with children who have muscular dystrophy to prevent or reduce joint contractures and maintain muscle strength. We can adapt activities to the child’s home or school environments to promote movement and mobility skills, and increase daily activities, which encourage participation in the community.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is an inherited neurological disorder that affects sensory and motor nerves, causing them to lose their ability to send signals to and from the brain. Without motor signals, muscles weaken, and numbness can occur.
In its most common forms, the disease first appears in teens and young adults. Symptoms are all related to muscle weakness or numbness in the hands, forearms, lower legs and/or feet. Trouble buttoning clothing, holding small objects, cold hands and/or feet, trouble going up and down steps, dragging the feet while walking or trouble with balance may all be signs of the disease. It is important for youth with CMT to maintain the movement, muscles strength and flexibility that they have, as they cannot build muscle already affected by the disease. Physiotherapy treatment encourages children to stay as active as possible.
Our therapists will recommend a specialized treatment program designed to fit the specific abilities and needs of a Charcot-Marie-Tooth patient. Treatment will involve a combination of muscle strengthening, muscle and ligament stretching, stamina training and moderate aerobic exercise. Muscle strengthening is designed to delay muscle atrophy, stretching can reduce joint deformity, exercise will build endurance and help fight fatigue that comes with everyday activities and aerobic activity maintains cardiovascular fitness and overall health.
Erb’s Palsy (Brachial Plexus Injury), Joubert’s Syndrome, Perinatal Stroke, Spina Bifida, Spinal Cord Injury