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Electrical Stimulation for Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders generally characterized by a motor, locomotion, or muscular impairment.  The severity of the disease varies in each person.  The cause of cerebral palsy is often hard to pinpoint, but usually involves some trauma to the head or brain before, during, or very shortly after, birth.  Many times this cause is the result of a medical mistake made during the delivery.  There is no cure for cerebral palsy.

There are, however, many different types of therapies and treatments for the symptoms of cerebral palsy.  Therapies such as electrical stimulation have seen some positive results in the muscles of cerebral palsy children.  Electrical stimulation is a type of therapy that provides the muscles with a low dosing of electric current.  Electrical stimulation for cerebral palsy works on decreasing the effects of stiffness and spasticity in the muscles of the patient. 

Electrical stimulation effects are not long lasting and need to be given over a fairly long period of time.  The therapy can and is often used in conjunction with other types of treatments such as physical therapy.  When the muscles are less stiff, physical therapy can help with movement and relieve associated symptoms.  Electrical stimulation can help reduce these symptoms.

This combination therapy is effective in treating contractures in cerebral palsy patients.  Electrical stimulation alone may be effective in helping smaller body parts, such as the fingers.  Exercise and physical therapy are often combined with electrical stimulation to produce results in larger body parts, like the legs or hips.  Many types of electrical stimulation can be performed at the home.

Some of the benefits of electrical stimulation for use in cerebral palsy are a marked reduction in muscle spasticity.  Often other methods of reducing spasticity in cerebral palsy patients result in a weakened or damaged muscle, but electrical stimulation does not harm the muscle in this way.  Electrodes can be placed either over the muscle or near the offending body part.  Skin electrodes send slight, almost unperceivable electronic impulses to the muscle tissue.

There are side effects of electrical stimulation for cerebral palsy, but they are fairly rare and are usually reversible.  Sometimes the muscle spasticity may increase instead of decrease, but this usually goes away after awhile.  In this occurrence a lower dose of electrical stimulation for cerebral palsy is recommended.

All electrical stimulation therapy should be done under the supervision or recommendation of a licensed medical practitioner.  If the cerebral palsy was the result of a medical mistake, some or all of the costs involved in electrical stimulation therapy may be covered.  Contact an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer through this Web site for a free consultation.



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