Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Electrical Stimulation for Cerebral Palsy

Electrical stimulation have given 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 is used to decrease the effects of stiffness and plasticity in the muscles of the children. The effects of electrical stimulation are not long lasting and need to be given over a fairly long period of time.

Electrical Cerebral Palsy

The therapy is often used in combination with other types of treatments such as physical therapy. When the muscles are less stiff, physical therapy helps with movement and relieves associated symptoms. Electrical stimulation helps in reducing 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 and toes. Exercise and physical therapy are often combined with electrical stimulation to produce results in larger body parts, like the legs or hips. Some of the benefits of electrical stimulation for use in cerebral palsy are a marked reduction in muscle plasticity. 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. Often other methods of reducing plasticity in cerebral palsy patients result in a weakened or damaged muscle, but electrical stimulation does not harm the muscle.

Electrical stimulation(ES) has also been successfully combined with positioning and voluntary effort, when possible, to correct contractures and maintain range of motion. It is critical to the success of ROM protocols to use a comfortable ES protocol one or more times each day. When the body segment to be moved is relatively small (fingers, wrist or ankle), the muscle pull created by ES alone may accomplish the goal. When the body segments are larger (knee or hip) ES may assist the patient in exercising to the end of their range. The therapist should combine ES with voluntary effort. It is important to remember that the maximum benefit of ES for spasticity may not be realized until ES has been used for 1-2 hours each day for 1-3 months.

If ES is discontinued, spasticity usually can be expected to return. For this reason, many patients elect to continue to use ES throughout their life. In addition to the modulation of interfering spasticity, ES can be incorporated into a variety of therapeutic strategies to enchance voluntary movement and function.

These activities can be carried into functional tasks such as using the hands, standing, shifting weight from one leg to the other, and walking. All electrical stimulation therapy should be done under the supervision or recommendation of a physiotherapist or any medical practitioner.

No comments:

Post a Comment