Stiff Child's Body, Beware of Cerebral Palsy

Stiff Child's Body, Beware of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP), or cerebral palsy, is a developmental disorder in childhood. The disorder is indicated by abnormalities in muscle tone, posture or body position, motor coordination, and other accompanying neurological disorders.

Cerebral Palsy is actually not a congenital disease. The process of starting this growth and development disorder begins in the early stages of life or since the baby has just been born. The condition of CP is caused by damage to brain tissue that is still developing.

The main clinical problem faced in patients with cerebral palsy is motor (movement) disorders. This motor disorder involves the muscles and nerves so that patients with CP will have difficulty walking or even not be able to walk at all.

Symptoms or signs of cerebral palsy may appear in infancy or preschool age. Manifestations of motor disturbances in CP patients include excessive reflexes (hyper-reflexia), stiffness in part or all of the limbs, involuntary movements (involuntary), unstable gait, or a combination of these. The muscle stiffness experienced can reduce the range of motion of the joints in various joints of the body. Eye muscle imbalances also make people with cerebral palsy have problems while eating, which is caused by impaired visual focus.

Cerebral palsy conditions will be experienced for life, with conditions that get worse if they do not receive special therapy. Some individuals experience the condition to a mild degree, but some may experience more severe symptoms. One of the neurological manifestations that can accompany cerebral palsy is epilepsy (seizures).

If the part of the body that is affected by cerebral palsy is only partially on one side (left or right), it is called cerebral palsy hemiplegia. However, if based on the involvement of the number of limbs (two arms, two legs), cerebral palsy can be grouped into hemiplegia, diplegia, paraplegia, or quadriplegia.


Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy

Based on its degree, cerebral palsy can be classified into mild, moderate, or severe degrees with different signs at each age, namely:

1. Babies under the age of six months 

In general, babies under 6 months of age who experience cerebral palsy will show the following signs:

  1. Don't lift your head when your hand is being pulled
  2. His body drooped limp as if powerless
  3. The body will move away when being hugged
  4. When the body is lifted, the legs will be crossed and stiff

2. Baby is older than 6 months

Symptoms of cerebral palsy at this age are as follows:

  1. Reaching out with just one hand while clenching
  2. Food chewing difficulty 

3. Baby older than ten months 

In infants aged over 10 months, there are more obvious symptoms, namely:

1. Crawling in an inclined position, picking up objects with one hand while dragging your feet

2. Sit up without crawling and move the buttocks


Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy can be caused by various factors during pregnancy or during delivery, for example, lack of oxygen supply when the baby is born (asphyxia), the condition of the baby being premature (premature), low birth weight (LBW), infection of the central nervous system (CNS) in neonates, or seizures at birth, resulting in permanent brain tissue damage.

Other risk factors include :

1. Toxoplasmosis, Syphilis, or Rubella infection during pregnancy 

2. Difficulty in giving birth 

3. Disorders of cerebral blood vessels resulting in bleeding in the baby's brain or blood supply to the brain being cut off 

4. The baby's head was injured before birth 

5. Low blood glucose levels 

Babies born can have an increased risk of cerebral palsy due to the following factors :

1. Babies born prematurely (before 37 weeks of gestation) 

2. Infants born with a low birth weight 

3. Babies from multiple births, such as twins or triplets

4. During pregnancy, if the mother smokes, drinks a lot of alcohol or uses drugs such as cocaine


How to treat Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy will indeed be experienced for life. Doctors will generally recommend regular checkups and observe the progress of the patient's symptoms.

Early detection and proper diagnosis are very important so that treatment and therapy steps can be carried out as early as possible so that children can avoid complications that can interfere with their quality of life. The treatment is to improve limitations, prevent complications, and improve quality of life, including

1. Using assistive devices like glasses, hearing aids, walking aids, body supports, and wheelchairs.

2. Symptoms of muscle spasticity (stiffness) can be treated by using muscle relaxants. This muscle relaxation will help reduce the pain experienced by the sufferer.

3. Undergo orthopedic surgery in order to improve joint mobility and range of motion.

4. Perform speech therapy, physical therapy, recreational therapy, counseling, or psychotherapy on a regular basis, as well as social service consultations.

It is difficult to detect when the baby is still in the womb. However, some risk factors can be detected, such as infection, hypertension, and bleeding during pregnancy. The team of doctors can handle this condition if parents immediately consult a doctor at the nearest Hermina Hospital or Sahabat Hermina. They can also consult online with a specialist through the "Halo Hermina" application.

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