Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that affects body movement, coordination and posture. Research has shown exercise programs help to improve symptoms and yield a better quality of life for individuals with cerebral palsy (CP).
CORE Program Focus Areas
Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)
People with cerebral palsy (CP) have difficulty generating sufficient muscle force so combining exercise with a functional electrical stimulation (FES) program is a pragmatic option for increasing the intensity and effectiveness of a workout program. Studies show participants in a functional electrical stimulation (FES) program can make measurable gains in body structure and function, activity and participation.
Range of Motion/Flexibility Training
One of the most prevalent forms of the disease is spastic cerebral palsy and is characterized by the inability to relax the muscles. Since the muscles are constantly in a shortened state, muscle tightness can result causing significant impairments in function. A range of motion regimen can help with muscle tightness and prevent the development of muscle contractures.
CORE has a number of techniques and tools designed to target balance. According to a study published in the Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (2003), balance training in children with cerebral palsy (CP) demonstrated an overall improvement in their ability to recover stability, indicating that balance training can be an effective tool to use in treating patients with cerebral palsy (CP).
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a lifelong condition, and although the neurological lesion may be static and symptoms usually will not worsen over time, the musculoskeletal impact of living with this condition can change significantly with age. CORE utilizes of variety of techniques to combat postural imbalances in an effort to improve alignment and prevent further complications.
Partial body weight supported treadmill training is one method used with adults and children with cerbral palsy (CP) to provide task-specific locomotor (gait) training with multiple repetitions and active participation of the client, which has been demonstrated to enhance motor learning.
The immobility or inactivity that commonly occurs with cerebral palsy (CP) can weaken bones or decrease bone density. Load bearing exercise for clients with cerebral palsy (CP) is a critical component of the CORE program.
Whole Body Vibration
The theory behind whole body vibration (WBV) is that sustaining static or dynamic postures on a vibrating platform stimulates a tonic vibration reflex, encouraging synchronization of muscle contractions. Studies have suggested persons with cerebral palsy (CP) who utilize whole body vibration (WBV) and progressive resistance training can increase muscle strength without negatively influencing spasticity.
Muscular Strength and Endurance Training
Despite having increased tone, individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) commonly have weakness in their muscles. This can be problematic and impair the ability to stand, walk and engage in everyday activities. There has been much debate on whether strength training helps those with cerebral palsy (CP), but the latest research shows strengthening exercises, specifically resistance training, can have a significant impact on motor function.
Cardiovascular exercise is just as important for individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) as it is for the general population. In addition to helping overall physical health, cardiovascular exercise can also help promote mental health. CORE incorporates cardiovascular training into the treatment programs for those with cerebral palsy (CP).