During the 9th Cerebral Palsy Awareness and Protection Week held between September 16th to 22nd in Vigan City, Philippines renewed hope was given to cerebral palsy patients. It was reported that the patients who have received treatment at the Vigan Stimulation and Therapeutic Activity Center (STAC) have encountered substantial success.
As a result of the therapy, these children with cerebral palsy leave the center able to move independently, as they weren’t able to before. One such case was that of Jefferson Barcena, who was born in 2005 with spastic displegia, the most common type of the condition. What happens to those afflicted with this type of cerebral palsy is that the cerebral cortex – the outer surface of the brain – becomes damaged, thus impacting a variety of both mental and physical abilities throughout the body. While Barcena was able to sit alone and crawl on his entrance into STAC, he was not able to walk unaided. Following his treatment, this situation turned around, and he could walk unaided.
Another child, Zurus Draven Gonzales, was diagnosed with delayed motor development, which is also under the umbrella of cerebral palsy. While he too was able to sit and crawl, and displayed good head control, he was unable to stand and walk. Following a variety of physical therapy sessions, he was able to stand, and move completely independently.
There are constantly new techniques in physical therapy for cerebral palsy being developed through additional research. Aquatic physical therapy is being heralded as a tremendous step forward in treatment; through the use of water’s physical properties, those with cerebral palsy will not undergo any unnecessary pressure on their joints, but will attain greater mobility of their muscles. Since it is tough for those with cerebral palsy to elongate the impacted musculature with regular stretching, those with cerebral palsy encounter muscle shortening in their extremities. In the past, physical therapy was not seen as a way forward for those with cerebral palsy. But today it is viewed as a great way to improve motor function and help the child develop lost mobility.