Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that is caused by injury or malformation to a child’s brain while it is still under development. Cerebral palsy and mobility are closely linked because it is a disorder which affects muscle coordination and body movement.
Cerebral palsy is a motor disability. It can restrict a person’s mobility in a number of ways with how it affects coordination, reflexes, posture, and sense of balance. In fact, it is the most common motor disability in children according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
An individual with cerebral palsy may also have problems with hearing and vision, or intellectual disabilities. For the purpose of this article we’re just going to focus on cerebral palsy and mobility. In addition to providing information on how the disease affects mobility, we’ll go over the types of cerebral palsy assistive devices available.
Cerebral Palsy and Mobility
Individuals with cerebral palsy will almost always show signs of a physical disability, but not everyone will exhibit the same limitations. A person’s movement dysfunction could vary by location of the body, number of limbs affected, and extent of disability.
Cerebral palsy is unique to each individual, but it typically affects a person’s ability to control their own muscles. This could involve:
- Muscles contracting too much
- Muscles contracting too little
- All muscles contracting at once
- Stiff limbs
- Involuntary movements
- Difficulty with balance, posture, and coordination
The extent to which one is afflicted by cerebral palsy will also vary from one individual to another. While some may experience slight movement tremors, others might have issues with completely paralyzed limbs.
Issues with cerebral palsy and mobility will not go away over time, but they can be made more manageable with the right equipment. In the next section we’ll go over a variety of cerebral palsy assistive devices which can help make life easier.
Cerebral Palsy Assistive Devices
An individual with cerebral palsy will typically rely on assistive devices to get around throughout the day. Below are some of the types of cerebral palsy assistive devices available:
- Wheelchairs: These are helpful for people with extreme difficulty walking. Depending on the nature of the person’s disability, a powered wheelchair may be required due to movement limitations preventing the use of a manual wheelchair.
- Grab rails: These are helpful for people who struggle with balance and/or strength. Install in areas that are prone to slips and falls, like a shower for example.
- Stairlifts: Products such as those offered by Acorn lifts are helpful for people who find it difficult to climb staircases. Stairlifts offer secure and effortless movement from one floor to another, and can be easily installed to fit any staircase.
- Ceiling lifts: These are helpful for people who need extra assistance transferring themselves from bed to a wheelchair. The devices are mechanical, so they can lift the person without them having to use their own strength.
- Walkers: These are helpful for people who have difficulty walking, but do not require the assistance of a full wheelchair. They are designed to keep a person walking upright while supporting their balance and stability. Here’s more information about different types of walkers.
About Acorn Lifts
For those in need of cerebral palsy assistive devices, we always recommend looking at those offered by Acorn Lifts. Not only do they provide some of the best assistive devices, but they are a company that is truly dedicated to assisting those with cerebral palsy. Here is a story about how Acorn Lifts provided life-changing assistance to a young child with cerebral palsy.
For more information about cerebral palsy assistive devices or Acorn lifts, we invite you to contact us directly.