Cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination Cerebral palsy (CP) is caused by damage to or abnormalities inside the developing brain that disrupt the brain’s ability to control movement and maintain posture and balance. The term cerebral refers to the brain; palsy refers to the loss or impairment of motor function.Cerebral palsy affects the motor area of the brain’s outer layer (called the cerebral cortex), the part of the brain that directs muscle movement.In some cases, the cerebral motor cortex hasn’t developed normally during fetal growth. In others, the damage is a result of injury to the brain either before, during, or after birth.
Problems of a child with cerebral Palsy:
- Movement and walking disabilities
- Speech difficulties
- Learning disabilities
- Cognitive impairments
- Hearing or vision loss
- Emotional and behavioral challenges
- Spinal deformities
- Joint problems
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Brain damage is the cause of CP, but there are many different things that may trigger that damage. For this reason the exact cause of cerebral palsy can’t always be determined. Possibilities include:
- Poor brain development in the womb
- Maternal infections or medical conditions
- Disruption of blood flow to the developing brain
- Genetic conditions
- Ingestion of toxins or drugs during pregnancy
- Damage to the head or skull during delivery
- Complications related to premature delivery
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are a four types of cerebral palsy
1. Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy accounts for 75 percent of all cases. It causes increased muscle tone, known as spasticity and causes:
- Delayed developmental milestones for moving.
- Abnormal movements.
- Movement inhibition.
- Stiff and spastic muscles.
- Difficulties controlling muscle movement.
- Difficulties moving from one position to another.
Spastic quadriplegia impacts a child’s upper and lower limbs and body, severely restricting mobility.
Spastic diplegia only affects the lower half of the body. Many of these children can still walk with some impairments and may need assistive devices such as walkers.
Spastic hemiplegia affects one side of the body only, usually the arm more than the leg. Most children with hemiplegia can walk.
2. Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy
Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is the second most common type of CP. Symptoms include:
- Dystonia, repetitive and twisting motions.
- Athetosis, writhing movements.
- Chorea, unpredictable movements.
- Poor posture.
- Painful movements.
- Difficulty swallowing or talking.
3. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
Ataxic cerebral palsy is least common. It causes poor balance, limited coordination, tremors, and shaky movements that are difficult to control.
4. Mixed Cerebral Palsy
Mixed cerebral palsy causes symptoms characteristic of two or three of the other types. Spastic-dyskinetic cerebral palsy is the most common type of mixed CP.
In Ayurveda, there is no single condition/disease which exactly show similarity with CP. Some conditions explained in Ayurveda, which have shown some similarity with CP are, phakka (a kind of nutritional disorder), pangulya (locomotor disorders), mukatva (dumbness), jadatva (mental disorders), ekanga roga (monoplegia), sarvanga roga (quadriplegia), pakshaghata (hemiparesis) and pakshavadha (hemiplegia) etc., vatavyadhi’s (neurological disorders). Spastic CP can be considered as ‘Avarana janya vata vyadhi/Kaphavrita vata’. Vata vyadhi is the most similar condition to CP. According to some authors, CP in Ayurveda can be considered as ‘Shiro-Marmabhigathaja Bala Vata Vyadhi’.
AyurvedicPanchakarma (five major ayurvedic procedures and many allied procedures which are intended to cleanse the body) therapy along with appropriate internal medication can provide good improvement in quality of life of CP patients. It is well known fact that internal medication along with Panchakarma procedures is more effective when compared with only oral medications. Various panchakarma procedures like Udwartana (medicated powder massage), Sarvaanga abhyanga (full body massage with medicated oil), Baashpa sweda & Naadi sweda (steam bath) and Vasti (oil and decoction enemas) etc are found to be beneficial in the management of CP in children.
In siddha Cp is called as sirakamba vatham. Sirakamba vatham is a disorder of disability in both upper & lowers limbs, due to aggravated Vatham in central nervous system characterized by impairment in hearing, mental retardation, drooling of saliva etc.
Thambamaai uthirakanda narambir pukki Thalaiyodu sareeramellaan thaakki pukkam Kambamaai kaathirandu mikavuam kelaa… – Yugi Vaithya chinthamani
Siddha system of medicine approaches the CP children with regular anti vatha drugs along with Thokkanam (Physical manipulation techniques) .
At Haridra, we treat CP with our traditional Sintharmani treatments comprising Ayurveda, siddha and varma treatments.This consists of specially prepared traditional Ayurveda and siddha medicines along with Pancakarma treatments. Overall goal of our treatment is to help the individual with cerebral palsy reach his or her greatest potential physically, mentally, and socially and to improve the quality of life by establishing optimal independence.