Quarterly scientific journal

Physiotherapy in cerebral palsy

Evangelos Prekas


Introduction: Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the leading cause of childhood disability. The heterogeneity and diversity of its clinical image makes the recovery difficult and complex.

Aim: The aim of the present study is to outline the physiotherapeutic approaches and practices currently used to problems of CP.

Material and Methods: Literature review and search of international databases PubMed, Google Scholar, Medscape, Elsevier, NICE guidelines, American Academy of Pediatrics, Scientific Research Publishing has been made. The articles were published from 2001 to 2019 and are written in English and Greek. According to the criteria, 39 publications were included.

Results: Neurodevelopmental approaches influenced by the neurodevelopmental theory were the first form of physiotherapeutic intervention for children with CP. The development of dynamic systems theory has led to the creation of a more modern approach, the functional approach and has forced other methods to be adapted to the new scientific data of rehabilitation of CP. In the recent years at the forefront of the rehabilitation of children with CP is the selective approach, where the physiotherapist combines knowledge of different methods and approaches. Muscle strengthening, therapeutic swimming, the use of ankle-foot orthoses, pediatric standers and evaluation-classification tools of the CP, contribute significantly to the physiotherapy treatment.

Conclusions: Neurodevelopmental approaches, functional and selective approach, are the forms of physiotherapeutic intervention of the CP to date. In recent years, the rehabilitation has expanded to other areas that make a significant contribution to physiotherapy of CP.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy, physiotherapy, Rehabilitation

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