June 22, 2024

F1000 Scientist

Health to Life

Cerebral Palsy Therapy

2 min read

There are many forms of physical Cerebral Palsy therapy that can help reduce the disabilities associated with this disorder. Each person with Cerebral Palsy will often need a specialized kind of therapy.

The Maribelle exercise assist system, otherwise known as the MEAS is one option that people with Cerebral Palsy may be interested in and has had very beneficial results.

The MEAS is an exerciser that is suspended from the ceiling with a body support. This allows people that have little or no use of their legs to actually be put in an upright position (supported standing), or a sitting position where they can move or move with assistance. For example, swinging.

The benefits of this are many, including much enjoyment for the user just from being in an upright position, or from the swinging and other possible movements. Remarkably, the movements in the MEAS result in LESS spasticity! 3 to 5 minutes of gentle bouncing, followed by swinging, invariably will relax tight elbow joints and clenched hands will open up. The Neurophysiological reasons for this change have been well documented in research studies about using rebounders.

Progressive treatment goals, which have been achieved in varying degrees by the regular use of the MEAS in an eight week or longer program include:

1. Eye contact, tracking, eye-hand coordination, focusing, dramatically improved vision.

2. Increased attention span, improved learning skills.

3. Social awareness, interaction with peers, self confidence

4. Vocalization, improved speech.

5. Independent purposeful movement, muscle development.

6. Head Control, trunk balance, independent righting.

7. Improved circulation, improved bowel function.

8. Reduction in flexon spasticity, relaxed open hands.

9. Reduction in extension spasticity, less startle reflex

10. Release of frustration, improved morale, enjoyment.

11. Easier to feed after exercise, better appetite

12. Self feeding, finger foods, spoon, fork.

13. Desensitization of skin areas, particularly the soles of the feet, starting by letting the user splash their feet in warm water, shaving foam etc.

14. Crawling, independent mobility, knee walking, running.

15. Reduction of Athetoid movements allowing the person to control their electric wheel chair independently after exercising in MEAS

Therapists have reported that clients who were fearful when they were placed in a hammock are much less afraid of doing Sensory Integration and Vestibular Stimulation techniques using MEAS.

Meas is used for

* Sensory integration

* Vestibular stimulation

* Gait training

* Desensitizing soles of feet

* Occupying a child while tube feeding to distract the child from yanking tubes

* Encouraging weight bearing in hypertonic children

* Allows wheelchair-bound adults to move in upright position.

* Early recovery periods after injuries

Besides Cerebral Palsy, the Maribelle exercise assist system will also be of benefit for people with

* Low muscle tone

* Poor balance

* Spastic cerebral palsy (CP)

* Impaired vision/blindness

* Fearfulness & insecurity

* Sensory deprivation

* Hemiplegia

* Athetoid cerebral palsy (CP)

* Congenital dislocated hips

* Leg length discrepancy

* Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

* Limited motor abilities

* Failure to thrive

* Poor head control

* Hyposensitive vestibular systems

* Cerebral cortical atrophy

* Hydrocephaly

* Agenisis of corpus collosum

* Microcephalic

* Developmental delay

* Intractable seizure condition

* Epilepsy

* CDH (congenital diaphragmatic hernia)

* Deafness

* Scoliosis.

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