Thursday, January 8, 2015

Exercise, Postural Control and Cerebral Palsy

evidence based interventions postural control cerebral palsy - Medicine and Child Neurology published a systemic review to to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of exercise interventions that may improve postural control in children with cerebral palsy.

Six databases were searched using the following keywords: (‘cerebral palsy’ OR ‘brain injury’); AND (‘posture’ OR ‘balance’ OR ‘postural balance’ ); AND (‘intervention’ OR ‘therapy’ OR ‘exercise’ OR ‘treatment’).

The following results were reported:

1.  the searches yielded 45 studies reporting 13 exercise interventions with postural control outcomes for children with cerebral palsy.

2.  5 of the 13 interventions were supported by a moderate level of evidence: gross motor task training, hippotherapy, treadmill training with no body weight support (no-BWS), trunk-targeted training, and reactive balance training.

3.  6 of the 13 interventions had weak or conflicting evidence: functional electrical stimulation (FES), hippotherapy simulators, neurodevelopmental therapy (NDT), treadmill training with body weight support, virtual reality, and visual biofeedback.

4.  progressive resistance exercise was an ineffective intervention

5.  upper limb interventions lacked high-level evidence.

The researchers concluded that the use of exercise-based treatments to improve postural control in children with cerebral palsy has increased significantly in the last decade.   More research is required to establish links between postural control impairments, treatment options, and outcome measures. In addition, the researchers recommend low-burden, low-cost, child-engaging, and mainstream interventions to be explored.

Reference:Dewar, R. et al.  Exercise interventions improve postural control in children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Early View - Article first published online: 18 DEC 2014 DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.12660


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Teaching Motor Skills to Children with Cerebral Palsy and Similar Movement Disorders - A Guide for Parents and Professionals.   Author: Sieglinde Martin M.S., P.T.  FIND OUT MORE at

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