Postural Control and Functional Tasks for Children with Cerebral Palsy
Physical Therapy published research examining postural control during a functional play activity. Previous research has indicated that when motor tasks are made more relevant through functional tasks, performance improves, including in children with movement pathology.
The participants in the study included 30 children with cerebral palsy who were compared with 30 typically developing children during a single measurement period. Postural sway was quantified using a portable force platform system during a precision manual functional play task and a baseline condition of no task. Postural sway variability and postural sway regularity were analyzed. The results indicated the following:
an apparent difference in postural control (greater irregularity, greater sway variability) during quiet stance between children with CP and peers with typical development
this difference was reduced during the performance of the precision functional play task.
The researchers concluded that the postural control system is flexible and adaptable even with the pathological features associated with cerebral palsy.
Reference: Schmit, J. M., Riley, M., Cummins-Sebree, S., Schmitt, L., & Shockley, K.(2016).Functional Task Constraints Foster Enhanced Postural Control in Children With Cerebral Palsy. Physical Therapy,96(3), 348-354. Accessed March 03, 2016.http://dx.doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20140425.