Weighted blankets in cerebral palsy treatment
Some of the damages caused by cerebral palsy are irreversible. The others can be mitigated by means of therapy that stimulates the child’s psychophysical development. A weighted blanket can serve well to support this therapy.
Cerebral palsy is hard to either describe or define explicitly due to the fact that it can be characterized by an abundance of different symptoms.
It is caused by brain damage that might occur during the fetal and perinatal stages. It can result from woman’s negligence of health during pregnancy – alcohol consumption, smoking cigarettes or even inappropriate diet. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to maintain a healthy lifestyle and comply with doctor’s recommendations during pregnancy. However, the disorder can also be caused by factor’s that remain beyond the woman’s control such as infections, mainly: rubella, toxoplasmosis and gestosis, risk of miscarriage as well as long and complicated birth. Furthermore, cerebral palsy can also occur after birth in case of premature babies or when the little one suffers from breathing problems.
Cerebral palsy. Symptoms
The dysfunction’s symptoms come into light between the child’s 2nd and 3rd year of age. However, there are cases when the symptoms are noticeable earlier. New-born children suffer from weak muscles, difficulties in swallowing and body alignment asymmetry. Furthermore, motor development disorders can be recognized during the child’s consecutive quarters of life. Unlike its peers, the child does not indicate activities that are necessary for its particular stages of life – i.e. it does not roll from side to side, does not either crawl or grasp objects, does not articulate its first sounds or does perform all of the above though in an untypical manner.
Cerebral palsy. Therapy
In case of cerebral palsy, ailments occur on the physical, psychical as well as behavioral level. The basic symptom includes sensory integration disorders. The child indicates problems with maintaining proper posture and balance as well as suffers from problems with motor coordination. Such dysfunctions can be minimized by means of an appropriate and quickly introduced therapy. The type of such therapy ought to be determined by a neurologist who should pay close and regular attention to the patient. The therapy focuses on neuromuscular activation of parts of the body. Numerous methods, such as MD Bobath, Peto method or the space suit method, can be applied as well. The methods can be complemented by additional and highly-effective therapeutic instruments, especially weighted blankets.
Weighted blanket – support during cerebral palsy treatment
The most important trait of a weighted blanket that determines its healing properties is the deep pressure. This effect can be obtained by using an appropriate filling in the form beads made out of glass powder or aquarium grit. If the sensory blanket is appropriately selected by a specialist – its length and weight are adjusted to the child’s body – it can effectively stimulate the proprioceptive system which is responsible for perceiving the sensory stimuli. This helps the brain conveniently organize external impulses and balances the muscle tension. As a result, the gross motor skills improve along with the body posture. Thus, weighted blankets provide great support during therapies on sensory integration disorders.
Weighted blanket in mental symptoms of cerebral palsy
Weighted blankets also have a positive influence on the patient’s mental zone. Cerebral palsy is often accompanied by an increased vulnerability towards stress and, therefore, nervousness and problems with falling asleep. Thanks to the abovementioned deep pressure, a weighted blanket can stimulate secretion of increased amounts of serotonin and thus improve well-being. Problems with sleep would cease as well due to the fact that serotonin transforms into the sleep-friendly melatonin. Sleep becomes balanced, undisturbed and deep. Furthermore, the weighted blanket also serves as a gentle massage that relieves tension, calms down and relaxes. In order to achieve such a relaxing effect, it is worth using the weighted blanket during both night and day.
More abaut this topic – https://senso-rex.com/gb/content/23-the-role-of-cerebral-palsy-weighted-balancing