Three Other Conditions Children With Cerebral Palsy Commonly Have

Out of all the disabilities that children get diagnosed with, the most prevalent one for children in the United States is cerebral palsy. In fact, three out of every 1,000 babies born each year will get diagnosed with this condition. Currently, there are about 500,000 children under 18 years of age that are living with cerebral palsy.

This diagnosis alone comes with many challenges for children. While the severity of the condition can differ from child to child, most have some type of physical limitation. Unfortunately, children with cerebral palsy also get diagnosed with other conditions. Here are three other conditions children with cerebral palsy commonly have.

1. Osteoporosis

For children who have cerebral palsy and severe physical limitations, such as not being able to stand or walk, they are at an increased risk of getting diagnosed with osteoporosis. This condition happens when the bones become fragile due to decreased bone density. While it can be difficult for children with cerebral palsy to stave off osteoporosis, they can try the following prevention methods:

  • Maintain good nutrition
  • Increase calcium intake and take a Vitamin D supplement
  • Perform weight-bearing exercises

Weight-bearing might prove to be difficult but there are certain mobility aids, such as standing tables and gait trainers that can assist with this. About 80% to 90% of children who have a severe form of cerebral palsy have low bone mineral density.

2. Scoliosis

Oftentimes children with cerebral palsy have poor posture, which can be due to low muscle tone in the neck and trunk. Some children might also lack the muscle coordination to sit in an upright position. Muscle weakness and balance issues can contribute to acquiring a curvature of the spine, which is known as scoliosis.

Physical therapy and wearing a brace can be a few ways that will slow down the curving of the spine. About 20% of children who have cerebral palsy will get diagnosed with scoliosis.

3. Spasticity

When certain muscles are continuously contracted, it causes a condition called spasticity. Often characterized by tight muscles with high tone, spasticity can also cause pain and muscle spasms. Some of the most common types of treatment for this condition include:

  • Botox injections
  • Baclofen infusion
  • Orthopedic operations

Some types of therapies, including physical therapy and hydrotherapy have been known to help the muscles relax and provide some pain relief. About 80 out of 100 children and adults with cerebral palsy also have spasticity.

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