Although cerebral palsy is a life-long condition, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t manageable, and there are plenty of natural remedies that can help out with this…
Cerebral palsy is a group of lifelong conditions that can affect movement and co-ordination, among other things. It is usually caused by a problem with the brain that develops either during pregnancy, during birth, or soon after birth.
Although the brain injury can happen close to birth, symptoms may not become obvious until your child is 2 or 3 years old, which can be a worrying time for parents. This can lead to parents seeking compensation for cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence.
Despite the permanence of this condition, medical professionals work hard to help families and individuals affected to manage the symptoms. Although there are plenty of medical solutions, natural remedies may be the way you’d rather go. So, to discover 11 natural remedies to manage yours, or your dependent’s, cerebral palsy symptoms, read on.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
The first step to discussing the ways that cerebral palsy symptoms can be managed is to first analyse the symptoms you may be experiencing. Some of the classic symptoms someone with cerebral palsy may experience include:
- Delays in development e.g. not walking by 18 months
- Seeming too stiff or too floppy
- Weak limbs
- Clumsy or jerky movements
- Uncontrolled or random movements
- Walking on tip toes
- Difficulty swallowing
- Trouble with speaking
- Vision problems
- Learning disabilities
The severity of symptoms can range from mild to severe, therefore, some sufferers may need more treatment to manage their symptoms than others.
Medical Methods to Manage Cerebral Palsy
There are a wide range of treatments available to help manage the symptoms of cerebral palsy. These generally address the physical problems associated with the condition, and may include:
- Physiotherapy to help with movement issues;
- Speech therapy to help with communication and swallowing difficulties;
- Occupational therapy to identify problems your child has with everyday tasks, and to help make them easier;
- Medicine for muscle stiffness;
- And surgery to treat growth or movement problems.
Although cerebral palsy can affect each child differently, the outlook is generally positive if the symptoms are managed well. Most children will be able to go to school and live well into adult life, although their condition may limit some of their independence.
Although brain function won’t worsen over time, it can put a lot of strain on the body, both physically and mentally. Because of this, traditional medications and physiotherapies, like the ones described above, are commonly prescribed to people with cerebral palsy.
That said, there are a variety of alternative natural remedies for cerebral palsy available. These can help to manage not only the pain and discomfort brought on by the physical symptoms of the condition, but also the mental health issues associated with it.
11 Natural Remedies and Therapies to Help Ease the Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
With all this in mind, you’re probably wondering what these 11 natural remedies are. Well, if you’re looking for some ways to ease the physical and mental symptoms associated with cerebral palsy, that don’t require medical attention, you came to the right place…
Echinacea is an herb that has been used for many illnesses, such as the common cold, for hundreds of years. There has been some debate as to whether Echinacea has any real effect. However, some studies have shown that it can help to improve blood circulation, can reduce spasms and the pain associated with them, and reduce inflammation.
Echinacea is a simple home remedy available in liquid extract form, as tablets or in the form of a tea. So, it may be a perfect addition to your daily routine; a cup of tea in the morning, and a cup at night, to lessen the muscle movement.
Although the idea of acupuncture might not appeal to everyone, it is thought to bring great benefits to the body. Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine, and involves inserting very fine needles inserted at certain points in the body, stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles. This creates a release of endorphins into the body, which are natural pain-relievers.
Acupuncture has been reported not just to help with pain relief, but also to reduce inflammation, improve muscle development and use and even increase bone density. To feel the full long-term effects of acupuncture, a course of treatment is recommended over a single session.
3. Fish Oil
Oily fish contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which boast a whole host of benefits to the body. This is something that everyone should be taking in, either through their diet or in capsule form.
Omega-3 can improve brain development and function, reduce inflammation, help fight anxiety and depression, and other mental disorders, improve eye health, improve bone and joint health and improve your sleep. There’s no denying omega-3 is a great supplement to help manage the symptoms of cerebral palsy.
Ginger is a flowering plant from South Asia, that is used in cooking and drunk as a tea, but has also been used as an alternative medicine for thousands of years. It contains a compound called Gingerol, that has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
It’s commonly used to treat nausea and upset tummies. But it is also been shown to reduce muscle pain, reduce inflammation and stiffness in the joints, improve brain function and can help lower the risk of infections. Ginger is available in tea form, in capsules or just naturally chopped up fresh or dried into food and drinks.
5. Astragalus Root
Astragalus root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. It is used as a general immune-boosting herb. But it has been said to offer multiple health benefits, such as pain relief, stimulating the circulatory system, treating general weakness and fatigue. It’s also an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Astragalus root can be found in different forms, such as capsules, liquid extract, or a ground powder which can be brewed into teas.
6. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, may help to relieve pain and inflammation if added to a warm bath. It is believed that it is the magnesium that tends to alleviate various ailments, given that it is a mineral that a lot of people don’t get enough of. Getting enough magnesium is essential for sleep and stress management.
Epsom salts are generally thought to reduce pain and inflammation in the body. They can relieve stress, although the act of sitting in a warm bath may contribute to this. Epsom salts are a fairly cost effective and simple home remedy to the pain associated with cerebral palsy. You can also buy a supplement of magnesium in capsule form, or by increasing magnesium-rich foods in your diet.
7. Ice and Heat
One of the most simple, yet effective, remedies for pain is to alternate applying ice and heat to any affected areas of the body. Although this only provides short-term relief, cold and heat therapy can be effective at helping individuals with cerebral palsy to manage muscle pain and reduce spastic movement. It is advisable to combine this with other pain-relieving methods for the best results.
Cold therapy can reduce swelling and inflammation by constricting the blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the painful area and helps to numb the pain. Heat therapy has the opposite effect, by encouraging circulation to the area to heal and soothe spastic muscles. This can be achieved using ice packs wrapped in a towel, or a hot water bottle.
8. Essential oils
Although the benefits of essential oils are still debated, they are worth trying as they are a low cost and low risk option. Essential oils are concentrated oils that are extracted from various plants.
Generally, they are combined with a base oil to use in massage, or are inhaled to reduce anxiety and depression. So, they can be good for both the physical and emotional symptoms of cerebral palsy. However, with all essential oils, it’s important never to apply them neat to the skin.
One of the most commonly used oils is lavender, which is said to have calming, pain-relieving and anti-depressant effects. It has also been suggested that eucalyptus oil can ease joint pain and reduce pain and inflammation.
Massage is another low risk option to help soothe tight, sore muscles, and to promote relaxation. It’s ideal for individuals with cerebral palsy because it can help reduce symptoms, such as spasticity, poor circulation, pain and anxiety. It can also help to increase mobility.
As with most other therapies, a regular massage is recommended to reap the full benefits. It’s something you can go to a professional for, or you can learn simple techniques to perform at home, which can help to save money.
10. Breathing exercises
Being stressed and anxious can make your muscles tense up involuntarily and cause pain. Deep breathing techniques have been shown to relieve stress and pain, relax muscles, and can help keep anxiety at bay when practised regularly.
The simplest method is to take a deep inhalation through the nose, hold the breath for 5 seconds and then slowly release the breath by exhaling through the nose. Doing this for only a few minutes can reduce the heart rate, and focus an anxious and over-active mind.
11. Music Therapy
Music therapy has been shown to improve motor skills, coordination, communication skills, auditory responses, range of motion and relaxation in children with cerebral palsy. During music therapy, children get involved with various interactive activities which include, singing, playing instruments and listening to music. So, not only is this a fun and relaxing way to improve the symptoms associated with cerebral palsy, it could also be a great way to meet people with similar conditions.
Consult Your Doctor Before Using Natural Remedies for Cerebral Palsy…
As with any alternative therapy, it’s important to check with your doctor before using them. Certain remedies may interact with any medication being taken. The doctor will be able to advise you on which of the above therapies and doses could improve the symptoms, and which to avoid along the way.
Having a child with cerebral palsy can be worrying and stressful. But there are lots of remedies out there that can help give your child the best life they can possibly have. It’s important that you also take care of your own physical and mental wellbeing while looking after a child with cerebral palsy too. So seeking out help when you need it is highly recommended.
Have you tried any of these natural remedies for cerebral palsy, for you or your child? Did any of them work for you? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments.
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