Importance of Chiropractic Care for Children with Cerebral Palsy

By Alex Diaz Granados, 2016


Cerebral palsy (CP) is a motor disorder that affects around 1 out of every 323 kids. A part of of the various symptoms that children with CP face include back, feet, spine, and neck problems, which can literally affect every aspect of their lives, including sleeping, walking, eating, playing, and socializing with others.  


It’s not uncommon for parents to try a number of different methods to help their children control pain, including traditional therapies. Yet, since chiropractic care is a natural form of treatment that’s considered a complementary health approach, parents may not be aware of the tremendous benefits it can bring to their kids.


Traditional Therapy Options


Most physicians will recommend that children with cerebral palsy join physical therapy, which helps children to build strength, maintain balance, gain stamina, and develop coordination. Physicians generally recommend physical therapy immediately after the child’s CP diagnosis, as early intervention is extremely important.


Another traditional form of treatment, occupational therapy, helps children learn to carry out everyday tasks that may be difficult for them due to their disorders. For example, some kids with CP have trouble holding utensils or pencils. Others may have issues brushing their teeth and dressing.


However, these therapies aren’t specifically geared towards pain management, although physical therapy does tend to help some children with stiffness and slight pain.Yet, a number of other children are left with painful side effects, even after in-depth therapy programs and medications.


Chiropractic Care


Chiropractic care for kids with cerebral can help with a number of medical issues, including:


  • Back pain

  • Spine issues

  • Difficulties with walking

  • Sleeping Difficulties

  • Scoliosis

  • Seizures

  • Drooling, and more


Although more studies are needed, research done on cerebral palsy and chiropractic care has shown to have a positive impact on children, both emotionally and physically.


For instance, a 2006 study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health states that a 2-year-old boy with cerebral palsy showed significant improvement in a number of areas after starting chiropractic. The progress was so beneficial that not only was the child’s pain relieved, but he was also able to sleep better, pull himself upright (which he couldn’t before), and move around better.


In another study, an 8-year-old girl suffered from frequent seizures, walking issues, and problems with standing upright. After a number of chiropractic sessions, her confidence skyrocketed after she began walking unassisted with stronger muscles.


According to the American Chiropractic Academy (ACA), chiropractors primarily focus on musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, two things that many children with CP have ongoing problems with. Treatment, however, will depend on the exact problem the child is having. For instance, some children will see wonderful benefits with myofascial release, while others fare better with massaging or spine adjustments. Other types of treatment that can help children with cerebral palsy include:


  • Electrical stimulation

  • Heat/cold applications

  • Cox technique

  • Activator technique, and more


If other treatments haven’t worked for your child, chiropractic care may be the answer. Even if your child is seeing benefits with traditional therapies, chiropractic care is a wonderful complement to other treatments, and may help in ways that other medical care can’t