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Cerebral Palsy Message Board


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Hi Lastramy:
Yep, the dampness definitely does not help matters. My legs and hips react pretty strongly. It is amazing how easily the body reacts to any change or trigger. Stress is a huge one almost all the time, and wreaks havoc on my energy.

Why did your teacher say that Pilates is not good? I am curious, especially since there is a huge component of neuromuscular training involved. Pilates is a method of exercises aimed at strengthening the core muscles (hips, abs, back) and strong core muscles help with posture and fatigue. Even better, the method of exercises requires mental concentration to make mind-body connections, which is key for us to get the brain trained to communicate more effectively with the body. Flexibility and strength are emphasized. In total, all good things.

As for the true clinical difference between tightness and spasticity, I am not entirely sure. But, as I've learned from experience, I know that constantly tight muscles in CP are the result of persistent contractions in the muscle, which is essentially what spasticity is. A muscle's purpose is to lengthen (relax) and contract (fire) and a stretch is intended to hold the muscle in the lengthened state. Spastic muscles tend to resist a stretch; the muscle fights the stretch by constantly contracting. Over time, muscle fibers that are constantly firing (contracting) eventually take on that shortened state as its new normal and the effects are contractures. The spasticity causing tightness in CP is the result of faulty circuitry in the motor centers of the brain signaling the muscles to fire when they should relax. Terms like "clonus" and "hypertonicity" are often used by medical specialists to label the type of tightness they feel. The clinical process involved here is very complex, but this is my basic understanding in laymen's terms. Hope it helps!

I am doing what I can to combat the hip and quad pain. The learning curve has been huge for me!

Cheers,
Prisc1125

wow! I just spent the last half hour reading your messages! While I do not have CP, two of my daughters do. Your messages are really helpful for me to better understand what their future could be like. Eventhough they are only 5...I've got to keep the far future in mind. I hope to always have them prepared for what lies ahead...at least in general. I think it will also be helpful for decisions I've got to make for them now. Right now, Anais is doing really well, she has mild spastic diplegia balance is her main issue. She falls more than the adv. kid but has good protective reflexes, and is very determined. Reagan, on the other hand, is not doing as well, she has spastic quad. and is not mobile. It has been recommended that she have lengthening surgery. I think it is our only option left right now. She is starting to have contractures in her knees and her right hip is subluxed. After reading your trials, makes me wonder what will be the right choices for her...I do not want her to have to live in pain in the future because of a choice I have or have not made. I'm all teary eyed now, and for no apparent reason!!! Good thing I can still type!!! Thanks for your ear!!
[QUOTE=lastramy]Strawberry1,

Thanks for the advice. I will let you know what physical therapy has to say about the knee. I think our CP is pretty close in similarity is it not??? Just one side involved??? Anyway, when I have tried the knee stretches with a towel and with the therabands a while back ago and all I accomplish is a lot of pain in my quad muscles. Does the towel work for you????
Here is a question.......can you sit on the floor with both legs out in front of you (straight...or as straight as they get) without any support??? You would have to keep the arms in front of you. I can't and when I do lean against a wall and put my legs out, my left leg is tight (even with botox) and if I put my chin down on my chest I get a whole lot of leg pain. How about you????
I am just curious. With the botox and the spinal epidural I had done I am just trying to figure out what are CP issues and what aren't.

[/QUOTE]

Yes, only my right side is involved. I *can* sit unsupported with my legs straightened (hmm, I'm not sure if a can straighten my spastic leg 100% well, but anyway). And I can also do calf raises with my right leg, even if my right calf is clearly weaker and thinner.
Every case of CP is unique, so it's very difficult to tell, which orthopedic problems are caused by CP and which are not :(
I also have a leg lenght difference like you do. Mine is relatively slight.
Do you have any scoliosis? I have a mild scoliosis (it is said to be common in hemiplegia). But no medical person has considered it an issue.





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