Functional Power Training Program for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Functional Power Training Program for Children with Cerebral PalsyFunctional Power Training Program for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Did you know that 60-70% of ambulatory children with spastic cerebral palsy are integrated into their community, schools and recreational activities?  These children strive to participate in the same activities as their typical developing friends and peers. It can be very difficult though due to decreased walking speed and muscle strength especially in the distal musculature which is crucial for the push off phase of walking. Previous research indicates that progressive resistance exercises in children with cerebral palsy do increase muscle strength in the lower extremities but this increase in strength does not improve their walking capacity.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair recently published research on a functional power-training program that consists of loaded functional exercises, such as walking, running, and climbing stairs, performed at high movement velocities with a focus on strengthening the plantar muscles in order to improve walking capacity in children with CP. The participants included 22 children with spastic cerebral palsy, GMFCS Level I and II who completed a 14-week functional power training program in groups 3x/week. To determine effectiveness, the muscle power sprint test, 1-minute walk test, 10-m shuttle run test, gross motor function (GMFM-66), isometric strength of lower-limb muscles and dynamic ankle plantar flexor strength were completed.

The results indicated the following:

  • changes during the training period were significantly larger than changes in the usual care period for all outcome measures.
  • large improvements were found during the training period for walking capacity and muscle strength.

The researchers concluded that functional power-training is an effective training for improving walking capacity in young children with cerebral palsy.

Reference:  van Vulpen, L. F., de Groot, S., Rameckers, E., Becher, J. G., & Dallmeijer, A. J. (2017). Improved Walking Capacity and Muscle Strength After Functional Power-Training in Young Children With Cerebral Palsy. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 1545968317723750.

Teaching Motor Skills to Children with Cerebral Palsy and Similar Movement Disorders - A

Teaching Motor Skills to Children with Cerebral Palsy and Similar Movement Disorders: The ELECTRONIC version of Teaching Motor Skills is a must-have reference for all therapists who work with children with cerebral palsy.   Whether you are a beginner or experienced therapist you will find the information concise, informative and very helpful to carry out everyday functional tasks including stretching with children with cerebral palsy. The book provides activity suggestions throughout the developmental sequence such as head control, tummy time, sitting, transitions, walking and beyond.  There is also great information that reviews additional interventions for children with cerebral palsy such as bracing, surgical and medical management.  The author, Sieglinde Martin, is an experienced PT and a mother of a child with cerebral palsy. FIND OUT MORE.

Functional Power Training Program for Children with Cerebral Palsy