WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF JOINT PAIN?
Spina bifida is the term used to describe a series of birth defects in babies affecting the development of the spine and neural systems.The severity of the neural defect can vary and spina bifida is classified in to three types.
SPINA BIFIDA OCCULT
The most common & least serious form that usually does not require treatment.In this type there is only a tiny gap between the vertebrae.
SPINA BIFIDA MENINGOCELE
The rarest type where the bones of the vertebrae develop normally,however the protective membranes of the spinal cord are pushed out,this can be removed surgically and no further treatment is usually required.
This is the most serious form where the spinal coloumn remains open causing the membranes and spinalcord to push out creating a sac that may or may not be covered by skin, in this case there may be extensive damage to the nervous system.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF SPINA BIFIDA?
The effect of spina bifida will vary according to the type, location & amount of nerve damage in the spinal cord in mylomeningocele there may be:
- Partial or complete paralysis of the parts of the body below the spinal level affected which impacts on development of gross motor skills
- Altered sensation.
- Altered bladder &bowel control.
- Secondary effects of altered muscle control impact on musculoskeletal system.
HOW CAN PHYSIOTHERAPY HELP SPINA BIFIDA?
The effects of spina bifida can impact enormously on a child's function &physiotherapy should commence as soon as possible in order to maximise a child's potential and quality of life. Treatment will vary according to the severity of the condition our specialist physiotherapist can provide treatment which may include:
- Maximising independence in functional activities such as standing transferring& walking.
- Provision of mobility aids & equipment to increase independence
- Exercise to maintain or improve muscle strength & length.
- Anticipating,preventing & minimising secondary effects such as development of contractunes.
- Positioning & postural advice.
- Teaching wheelchair skills to maximise independence.
- Provision of appropriate orthotics.
- Exercise to improve balance & co-ordination to prevent risk of falls.