When children learn to walk, the muscles, joints, and brain must all learn to synchronize properly to make it happen. What happens in toddlers with cerebral palsy? New research sheds light it this. Cerebral Palsy News Today reports on a study on toddlers with CP and how they learn to walk differently.
Previous research studied how children with CP walk after the age of six, but only a few looked at the critical early stages of walking. Researchers in France and Romania created a study to look at the walk of toddlers with CP within the first six months of independent walking.
The team looked at 12 toddlers with CP on one side of the body and 25 unaffected children. Cameras, electrodes, reflective markers were used to watch the children walk five meters down a hallway.
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The biggest finding was that the pelvis on the affected side in the children with CP rotated externally and that this rotation was more likely caused by brain injuries and not due to a compensation mechanism. Furthermore, there was no difference in the electrical activity of the legs in the children.
Based on this research, they recommend early rehabilitation for motor control, strength building, and pelvic position before children with CP are able to stand on their own to improve walking outcomes.