We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Cerebral Palsy Exercises?

By Emma Lloyd
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cerebral palsy is a brain disorder that can cause both intellectual and physical developmental problems. This disorder can be congenital, in which a child is born with brain damage, or the brain damage can occur shortly after birth. Treatment for this disorder typically includes medication to control symptoms such as muscle spasms and surgery to treat muscle and nerve problems. One of the most important facets of treatment for cerebral palsy is physical rehabilitation, which includes various types of cerebral palsy exercises to improve body condition.

Exercises for cerebral palsy tend to focus on building one or more of the following physical attributes: bone strength, muscle flexibility and range of motion, cardiac and circulatory system health and endurance and strength. Someone with cerebral palsy can use various types of exercise according to his or her current capability and their exercise goals. For example, not all individuals can stand unaided, and others have sufficient physical capability to walk, jog or climb stairs.

Almost anyone with cerebral palsy can carry out basic stretching exercises, whether sitting or standing. People who have trouble with stretches can use assisted stretching, in which a physical therapist, family member or care-giver helps by extending and flexing the limbs. Assisted stretching is a common cerebral palsy exercise that parents can use to help improve flexibility in babies and young children.

Several types of cerebral palsy exercises can help improve cardiovascular fitness for people who cannot stand or walk unassisted. One such exercise is the use of an arm or leg cycle, which can be done indoors or outdoors using stationary, semi-portable equipment. This type of exercise is ideal for people with cerebral palsy because it improves muscle strength as well as cardiovascular health, and because it can be done while sitting in a chair that provides the necessary support.

People with cerebral palsy who have sufficient mobility and strength might be able to walk, jog or climb stairs for exercise. This type of exercise helps promote muscle strength and flexibility, improves cardiovascular fitness and improves circulation. This type of exercise does require a significant amount of physical strength and capability, and it is not suitable for everyone.

Regardless of the extent of physical capability, dancing can be an excellent form of exercise, because both seated and standing dance can improve strength, flexibility and muscle control. Dance can help increase exercise motivation as well as provide physical benefits, especially for younger people with cerebral palsy. Children often find dance enjoyable, and parents can provide props such as balloons, ribbons and even costumes to make dance-based cerebral palsy exercises fun.

Aquatic exercises are ideal because they allow the individual to exercise in an environment that reduces strain on joints and bones. Swimming and other forms of water exercise help improve body flexibility and are a good way to encourage different types of movement, especially in children. One particular advantage of aquatic cerebral palsy exercises is that while in the water, there is no risk of falling or sustaining injury because of erratic muscle or limb movements. Floating devices can be worn to ensure that swimming is a safe activity, and children should be supervised at all times.

One particularly beneficial aspect of cerebral palsy exercises is that a good exercise program sometimes can reduce the need for medication or surgery. This is because someone with cerebral palsy can gain improved strength, flexibility, muscle control and other benefits. In some cases, this might mean less medication is needed to control symptoms, or even that medication alone can control symptoms in a case where surgery otherwise might have been required.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.