Ataxia is defined as an inability to generate a normal or expected voluntary movement trajectory through space that reveals coordinated, functional precision. The ataxic deficit in movement precision is not attributed to weakness or to involuntary muscle activity.
How can TheraTogs contribute to the management of children with ataxic CP?
TheraTogs systems are perfectly suited to address ataxia incident to cerebral palsy. Delayed sensory processing and modulation are fundamental issues, as is the balance deficit exhibited by these clients.
Goal #1: Improve stability in the trunk and hips to improve efficiency and reduce falls and collisions.
TheraTogs undergarments are designed to compress the body and to resist vertical stretch. Together with selected strapping, they deliver a customized body hug with vertical joint compression that increases the volume on tactile and somatosensory input and promotes a postural holding response in the trunk muscles.
Goal #2: Reduce excessive ranges of purposeful limb motions.
By providing a more organized and stable trunk and pelvis, TheraTogs garments and customized strapping applications foster more effective limb function.
- Postural control
- Somatosensory information processing and modulation
- Neural plasticity: cortical mapping and massed practice
Therapy Approaches Supported by TheraTogs:
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
- Perception-Action Approach (P-A) (formerly TAMO – Tscharnuter Akademie for Motor Organization)
- Sensory Integration (SI) Approach
Check out this side-by-side video of 6-year-old Hannah with and without her TheraTogs. Says Hannah: “I don’t fall down any more, Mommy!”
Applicable TheraTogs Systems
These TheraTogs products support therapy goals for clients with ataxic CP:
- Posture and Torso Alignment (PTA) System
- Full Body System (FBS) – comes with limb strapping components.
About Ataxic CP
Ataxia is rare in pure form. A recent study showed that 6% of children with cerebral palsy have ataxia.
The cerebellum – a large brain region located at the base of the skull – functions as a monitor of our movements, detecting and correcting errors by processing somatosensory input – the sensations that inform us about our body’s size limits, position in space, joint angles, limb weight and weight loading, and movement directions and speed. This proprioceptive information is integrated with the rest of the brain’s purposes and expectations in real time.
Hallmark signs of cerebellar ataxia include a wide-base of support in standing, with staggering, frequent collisions with walls and objects, and frequent falling while walking. Overshooting the target is common while reaching. The neural processing of posture- and movement-related sensory input and the ongoing adjustments by the motor areas appear to be delayed, allowing the magnitude of body weight shifts and the path of limb movements to become exaggerated before they are registered and checked.
- Sanger TD, Chen D, et al. Definition and classification of negative motor signs in childhood. Pediatrics 2006;118;2159-2167.
- Stoykov ME1, Stojakovich M, Stevens JA. 2005. Beneficial effects of postural intervention on prehensile action for an individual with ataxia resulting from brainstem stroke. NeuroRehabilitation. 20(2): 85-89.
- Himmelmann K1, Hagberg G, Beckung E, Hagberg B, Uvebrant P. The changing panorama of cerebral palsy in Sweden. IX. Prevalence and origin in the birth-year period 1995-1998. Acta Paediatr. 2005;94(3):287-94.