Young patients with cerebral palsy may suffer from chronic severe pain, and may also be unable to verbalize their symptoms. According to new research, doctors and parents need to look out for signs of pain, because patients often begin to believe that the pain is normal.
In most cases, the pain is due to dystonia or a hip dislocation. Dystonia is a condition that is linked to excessive muscle tone. According to the research, 25% of young people who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy suffered from moderate to severe chronic pain. The pain was severe enough for it to restrict the person's activities.
The study, which was conducted by the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, was based on an analysis of more than 250 individuals who suffered from cerebral palsy. These patients were between the ages of three and 19. The research data were collected in the form of questionnaires, and also from physicians, caregivers and parents.
It is important for parents, caregivers and doctors to frequently ask patients with cerebral palsy about pain levels. This can be difficult because a cerebral palsy patient may struggle with communication, especially verbal communication. Additionally, diagnosing pain is likely to be difficult because there may be a number of different triggers that set off pain for different patients.
Persons who suffer from cerebral palsy may be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security disability benefits program. In cases of severe cerebral palsy, if the person is no longer able to talk, walk on his own, or has vision difficulties, the person may be eligible for benefits.