Cerebral palsy (CP) has been seen as a major childhood disability disease. It interferes with the function and development of the child and makes the child permanently dependent on a second person. Modern medicine doesn't have a cure for this disease. It is a neuromotor disorder of cerebral origin. It cannot be correlated with any single term disease in Ayurveda as its symptoms are multifaceted and clinical features may also vary.
In Koumarabhritya (Branch of ayurveda dealing with Paediatric diseases) there is clear mention under various contexts of diseases with symptoms of CP. Overlap of many symptoms of CP are seen in various diseases mentioned. Neurolgical, locomotor, nutritional disorders all form part of it. The causative factors of these symptoms are also similiar to what is mentioned in the modern medicine like nutritional deficiency in pregnancy, unhealthy sperm and ovum leading to genetic disorders, unhealthy regimen during pregnancy etc.
Ayurvedic treatment protocol is based on the concept of Vatavyadhi treatment considering the age and health status of the patient. Treatment is mainly focused on improving the quality of life of the patient by improving the muscle strength and tone, regeneration of the impaired nervous system, improve general health, and increase body weight etc. The treatment modalities are mainly external therapies like abhyangom, udwarthanam, pizhichil, njavara kizhi, shiroddhara, vasthy, etc. which is individualized and also internal medicines for long term follow up. The treatment has to be repeated at regular intervals also for better results. Along with these, Yoga, physiotherapy, etc. are also advised. Speech therapy and other activities for improving the cognitive skills of the child is also part of treatment.
Ayurveda has been seen as a promising system in management of CP.
- Dr. Indu Sasikumar, MD (Ayu.)