Physical Therapy Elements in the Management of the Child with Cerebral Palsy

Carole A. Tucker, Katherine B. Bevans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Physical therapy (PT) focuses on the optimization of movement to improve health, function, participation, and quality of life through services for (re)habilitation, wellness and prevention, and enhancement of participation. PT interventions address all levels of functioning and health in the WHO ICF model across all stages of the lifespan and across home, academic, community, work, and medical settings. PT interventions for individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) often focus on improving muscle performance, flexibility, body composition, and aerobic capacity, on pain reduction, and on prevention of secondary effects of the primary neuro-impairment underlying CP. By addressing impairments and facilitating movement within the context of complex, functional activities, PT interventions promote meaningful activity and participation of the individual with CP. In this chapter, the principles and key components of PT practice are presented, active elements of intervention that underlie PT effectiveness are highlighted, and an overview and general characteristics of the evidence based on PT interventions are addressed. The chapter concludes with a summary of current and future challenges and proposes strategies to expand the evidence base for PT interventions in a rapidly shifting knowledge base and healthcare provision system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCerebral Palsy
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783319745589
ISBN (Print)9783319745572
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Activitybased interventions
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Flexibility
  • Motor learning
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Neuromotor functioning
  • Physical therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Health Professions


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