Cerebral palsy – Treatment

The treatment of cerebral palsy is always multidisciplinary. Although the damage to the brain region cannot be reversed or the interrupted development made up for, targeted therapies can ensure the best possible development and quality of life.


It is important that you start your child’s therapies as early in life as possible so that healthy areas of the brain can potentially take over functions. It will also help your child if you work well with the therapists and supplement the therapies with exercises at home. The therapy plan is about supporting the child and enabling them to live as independently as possible. Help with this

  • Physiotherapy and occupational therapy
  • Hippotherapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Medication
  • Orthopaedic technology
  • Operational measures

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy for cerebral palsy

The aim of physiotherapy and occupational therapy is to promote mobility and counteract the shortening of tendons and muscles. Normal movement patterns are encouraged with special exercises. The child trains its balance and improves its muscle control. Occupational therapy promotes the child’s ability to act, training them to grasp, hold and handle different materials and objects with the aim of increasing their independence in everyday life.

Cerebral palsy: Hippotherapy

Hippotherapy, or therapeutic riding, is often used for children with cerebral palsy and provides good help with movement disorders. Hippotherapy helps to strengthen the core muscles and improve balance and coordination. It must be prescribed. In Switzerland, Hippotherapy-K® is protected by copyright and is recognized by health insurance companies and disability insurers as a physiotherapeutic treatment measure.

Speech therapy for cerebral palsy

In speech therapy, oral motor skills are trained to improve speaking and eating. Medication is used to treat symptoms of paralysis or to loosen the spastically cramped muscles.

Orthopaedic technology

Orthopaedic technology is an important area; special splints can be used to treat deformities and joint damage, walking, standing and gripping aids make everyday life easier, and wheelchairs provide mobility.

Surgical measures for cerebral palsy

In some cases, surgical interventions may be necessary, for example to lengthen shortened tendons in order to restore joint mobility. With a selective dorsal rhizotomy, the nerve roots in the lower spinal cord are severed, which alleviates the spasticity of the lower limbs and can give children a better quality of life. Targeted injections with botulinum toxin A (Botox) also help to reduce muscle tension locally.

Responsible professionals

Maurizio Calcagni, Prof. Dr. med.

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery

Tel. +41 44 255 11 11

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