Cerebral Palsy

Range of Motion offers Exercise Physiologist designed one-on-one exercise sessions for individuals with this condition. Book a complimentary consultation or contact us to find out more.

The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

Based on guidelines provided by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Condition Overview:

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a lesion of the brain occuring around birth that interferes with normal brain development. CP causes impairments in motor control, balance and posture, resulting from deficiencies in muscle tone and spinal reflexes.

Short Term Response to Exercise:

Individuals with CP experience reduced mechanical efficiency which causes increased energy expenditure. This results in work capacity being as much as 50% lower than that of able bodied subjects. This deficit is hypothesised to result as much from poor exercise habits as it does from difficulty performaing skilled movements, muscle imbalance and functional strength. Fatigue and stress can also cause negative exercise outcomes.

Long Term Response to Exercise:

Benefits of exercise to individuals with CP are extensive and include:

  • Improved sense of wellness.
  • Improved body image.
  • Improved ability to complete activities of daily living.
  • Lessening of symptoms associated with spasticity and athetosis.
  • Increased peak oxygen uptake.
  • Increased ventilatory threshold.
  • Increased work rate.
  • Increased range of motion.
  • Improved coordination.
  • Increased strength.
  • Increased muscular endurance.
  • Increases in muscle mass.

Condition Management:

Drug therapy and surgery are both common management modalities to combat the effects of CP.

Range of Motion’s Treatment Methodologies:

Range of Motion designs specific exercise programs unique to the individual based on The Range of Motion Model of Health. Modifications to this basic framework are made based on the specific recommendations outlined below.


  • 3-5 days/week.
  • 20-40 mins/session.
  • Emphasise duration.


  • 2 days / week.
  • 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
  • Progress as tolerated.


  • Should accompany all other training.

Visit the Ability Centre

Book a complimentary consultation or contact us to find out more.

Laskin, J. L., (2003). Cerebral Palsy. In: Durstine, J. L., Moore, G. E. (2003), ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities 2nd Ed. (pp 288-294) American College of Sports Medicine, Human Kinetics.