What is Hydrocephalus?

HydrocephalusHydrocephalus is a condition where there is a build-up of excessive fluid in the brain. The brain normally relies on a certain level of cerebrospinal fluid for protection, acting as a shock absorber and carrier of nutrients. When this balance is disturbed however, pressure on the brain increases which can result in harmful pressure on tissues of the brain.

What causes hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus can be congenital (born with the condition) or acquired after birth as a result of injury or disease such as meningitis, head injury or conditions such as spina bifida.

How is hydrocephalus treated?

It is important that normal levels of fluid and pressure are restored to prevent or limit further damage to brain tissue. Treatment usually involves surgery to insert a shunt which allows fluid to drain elsewhere in the body, usually the abdominal cavity.

What Therapies for Kids can do

Excessive pressure on the brain can result in physical problems in babies or children which may affect their physical development, achievement of milestones, balance, coordination or mobility. Our team of specialist paediatric physiotherapists will assess your child's gross motor skills , muscle tone and play skills. Children with a large head often have difficulty with play positions and fatigue more easily than this peers.

Aims of treatment will vary according to the child’s needs and age but may include:

  • Individual treatment sessions to promote achievement of gross motor milestones such as sitting, standing, crawling
  • Advice on how to make tummy time ease and fun
  • Maximising independence in mobility
  • Exercises to improve balance and coordination
  • Exercises to stretch or strengthen tight or weak muscles
  • Inclusion in our Fizzy Gym groups for practice of skills learned in individual sessions
  • Provision of a home programme
  • Improving confidence and quality of life
  • Improving tolerance and stamina.

 What you can do

You can provide your child with play opportunities and an environment that assists them in attaining motor milestones. Tummy time is an essential part of the younger child's day and having as many times in a day to be on their tummy will be beneficial. You can build in opportunities in your day for you and your child to practice activities suggested in your home programme