Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a condition that occurs during birth when the spinal column is affected. It is a disorder that affects the development of the brain and the spinal cord. Some children born with spinal bifida may have had an opening in their spine after birth which was surgically repaired. Any nerve damage caused is permanent. The result will vary depending of the individual’s extent of nerve damage. The damage to the nerves may cause physical mobility difficulties.

Physiotherapy is beneficial for anyone suffering from spina bifida to help maintain movement and prevent any further weakness.

There are a few different types of Spina bifida, these include:

  • Occult Spinal Dysraphism (OSD) – Infants may have this, it is characterised by a dimple on the lower back, and it may also be characterized by tufts of hair, lumps or red marks. The spinal cord may grow in the wrong way as the child grows up.
  • Spina Bifida Occulta (SPO) – Around fifteen percent of the normal population have it and do not realise. It can only be identified by an x-ray.
  • Meningocele – This may cause part of the spinal cord to come out through the spine like a small sac, usually there is no nerve damage. People who suffer from this may have minor disabilities.
  • Myelomeningocele – The most severe form. The spinal cord and nerves come through the open part in the spine. It can cause nerve damage. A large percentage of children with this condition have a lot of fluid on their brain. Fluid will build up causing pressure and swelling. Without treatment a child’s head an become big from swelling causing brain damage.

Effects of Spina Bifida

The symptoms of Spina bifida will vary from person to person. Some of the symptoms of spina bifida may include:

  • Weakness or total paralysis of the legs
  • Bowel incontinence and urinary incontinence
  • Loss of skin sensation

How we can help

Treatment may include the following:

  • Improving mobility
  • Improving transfers
  • Increasing safety
  • Reducing risk of falls
  • Maintaining strength
  • Maintaining joint flexibility
  • Core stability and balance
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • Stretching techniques

All enquiries please call 01695 574317 or make an Online Enquiry