BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, 1 in 323 babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy in the US. That means every single hour, a baby is born with cerebral palsy here in the US.
Approximately 18 million people of all ages have cerebral palsy worldwide. KX News spoke with a physical therapist who is helping not only C-P patients but their caregivers as well.
Proximal 50 is not just a gym in Bismarck. Located off Divide Ave., this gym offers so much more. It’s where you’ll find wellness services, group fitness classes, and physical therapists.
Tana Trotter is a physical therapist who works with a lot of people, helping them walk, move, and stay active in a safe and healthy way.
Trotter says, “As a physical therapist, in our pt world, a lot of times things like cerebral palsy go to more of the pediatric side of physical therapy. There’s a lot of specialities, especially in Bismarck that are great options for that. But I find, as kids get older, they don’t quite fit that niche anymore, but they are wanting to be more active in a gym setting.”
That’s where proximal comes in.
Physical therapy can be beneficial for everyone. Caregivers provide a very physical service for their clients, and that can impact all their motor functions. So, some help going their way can be very beneficial.
“On the other side of that though, there are always caregivers that are doing a lot of transferring, a lot of heavy lifting, a lot of activities multiple times throughout a day that can then lead to them being injured. And so I have found, since opening Proximal 50, that we are often helping the caregivers as well. Getting them stronger, teaching them to do lifting more properly, setting up their house in better way to also try to decrease the load on them, the person being cared for, and just the whole system of it all.” Trotter says.
Proximal works to provide an inclusive experience for those who utilize their services. And places like them see the improvements firsthand from similar wellness solutions and physical therapy.
“So when I am working with someone with cerebral palsy, I’m often trying to really think out of the box. So trying to get them into a traditional gym anyway that I can. Whether that’s using bands to kind of support them standing. I often use hooks that help them to grab things, if their grip isn’t quite what we need it to be to do a lot of those items. And so I’m continually trying to think of contraptions that I can create that can get them doing things anyone who come to do a workout in a gym setting does.” she said.
Overall, therapy is an important part of life for those with cerebral palsy and also those who provide care. It may be a lifelong effort… but each little bit of therapy helps someone who needs it every single day.