What is DIPG?
DIPG is a rare cancer of the brain. Because it affects the nervous system, the majority of symptoms are neurological in nature, and become more affected over time.
Our brave superheroes with DIPG work on many different things during physio sessions! Sometimes we focus on comfort and positioning, at other times we work on transfers and maintaining mobility, and recently, a super-courageous warrior practised squatting low, for his Make A Wish ride in a Mustang car! Every child and family with DIPG has different needs and goals, and here at BBP our goals are based solely on the client’s wishes, and we are sensitive to each family as they go through challenging times.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy can help maintain muscle and joint range of movement, enable function, increase comfort and reduce pain, and position for optimum function.
Care and independence
Sometimes super warriors with DIPG practise their independence with the help of strengthening and maintaining the muscle groups involved in specific joints for transfers. We are also able to quickly order simple, versatile and practical pieces of equipment to make life easier, such as sliding boards, grip pads and assistive walking devices. We are able to work closely with occupational therapists and social services to make sure living accommodation is suitable and comfortable as efficiently as possible.
Maintaining mobility is sometimes an important goal for our DIPG superheroes. This can be in the form of walking, assisted walking or using assistive devices. Whatever our superhero’s goals and family activities are, we are there to make mobility smoother and participation possible. One of our superheroes was able to regain some independent standing, and walked with the use of a rollator frame, which enabled him to spend quality time with his friends at the same level as them.
Function and participation
No matter what stage of DIPG your superhero is, our ultimate goal is function and participation. No strenuous tasks are recommended or completed unless it fulfils an important goal in our client’s lifestyle. This can take the form of increasing strength for sitting, working on balance skills to overcome ataxia, or simply maintaining muscle strength and range for comfort. Our client’s wishes are our number one priority.
Pain and positioning
Pain is reported in many super warriors with DIPG, and sometimes there are simple positions and techniques to complement pain medication, which can help significantly. We are experienced in helping alleviate joint pain and arthritis symptoms, a common side effect from steroids. This can be through a postural management programme, where position changes are recommended over a certain time frame, and through supportive equipment and sleep adaptations.
Our physiotherapists are experienced at working with a range of professionals, and speeding up referrals or orders for assistive equipment. We are able to write urgent reports and letters for disabled parking permits, adaptive equipment and other therapist or healthcare referrals. Our team are experienced in making life easier and more comfortable during difficult periods of time.
Find out if we can help your DIPG warrior, by contacting us.