Common Types of Therapies to Treat Birth Injuries

Common Types of Therapies to Treat Birth Injuries

by / Wednesday, 12 August 2020 / Published in Birth Trauma
Child undergoing physical therapy

When parents find out a child has been injured around the time of birth, one of the first things they’ll want to know is what can be done in terms of treatment. Is there anything that can be done to help improve their child’s quality of life? Will they need surgery? Or would medication or some type of therapy help?

Depending on the type of injury and the severity of the injury, there’s a chance that birth trauma can be treated early on and the child won’t experience any long-term effects as a result, whether that treatment is corrective surgery or physical therapy. But in other cases, a birth injury cannot be fully cured, but various types of treatments may still be able to help make things better for the child.

Since birth injuries can vary so drastically on a case-by-case basis, there isn’t a “one size fits all” type of approach to treating them. However, some types of therapies are commonly used to treat a variety of birth injuries.


In some cases, surgery may be essential to repair some of the damage an injury has caused. A brachial plexus injury, for instance, may require nerve transfers if the injury involved nerve roots being torn from the spinal cord. Surgery could also be needed if a brachial plexus injury resulted in scar tissue forming on nerves, making it difficult for the nerves to perform normally.

Physical Therapy

In many cases, physical therapy can be beneficial in treating children with many different types of birth trauma, including cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and other types of brachial plexus injuries. Through physical therapy, children may be able to do things like alleviate pain, improve range of motion, build strength, regain sensation, and improve coordination.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy and physical therapy are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinction between the two types of therapies. Physical therapy is more focused on improving physical movement and mobility, but occupational therapy is more focused on helping people build the skills they need to be able to lead their day-to-day lives.

If a child experienced a brain injury around the time of birth, occupational therapy could possibly be recommended to help them build the fine and gross motor skills they need to be able to do things like dress themselves or use food utensils. It can also help children improve their social skills and understand appropriate behaviors.

Therapeutic Hypothermia

In most cases, hypothermia is something people want to avoid. But if a child experienced HIE, which is a type of brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen, during delivery, cooling the body for a few days after birth can help prevent damage to the brain from spreading and causing more severe effects.

Other Types of Therapy

There are a lot of different types of therapy out there that may be able to help manage the effects of your child’s injury. For example, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is being used experimentally as a way to minimize brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen during delivery. In other cases, a child might benefit from things like massage therapy, chiropractic intervention therapy, water therapy, or acupuncture.

Regardless of what type of birth injury your child has and how it can be treated, it’s very important to make sure you know your rights. When you work with a birth trauma lawyer, you’ll be able to get help from someone who understands how the law applies to your case and what legal options are available to you. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from someone experienced in handling Michigan birth trauma cases. Contact us today for help.

Image: iStock / andresr