Neuromuscular Basics

Neuromuscular disorder is a general term that applies to a wide array of different conditions that affects the central nervous system, brain and spinal cord, muscles and nerves.

The two most common neuromuscular conditions affecting pediatric patients are Cerebral Palsy (CP), affecting 3 in 1000 live births and a group of disorders known as Muscular Dystrophy.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder caused by a deformation during brain growth and development or a non-progressive brain injury and is characterized by impairment or loss of motor function.


Cerebral palsy can occur before, during or immediately after birth and the majority of children affected by cerebral palsy are born with it.


Children with cerebral palsy will likely show signs of physical or motor impairment. The type, location, and areas affected will vary. Symptoms can include loss of muscle, twitching, shaking, walking on toes, gait complications and much more.


Cerebral palsy is a long-term disorder with no cure, but it also never gets worse. Treatment with orthoses can greatly improve mobility and function in children with CP.

Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a general term for a large group of over 30 disorders that affect the spinal and skeletal muscles. Some examples are:

  • Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (CMD)
  • Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD)
  • Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD)
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)
  • Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD)
  • Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy (DM)