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What is encephalitis

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain tissue. It can cause a variety of symptoms which may affect your child’s arm and leg strength and ability to walk. Physiotherapy can help to increase muscle strength and mobility to improve your child’s quality of life after encephalitis.

Causes of encephalitis

Encephalitis is caused by an infection from bacteria or a virus.

Balance and co-ordination exercises assisted by a, experienced paediatric physiotherapistAbove: Balance and co-ordination exercises assisted by a, experienced paediatric physiotherapist

Symptoms of encephalitis

Children with encephalitis may be sleepy, irritable, nauseas and confused. They may have a high temperature, have seizures, a stiff neck and difficulty speaking, hearing and walking. Often they are reluctant to look at bright lights. Children with encephalitis require a holistic multi-disciplinary approach to rehabilitation. Your child would significantly benefit from assessment and treatment by a specialist physiotherapist at

Diagnosis of encephalitis

Your child can be diagnosed with encephalitis via a scan of their brain called a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. It may also be necessary to test a sample of fluid from your child’s spinal cord. This is obtained via a lumbar puncture.

Guiding rehabilitation exercises through play activitiesAbove: Guiding rehabilitation exercises through play activities

Treatment of encephalitis

Most children with encephalitis will be cared for in hospital. They will be given medication to reverse the cause of the symptoms and fluids to rehydrate the child.

If encephalitis is serious it can affect your child’s brain and this may cause muscle weakness, a reduced ability to move around, poor balance and reduced co-ordination. Your child’s behaviour may change and it may be difficult for them to participate at school due to an inability to learn new tasks and remember them correctly. They may have trouble speaking and swallowing and changes to vision and hearing. Due to the wide variety of symptoms caused by encephalitis, it is vital that your child receives holistic therapy from a multi-disciplinary team. At, our specialist physiotherapists provide thorough assessment and treatment for children with encephalitis.

Physiotherapy for your child after encephalitis

Following encephalitis, your child would benefit from a thorough physiotherapy assessment with a specialist from A detailed assessment can be carried out in your home environment or one of our clinic locations. Your physiotherapist will assess your child’s muscle strength, tone, sensation, balance, co-ordination and mobility. The findings of the assessment will be discussed and a goal setting session facilitated. It is important to set a series of short and long term goals with your child in order to focus treatment sessions. Depending on your child’s problems and goals, a treatment plan for a child recovering from encephalitis may include: Your physiotherapist will provide a fun and varied exercise program for you to complete with your child as often as possible. These exercises may include strengthening, balance and co-ordination activities depending on your child’s area of difficulty. Your physiotherapist will show you how to help your child stretch to maintain range of movement and prevent stiff tight joints. Further training and education can be provided to your child’s relatives, friends or teachers in order to ensure that all those involved know how to help your child recover in the safest, most efficient manner.

Your physiotherapist will assess your child’s ability to sit, stand, walk, run and climb the stairs after encephalitis. If your child has difficulty with any of these activities, our experienced physiotherapist will provide the necessary equipment and mobility aids to help. These may include walking frames, crutches, orthotics or extra rails in the home environment. Our colleagues at Manchester Occupational Therapy are available to provide advice regarding major adaptations to the home such as stair-lifts or through floor lifts.

Physiotherapy offers significant physical and cognitive benefits to your child recovering from encephalitis. These include: With regular physiotherapy sessions, your child will notice an obvious improvement in the ability to walk and carry out normal daily activities independently. At, our physiotherapists aim to deliver holistic care to children of all ages recovering from encephalitis.

Why choose for your child after encephalitis

At, our specialist physiotherapists have valuable experience in the assessment and treatment of children with encephalitis. We understand it is a worrying time for children and parents and are here to help your child return to previous level of ability and gain an overall improvement in quality of life.
  • No waiting lists
  • Treatment at home or in the clinic
  • Dedicated motivated physiotherapists
  • Liaison with other health professionals involved in your child’s care
  • Provision of individually tailored exercise program
  • Provision of mobility aids and equipment
  • Access to specialist gymnasium
  • Access to hydrotherapy
  • Access to occupational therapy
  • Access to speech and language therapy
Physiotherapy can significantly benefit your child and speed up the recovery from encephalitis. Treatment sessions are based on current evidence and delivered to an excellent standard by professional, motivated physiotherapists. To book an appointment or speak to a physiotherapist regarding your child’s needs after encephalitis please contact us now on 0330 088 7800, or book online today!

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