Spina bifida is a congenital defect of the nervous system. In Central Europe, approx. one out of 1000 children is born with an open back. The affected infants usually have an open, protruding section over the lower section of the spine at birth. The spinal cord is not embedded into the spinal canal in this region and protrudes outward. Differing symptoms may occur depending on the form and extent of spina bifida. Problems when walking are possible, as is paraplegia. Cerebrospinal fluids often accumulate (hydrocephalus).
Straightening up the body has a positive effect on the entire mental and physical development in spina bifida. Consequential damage which may be produced by malpositions is prevented. The children can actively participate in life and explore new spaces in which to move about.
Folic acid can prevent spina bifida
Newborns with spina bifida must receive surgery immediately after birth. To prevent a life threatening infection, doctors close the open back. However the damage to the spinal cord cannot be reversed. So far, it is not known why this defect occurs. However it is scientifically proven that a lack of folic acid in early pregnancy increases the risk of spina bifida. Women who want children should therefore take folic acid at an early time after consultation with their doctor.