Staying Active


Exercise is key for your overall health. Exercise and staying active can provide physical and emotional benefits as well as improve your mood. Learn from what individuals living with hydrocephalus are doing to stay active.

What You Need to Know

Consensus Statement on Physical Activities for Children with Hydrocephalus.

All children have a need and the right to be their own person as they mature and explore their world. A child with hydrocephalus is no different. It is essential that he or she be treated like any other child and afforded every opportunity to live as normal a life as possible. Children with hydrocephalus can be treated with either a shunt, which leaves a medical device in their bodies to manage their condition, or by an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), which eliminates the need for a medical device. For children that do have a shunt, the shunt is very durable. Neither a shunt nor an ETV should pose any special problems in the course of normal physical activity or childhood bumps or falls.

In general, the activities of children and adults with hydrocephalus should not be restricted. They should be encouraged to participate in regular activities, including school and afterschool physical education programs and recreational sporting activities. While some neurosurgeons are reluctant to have their patients participate in contact sports, it should be emphasized that the specifics of each patient’s situation are unique. This is particularly true for children living with other health conditions or issues (e.g., spina bifida, cerebral palsy, pulmonary problems, epilepsy) and therefore the determination of safe activities depends on taking all of this into account.

Consultation with a neurosurgeon is strongly recommended. Together, the neurosurgeon, the patient, and the family should be the ultimate decision-makers regarding specific activities for each individual with treated hydrocephalus.

—Medical Advisory Board and Board of Directors, The Hydrocephalus Association

Sports, Activities, Gadgets, and Hydrocephalus

This session will provide an overview of the history of shunt technology with a focus on advances and the development of smart shunts. Attendees will be able to learn the history of shunts and the core components and what is on the horizon for treating hydrocephalus.

Ramin Eskandari, MS, MD Hydrocephalus Association Medical Advisory Board University of South Carolina (MUSC)

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Through A Mother's Eyes: Sports and Hydrocephalus

In this blog episode, Debby shares her family's experience in supporting her daughters through various sport activities.

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Extracurricular Activities and Hobbies: The Positive Effect They Have for Individuals with Disabilities

People with disabilities can benefit greatly by taking part in hobbies and extracurricular activities. Here are some tips to help you identify the activity that's right for you.

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The Benefits of Boxing

As a health and fitness professional, Sophia tells us that boxing is not about fighting, she believes that with the proper guidance and precautions, boxing can be an empowering and beneficial form of exercise for people living with chronic conditions like hydrocephalus.

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En Garde! The Sport of Fencing and Hydrocephalus

Jonathan, who lives with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, shares discovering fencing as a form of exercise and competition.

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Sophia Gigante: Finding Strength from Within

Born with hydrocephalus and later developing hypotonia, Sophia Gigante was tired of hearing doctors tell her no. But at age 16, a trip to the gym changed everything and she soon realized there wasn’t much she couldn’t do.

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Never Give Up

Ariel Yong follows up on the topic of our recent video blog by Debby Buffa about kids with hydrocephalus playing sports by talking about the lessons she learned as an athlete.

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