Muscular Dystrophy Treatment
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What Is A Muscular Dystrophy?
The muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited diseases in which the muscles that control movement (called voluntary muscles) progressively weaken. In some forms of this disease, the heart and other organs are also affected.
Muscular Dystrophy SYMPTOMS
For most types of muscular dystrophy, symptoms start to show up in childhood or in the teen years. In general, children with the condition:
- Fall down often
- Have weak muscles
- Have muscle cramps
- Have trouble getting up, climbing stairs, running, or jumping
- Walk on their toes or waddle
- Some will also have symptoms like:
- A curved spine (called scoliosis)
- Droopy eyelids
- Heart problems
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Vision problems
- Weakness in the muscles of the face
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Muscular Dystrophy Physical Therapy Treatment
- General exercises – a range of motion and stretching exercises can help combat the inevitable inward movement of the limbs as muscles and tendons shorten. Limbs tend to become fixed in position, and these types of activities can help keep them mobile for longer. Standard low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking and swimming can also help slow the disease’s progression.
- Breathing assistance – as the muscles used for breathing become weaker, it may be necessary to use devices to help improve oxygen delivery through the night. In the most severe cases, a patient may need to use a ventilator to breathe on their behalf.
- Mobility aids – canes, wheelchairs, and walkers.
- Braces – these keep muscles and tendons stretched and help slow their shortening. They also give added support to the user when moving.