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The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Muscular Dystrophy

The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy is defined as a group of genetic or inherited diseases resulting in weakness of muscles. These conditions belong to myopathy, a skeletal muscle disease resulting in muscle weakening and shrinking over time. This muscular disease can affect the patient’s ability to work and do their day-to-day activities and the heart and lungs. 

Some forms of muscular Dystrophy are visible at birth; some may develop as the kids grow. Some forms show symptoms during adulthood. There is currently no known cure yet for this rare, uncommon disease. 

Often the disease runs in families. 

There are many types of muscular Dystrophy, around 30 of them. Listed below are some of the most common forms.

  1. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is the most common of all the types and tends to affect 2-7-year-old boys. Girls can be affected, too.  

Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment can control symptoms to improve the patient’s quality of life, but no cure has been invented yet for this disease. 

Steroid drugs may be prescribed to slow the loss of muscle strength, and treatment should be started as soon as the child is diagnosed or when there is a noticeable decline in muscle strength.

  1. Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) is the second most common form. Its symptoms may come between ages 5 and 60, although usually come on during the teenage years.
  2. Facioscapuldrumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD, the 3rd most common, affects the facial muscles, the shoulder blades and upper arms.
  3. Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (CMD) is apparent at birth.
  4. Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy (EDMD) primarily affects children with symptoms appearing by age ten.
  5. Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD) affects the muscles of the shoulders and hips and other parts closest to the body.

Muscular dystrophy symptoms include:

        Difficulty walking or running

        Enlarged calf muscles

        Trouble swallowing

        Waddling, or unusual walking gait

        Learning disabilities

        Heart problems

        Muscle pains

        Stiff or loose joints

        Curved spine (scoliosis)

        Breathing problems

If you or your healthcare provider know the existence of muscular Dystrophy, you or your child may undergo any of the following diagnostic tests.


enzyme and protein blood test

electromyography (EMG)

muscle biopsy

Genetic tests.

Each type of muscular Dystrophy has its treatment needs that are separate and different from the other types. However, for all of these types, physiotherapy is one approach that may help manage and slow down the progression of the disease. The patient can also be helped to maintain their quality of life and minimise the pain.  

Patients should seek the help of a physiotherapist at a physiotherapy centre soon after having a muscular dystrophy diagnosis. This approach provides massages, exercises, education and advice to the patients. The processes can help the affected young or adult person manage complications like muscle weakness and contraction resulting from disease progression.

Before starting the treatment, a physiotherapist will identify the areas of muscle weakness and then work with the patient to keep their muscles as strong and flexible as they should be. To achieve this, patients can be asked to do some stretching and muscle exercises that they can perform at home. On top of this, arrangements for physical education can be made for the patients with their school.

Physiotherapy can help slow the patient’s loss of range of motion, daily activities, loss of strength, and gait and posture. This, of course, depends on their muscular dystrophy type. 

Every child patient will have different needs, and the effect of the disease on them may be different. This is why physiotherapists work not only with children but also with their parents and their care team so that a suitable treatment plan customised to the patient can be developed.

Living with a disease like muscular Dystrophy is not easy. It is hard for the patient and their families and loved ones because the disease restricts the patient’s ability to move and function and their independence. Patients need the support of everyone in their life, including the healthcare providers, to who they can tell when they are feeling low because of the disease and the situation they are in.

Call Mission Walk if you have concerns or want more information about muscular Dystrophy. You may also get in touch if you wish to schedule a consultation. Our numbers are 91 91773 00194, and our email is rehab@missionwalk.in

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