Muscular dystrophy is a disorder of the musculoskeletal system that is typified by progressive weakening of various muscle groups. This disorder has many genetic presentations giving rise to its different types and forms.
The role of medication and corrective surgeries is very well known as part of management of muscular dystrophy. Physiotherapy is a therapeutic science that makes use of manual skills and thermal modalities to correct the deviations from normal health process. Muscular dystrophy will reduce peoples independence. Reduction in strength, function, and mobility, can all be improved in some form in Physiotherapy. Our Physiotherapists will set achievable targets and work towards these goals with the individual and family. By achieving smaller regular goals, bigger goals such as mobility will be improved.
Muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder. Mutations in the genetic structure lead to disruption in the sarcolemma structure of the muscle fibre. A protein complex, dystrophin-glycoprotein, is responsible for binding together all the muscle fibres in a muscle group. Genetic mutations as a result of inheritance or defective development during embryonic stage disrupts these complexes and henceforth make the musculoskeletal system of human body susceptible to dystrophic/atrophic changes.
Now what is the role of Physiotherapy in muscular dystrophy? The main goal of physiotherapy in patients with MD is to maintain the available function in their limbs and attain maximum possible improvement in the associated disabilities. This would help the patient attain a socially functional status so that he/she can function in the surroundings, of their own accord, bringing about a sense of independence in the patients.
There are several therapeutic practices that could help patients with MD and those therapeutic practices, it is the duty of the physiotherapist to counsel the patient about what his/her condition is and how he/she may expect to change in the course of the disease. The parents/guardians/caretaker should be enlightened about the progressive and degrading condition of the disease and the fatality of the condition if applicable. They should be explained the necessity of the physiotherapy regime that needs to be followed back at home as well after one or two sessions under the physiotherapist´s supervision. Results are not achieved just in the Physiotherapy sessions, therefore it is essential for exercises and routines to be kept outside the clinic, in the individuals own environment which they function.
If you know someone who struggles with MD, get in touch to see if we can help.