Neurological Physiotherapy for CMT is aimed at maximising and maintaining your mobility and functional independence.
After a detailed assessment an individualised treatment plan will be put in place, but we commonly aim to improve coordination and balance, increase and maintain muscle tone and strength, improve transfers, independence, confidence and reduce the incidence of falls.
Some of the treatments you will access includes:
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) is a form of muscular dystrophy that affects the peripheral nerves, those carrying information between the brain and spinal cord, and the rest of the body. CMT is also known as hereditary (passed on by genes), motor (nerves carrying messages from the brain to the muscles) and sensory (nerves carrying messages from the body to the brain) neuropathy (damage to nerves).
CMT primarily affects the leg below the knee, the feet and the hands, resulting in tingling, numbness, muscle wasting and weakness.
CMT can occur within the first 10 years of life and is often characterised by having high arched feet and having difficulty with picking the feet up when walking, with weakness in the hands often presenting after age 20. Other forms of CMT present later in life. The loss of sensation and weakness in the hands and feet can make some functional tasks challenging, especially those requiring more challenging balance or fine dexterity. In most cases, people with CMT retain the ability to walk, provided that they maintain appropriate muscle length through stretching and mobility exercises, preventing the development of contractures and deformity. As they age, people with CMT are more likely to require the use of a walking stick or other aid for balance. The progression of symptoms in the hands may cause people to have difficulty wearing clothes with buttons or zips without assistance.
Rehabilitation Treatment for CMT
CMT is a progressive condition with no known cure, however various strategies can be used to manage the progression to the condition, maintain independence and maximise quality of life.
Neurological Physiotherapy can help with different challenges faced by people affected by CMT. The common aims of rehabilitation can be:
Occupational Therapy – An OT can assist with the activities of daily living, help make adaptations and provide equipment for home and mobility. They will also support you in work and leisure activities.
Medical Management – Monitors and prescribes appropriate medications for symptoms such as pain.