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Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is the term used for a group of rare conditions, characterised by gradual muscle wasting and weakness over time. They are genetic diseases, caused by the alteration of genes responsible for muscle structure and function.

MDs are progressive conditions, which means they gradually worsen over time. This leads to increasing disability due to weakness and loss of function. Some MDs can also affect the heart and lungs, which can impact life expectancy.

Some common symptoms include:

- Progressive muscle weakness – usually starting in one group of muscles and then gradually becoming more global (wide-spread).

- Difficulty walking

- Difficulty standing up and sitting

- Reduced independence and ability to carry out day to day tasks e.g. getting washed and dressed, cooking, housework.

- Frequent falls

- Muscle pain and stiffness

- Difficulty with breathing (if muscles which support the lungs are affected).

- Difficulty swallowing

There is currently no way to prevent or cure MD, however Physiotherapy can help slow the loss of range of motion, strength, fitness, posture and function, and manage pain.

A Neurological Physiotherapist specialising in the treatment of people with MD can help identify ways to maximise independence and improve quality of life.

At Physiofunction, our therapists are specialised and highly experienced in treating patients with MD. Our physiotherapist will complete an initial assessment to help determine your impairment and discuss your goals. Following this we create an individual treatment plan specific to your needs.

The treatment plan may include:

- Hands on therapy, such as soft tissue massage and stretching - to help reduce muscle stiffness/tightening

- Strengthening exercises - to help slow the weakening of muscles

- Gait re-education – to help maintain independence with walking as long as possible - Balance training – to optimise balance and reduce the risk of falling AlterG For Neurological Conditions

- Balance Training - To optimise balance and reduce the risk of falling LiteGait

- Falls prevention advice – to help reduce the risk of falls at home and in the community

- Equipment advice and recommendations which may help optimise your independence e.g. walking and transfer aids.

- Advice and treatment for pain management

- Breathing exercises can help with chest clearance and reducing the chance of chest infections

- Advice and support for managing day to day activities- Occupational Therapy

- Aquatic Physiotherapy (Hydrotherapy) – which can be used for strengthening weak muscles, stretching tight/stiff muscles, cardiovascular fitness, pain management, walking practice, balance exercises, and relaxation Hydrotherapy (Aquatic Therapy)

To book an appointment and assessment please contact our Client Services Team on 0800 043 0327 or

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We currently accept the following Private Medical Insurance