Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of muscular problems which leads to loss of muscle mass and therefore loss of muscle strength. This is a progressive condition and gradually worsens with time. in some cases, the patients may experience complete muscle breakdown, ultimately affecting patient mobility to a large extent. The condition is usually inherited and caused by genetic mutations. It can affect children and adults alike. There are different types of the condition but the most common ones are:
In addition to the patient, there is a lot of stress on the caregiver and so coping with MD is hard not just on the patient, but also on the caregivers. Listed below are some medical and nonmedical measures to deal with this condition.
- Medications: These could include corticosteroids which can delay the progression of MD. The doctor might also prescribe heart medications if the heart muscles are affected.
- Therapy: Physical and occupational therapy play a major role in the management of MD. Therapies could include a range of motion exercises to improve the flexibility of the particular joint and improve mobility. With time, some joints could become rigid and the range of movement may also become limited.
- Strength training: Another major problem with MD is the gradual loss of strength in the muscles. Training the muscles to retain and if possible improve strength is another objective of treatment. To this end, the doctor might prescribe exercises depending on overall health of the patient.
- Breathing aids: If the lungs are affected, then the person would need breathing aids to improve oxygen supply to the lungs and also other body parts. Sleep apnea is a common condition seen in people with MD, which makes breathing at night difficult.
- Braces: If the muscles are becoming rigid, then braces can be used to keep them in place. This helps in slowing the progression of muscle rigidity and also provides support for weakened muscles.
- Vaccination: Vaccination for pneumonia and flu should be up to date, as the chances of infection are higher
- Diet: Healthy diet is recommended, as eating too much junk and fried foods can lead to obesity, etc.
Especially if a child is affected, it is very important to not to keep them away from their regularly affects. Empathizing with them and working with them is very important. Encourage what they are able to do on their own, and gradually assist them to do more. Keep the school informed of issues so that they can provide necessary attention care and attention whenever required. For adults, being part of social forums and/or groups helps, as there would be others who are going through the same problem as you, so you can get tips and suggestions for coping.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!