5 Best Treatments for Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a term used to describe several conditions that cause your muscles to lose strength and flexibility over time. This condition is caused by a problem with a gene that is responsible for keeping your body muscles healthy. For some people, the symptoms of this condition may begin in early childhood while others don’t have symptoms until middle age. 

The symptoms may differ from person to person, but they get worse over time in almost all cases. With the progression of muscular dystrophy, people lose the ability to walk, talk, take care of themselves, and perform other routine tasks. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition but a lot of treatments can help manage the symptoms and keep your muscles healthier. The key point is to get the right treatment and find support. 

Below are the 5 best treatments for muscular dystrophy.

1. Physical therapy

Physical therapy for people suffering from muscle dystrophy usually includes a combination of general exercise, breathing assistance, and wearing braces. In the physical therapy clinic, the specialist can offer you a range of activities to improve muscle strength and flexibility. This helps deal with symptoms like the inward movement of the limbs and muscles\tendons shortening. 

Breathing assistance is also necessary. When the muscles used to breathe become weaker, it can be important to use a special device to improve oxygen supply. 

Braces help to keep muscles and tendons stretched and prevent their shortening. They also provide additional support when moving. 

2. Drug therapy

A wide variety of medications can be used to ease symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with muscle dystrophy:

  • Eteplirsen, golodirsen, and vitolarsen are injectable medications that are commonly used to treat a specific gene mutation that leads to the development of muscular dystrophy. They help by increasing the production of dystrophin. These medications have several side effects that are worth discussing with your doctor.
  • Blood pressure medications are used to reduce blood pressure and help deal with heart problems.
  • Immunosuppressants can be prescribed to suppress the work of your immune system and slow down muscle damage. 
  • Anti-seizure drugs reduce muscle spasms and reduce discomfort.
  • Steroids help reduce inflammation and improve breathing. It isn’t recommended to use steroids often because they reduce bone density and increase the risk of getting an infection. 
  • Creatine is a chemical that is naturally found in your body. It provides your muscles with energy and increases their strength. 

3. Speech therapy

Speech therapy may be necessary for people with facial and throat muscle dystrophy. Speech therapy can teach you the way to strengthen your facial muscles and improve speech. Improving your speech is necessary so that your surroundings can understand you and your needs. 

4. Self-care

There are a lot of things you can do to keep your muscles stronger and flexible. Proper self-care plays an important role in maintaining healthy muscles and preventing muscle dystrophy from getting worse:

  • A healthy and well-balanced diet is crucial to keep your muscles healthy and maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to ease breathing problems and other symptoms. If you have difficulty chewing or swallowing certain foods, talk to your dietitian to recommend foods that are easier to eat. 
  • To keep your muscles strong and flexible you need to stay active. Try to participate in low-impact activities like yoga or swimming. These activities are effective in maintaining muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Getting enough sleep is crucial to ensure overall well being and muscle health. Choose a bed and mattress that can make you more rested and comfortable during sleep. You may consult your doctor to make sure you choose the right bed. 
  • Using the right tools can make your life easier and more comfortable. Ask your doctor about special wheelchairs, crutches, or electric scooters that can help you move if you have trouble walking. 

5. Surgery

Surgery is used to treat the complications and other conditions associated with muscular dystrophy. Some common surgeries for people with muscle dystrophy include scoliosis, cataracts, and heart problems treatment. 

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