What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?
DMD is the most common form of muscular dystrophy among children and only affects boys. DMD is caused by a deficiency of dystrophin, a protein that helps strengthen muscle fibres and protect them from injury. DMD appears typically in boys between ages 3 and 5. The muscles decrease in size and grow weaker over time yet may appear larger due to fatty deposits.
Common Muscular Dystrophy symptoms
- Weakness begins in the upper legs and pelvis.
- Increase in falling over
- Difficulty rising from a lying or sitting position – it is usual to see boys with DMD walk their hands up their legs to get into standing
- They can appear to waddle when walking because of weakness
- Difficulty running and jumping and climbing stairs
- Have calf muscles that appear large because of fat accumulation
What physiotherapy input can do for you
- Delay the progression of weakness
- Maintain your range of movement and comfort
- Specialist home exercise and stretching programme
- Assessment of posture in Beds, Chairs and Wheelchairs
- Supported standing work where suitable
- Maintain your chest health as long as possible
- Provide support to help you engage in activities around the community eg rock climbing, attending the gym etc
Manifesting carriers of Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Some girls may have a muscular dystrophy that is as severe as boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Other women may only have very mild problems with muscle weakness late in adult life. Some women get aches and pains in their muscles as their first complaint and may notice enlargement of their calves and other muscles.