Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy

Even though there is no cure for the condition, there are some treatments for muscular dystrophy, which may help reduce the progression. The treatments focus on reducing deformities in both the joints and muscles. A combination of medications, physical therapy and surgery may be used for effective treatment. However, in severe cases, assistive devices may also be used.

  • Medications: The medications are usually used only to slow down the progression of the condition so that the symptoms remain manageable. The medications may be used to effectively treat muscle spasms, weakness and stiffness in the muscles. They may also slow down the muscle deterioration. For this, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are used.
  • Physical Therapy: As the muscles of the body weaken due to the progression of the dystrophy, a person may experience contractures of the joints. This may also cause the loss of flexibility of the joints. Physical therapy helps increase the range of motion and flexibility of the joints. It also helps keep you mobile. An important goal of physical therapy is to delay progression of muscle weakening and curvature of the spinal column.
  • Surgery: If the person experiences progressive contractures, some of the affected muscles may need to be removed from the body so that the body may continue to function. If the contractures cause deformities in the joints, they have to be removed as soon as possible. A tendon release surgery may be performed in case the contractures are formed painfully around the joints. If the spine has curved, corrective surgery may be required to reduce or remove the curvature.
  • Assistive Devices: In case the muscular dystrophy has caused a lot of harm to the muscles and the joints, a person may require assistive devices for improving mobility. Braces for both hands and legs may be used to support weak muscles in the limbs. Canes, walkers and other supportive devices such as the wheelchair may also be utilized for maintaining normal movements.