26 October 2023

Enabling Vertical Independence for People With Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy can feel like a daily challenge of adapting, overcoming, and continuously seeking a sense of independence and normalcy.

Muscular Dystrophy can feel like a daily challenge of adapting, overcoming, and continuously seeking a sense of independence and normalcy. This condition can often lead to people grappling with the challenges of navigating their surroundings.

However, amidst these challenges lies hope and potential solutions. This article delves into what you need to know about muscular dystrophy, its impact on day-to-day life, and how innovative devices such as standing frames are revolutionising how those with muscular dystrophy interact with their world.

What Is Muscular Dystrophy?

Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a muscle-wasting condition that affects the skeletal muscles, making them progressively weaker and deteriorated. Unlike other physical disabilities, people with muscle-wasting conditions will have continually changing needs as their muscle strength alters.

Is Muscular Dystrophy Genetic?

Muscular dystrophy is a very rare genetic condition that can be inherited or acquired without warning. Both major types of MD – Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy –  are caused by mutations in the X chromosome; it affects mostly men and boys because according to Edward C. Smith, MD, “if [there is] a mutation on a gene on the X chromosome, it’s generally more severe than in females”. However, this doesn’t mean that girls are completely free from it.

What Are the Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy?

MD affects the muscles in the limbs predominantly, as well as those of the heart and lungs. As time passes, these muscles will grow weaker, leading to decreased strength and mobility. Symptoms of MD include more frequent falling, difficulty getting up from a sitting position, walking on the toes, muscle pain and stiffness, and large calf muscles.

How Does Muscular Dystrophy Affect Daily Life?

MD is a condition that affects daily life in a number of ways. People with MD often find it challenging to move and navigate places independently. This heightened dependence can make them feel as if they are tethered to their homes. This sense of confinement is not just physical but emotional as well. It can deeply affect one’s self-confidence, especially when they can no longer engage in social activities as they once did.

Beyond social engagements, active hobbies that once brought joy might no longer be viable. Activities that require substantial physical exertion or coordination might have to be set aside.

Work life can be affected by sitting fatigue. Sitting for long periods while working can negatively impact productivity and overall job satisfaction. The cumulative effect of these challenges paints a vivid picture of how muscular dystrophy profoundly influences every aspect of daily life.

How Standing Frames Help Muscular Dystrophy

Standing frames are an excellent physiotherapy and everyday tool that takes weight away from the legs for the user. It still allows the user to exercise their muscles but with a bearable weight, the rest is taken care of by the standing device.

Regular standing for a few hours per day will help maintain bone health, circulation and posture. Devices such as the EasyStand StrapStand allow those with MD to stand up from a seated position by raising them without human assistance. The versatility and adjustability of modular-built devices such as the EasyStand Evolv mean that it can be beneficial no matter how severe the Muscular Dystrophy is.

EasyStand standing frames have empowered thousands to stand independently including those with MD, boosting their self-assurance and control over their lives. Our team is always moved by the profound effect our equipment has on individuals. If you’re curious about how our products can aid in muscular dystrophy for you or your patient, reach out to us via a call or through our contact form. We’re here to support you throughout the journey.

Wheelchair user and a walking aid user together

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