Occupational Therapy in Muscle Diseases


What are Muscular Diseases?

Muscle diseases are disorders of the muscles themselves that help the body move. It disrupts the building blocks or the functioning of the muscle cells between the muscle tissues and affects their activities to a great extent. It is a common type of disease that can be seen in individuals of all ages in all stages of life from infancy to childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age.

What are the Symptoms of Muscular Diseases?

Symptoms of muscle diseases that are quite common and prevent the individual from doing normal activities include:

  • Gait disorders, as the muscles in the hips and around it will emerge
  • Difficulty getting up and walking
  • Children who develop muscle disease at a young age want to be held constantly while walking or climbing stairs.
  • During adolescence, falling behind from their peers, changes in walking and movements are observed.
  • Difficulty in raising, extending and moving the arms as the vertebra and surrounding muscles will be stuck.
  • If hands and feet are affected, tripping and falling while walking (due to the rapid wear of shoes), a situation that cannot perform fine work by hand is observed.
  • In rare cases, the eyelids drop gradually, eye movements may be restricted.
  • Stiffness in swallowing or respiratory muscles
  • Falling frequently, getting tired quickly
  • Muscular diseases

Who Has Muscular Diseases?

In addition to the types that cause mild symptoms due to anomaly in the muscles, there are also varieties that cause a severe disability and reduce the life span:

  • Muscular Dystrophies (Duchenne, Becker, FasioSkapuloHumeral, Limb-Girdle, Distal, Emery-Dreifuss)
  • Congenital Muscular Dystrophies
  • Myopathies
  • Myotonias
  • Dermatomyositis-Polymyositis

What are the Goals of Occupational Therapy in Muscular Diseases?

The purpose of rehabilitation approaches in muscle diseases is to increase the quality of life of the child and his/her family and to ensure their independent participation in activities. The purpose of the applications for this is as follows:

  • Maintaining muscle strength or delaying loss of strength
  • Utilizing appropriate tools, equipment and devices to support, protect, and increase function in different stages of the disease.
  • Teaching methods to cope with fatigue
  • Teaching joint and energy conservation methods
  • Providing independence in daily life activities by increasing functional capacity
  • With home rehabilitation, a safer and less energy-consuming living space is provided for the individual.

With preventive rehabilitation approaches, the existing functional capacity is tried to be preserved for a longer period of time.