SEVAI in support with Government of Tamilnadu runs one care centre for Muscular dystrophy affected in Trichy Kalaiarangam premises near centre bus stand of Trichy. Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a general term that refers to any genetic disease that causes the skeletal muscles to gradually degenerate. There are more than 30 forms of muscular dystrophy, with three of the most common being Duchenne MD, Facioscapulohumeral MD and Myotonic MD. SEVAI organized a training program of care takers of Muscular dystrophy on the 8th February 2011 in SEVAI Centre, Trichy.Mrs.R.Syamala, Trichy District Differently abled welfare officer presided over the training program and Dr.K.Govindaraju, Director, SEVAI enlightened the care takers of MD and also those work for MD program.
In his introductory address, Dr.Deiva Kumar, Chief Coordinator of this project enlightened advised, ‘Conduct aggressive supportive care to preserve muscle activity and prolong the patient's life expectancy. This can include active exercise, physical therapy, such as passive stretching and water therapy, respiratory therapy and speech therapy. Some patients also may benefit from specific occupational therapy. Correct skeletal deformities caused by muscular dystrophy. Orthopedic appliances such as bracing can help specific conditions such as scoliosis and patients with foot deformities may wear therapeutic shoes. More severe cases of scoliosis and contractures may require corrective orthopedic surgery. Prescribe medication. Control seizures with anticonvulsants; reduce the rate at which the muscles degenerate with corticosteroids and delay muscle cell damage with immunosuppressants. Antibiotics also may help prevent respiratory infections. Implement assisted ventilation such as noninvasive positive airway pressure or permanent ventilation via a tracheotomy for respiratory weakness. These therapies require early monitoring and intervention to effectively improve respiratory function and prolong life expectancy. Address additional complications of muscular dystrophy. Beta-blockers may be necessary for cases of dilated cardiomyopathy and more severe cases may require a pacemaker. Other treatments include feedings by gastric tube and specialized ophthalmologic care. Profoundly retarded muscular dystrophy patients will have general medical concerns’.
Physiotherapist Yogeswari of SEVAI Trichy Mayopathy shares ‘Muscular dystrophy is a progressive disease characterized by weakening of the muscles. Voluntary muscles, which control movement, are most usually stricken, though some forms strike involuntary muscles, like the heart. There are a few different forms of and treatment plans for muscular dystrophy. Some forms of muscular dystrophy are treated with physical therapy, performing weight exercises that strengthen and tone the muscles thus stronger muscles can help to delay the impending weakness associated with muscular dystrophy. Engaging in range of motion exercises and stretching. Flexibility can help ease the severity of joint contractures, a stiffening of the muscles around a joint that affects most people suffering from muscular dystrophy. Wear braces for hands legs. Braces help to keep tendons and muscles stretched, avoiding painful contractures. SEVAI physical therapists use bracing to treat muscular dystrophy. Using aquatic therapy, many experts agree that water exercises and swimming help to tone and strengthen muscles and joints without putting stress on those parts of the body that are already weakened or weakening. Places emphasis on mobility, the goal of physical therapy to treat muscular dystrophy is to provide the patient with independence for as long as possible by focusing on movement and by developing large muscle groups to make the body stronger and give it more endurance. Physiotherapist Yogeswari enlightens the care takers and parents of children with muscular dystrophy ‘Physical therapy is more effective against some types of muscular dystrophy and not others. Becker and Duchenne muscular dystrophy seem to be the types that respond best to physical therapy. Use hydrotherapy (hot baths) to help keep tendons and joints loose and flexible and to avoid contractures in conjunction with physical therapy. Muscular dystrophy is incurable. Physical therapy is a treatment option that addresses only the symptoms of this condition’.SEVAI organizes 10 days medical camp in collaboration with equal health, Australia from 7-17, Feb.2011 and physiotherapists also join Yogeswari giving physiotherapy for children with MD. Physiotherapist Vijayalakshimi trains the educate the parents ‘Muscle weakness is the main symptom of muscular dystrophy. The deterioration works its way through the whole body, from the face to the arms and shoulders, down the hips and to the legs. Exercise is difficult for people with the disease and, in some cases, can cause more damage. But for general physical fitness it's a good idea to find an exercise program that works’.
Physiotherapist Vijayalakshimi also gave tips to parents and care takers;’ Talk with family members about the disease. This is especially important when a child is stricken with MD, since other siblings may be confused and feel guilt. Encourage the entire family to discuss their feelings and become involved in the caring process. Treat a victim of MD with respect and encouragement. Create goals and work systematically to make them happen. Concentrate career paths that adapt to the special needs an MD sufferer has. Reach out to others who share an affliction with MD. Thanks to the massive fund raising efforts of celebrities, MD sufferers have an extensive network of support from local and national organizations. Assist an MD patient with dressing himself .Make beds with satin sheets to reduce friction and prevent bedsores. Add soft egg crate padding under the sheet for comfort and use lightweight comforters instead of heavy blankets for easier movement in bed.Provide baby wipes in the bathroom to assist with personal cleaning. Use security pads to prevent nighttime urination accidents or when traveling. Consider removing the bathroom door if access is difficult with a wheelchair. Remodel certain aspects of your home to accommodate an MD victim. Eating bars, installed to wheelchair height make mealtime easier. Low-pile carpeting helps wheelchairs roll smoothly and replacing doorknobs and faucet knobs with handles helps an MD patient care for himself. Add cylindrical foam insulation tubes to eating utensils to make grasping them easier. Use mugs with large wide handles and provide plastic plates and bowls. Put slightly damp dishtowels under plates and bowls to prevent slippage. Encourage ongoing physical therapy and exercise as recommended by your doctor to reduce muscle contraction and slow the wasting process.’-ETNS