|Muscular Dystrophy Association|
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Muscular Dystrophy and Exercise
Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a muscle-debilitating disease. There are nine types of MD and each type affects the body’s muscular system in different ways such as attacking the voluntary muscles. When a person is victim to MD they not only have to deal with their muscles slowly losing mass, but the rest of their body is also victimized. Some of the cases of MD cause other medical problems that have to do with the cardiac and pulmonary systems.1
Exercise can help!
Exercise may not be a cure, but it can help with the mobility of the diseased person. Scientist have researched and suggested that a person with MD should not do eccentric exercises, but rather do concentric exercises.3 Eccentric contractions are contractions that lengthen the muscle, while concentric contractions are where the muscle fibers shorten.2 Eccentric contractions occur when muscles are used as breaks, like when a person is walking down a steep hill, or lifting weights.3 Because of this MD patients are supposed to participate in exercises with low resistance on their muscles.
Exercises suggested for MD patients are ones that help with circulation and flexibility.1 Circulation of blood flow helps with the cardiac and pulmonary problems that come with some types of MD. Circulation exercises could include walking on treadmill with no elevation or riding a stationary bike. Flexibility is important because it helps keep a person’s full range of motion. Stretching is the best way for a person to stay flexible. For a person suffering from MD moderate exercise is safe, just as long as the person does not hit the point of exhaustion.
MD takes away a person’s physical strength, independence, and sometimes their life.1 Through careful exercise with the help of a trained professional, MD victims are able to have more mobility and gain back what has been taken away by this disease.
1Association, M. D. (2016, November 9). Diseases. Retrieved from Muscular Dystrophy Association: https://www.mda.org/disease/list
2Nancy Hamilton, W. W. (2008). Kinesiology; Scientific Basis of Human Motion. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
3Quest. (2016, November 11). Exercising with a Muscle Disease. Retrieved from Muscular Dystropy Association: https://www.mda.org/sites/default/files/publications/MDA_Quest_Excercise_Package_2009.pdf