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What treatments are available?

We have a physiotherapy team of eight staff, six of whom are CSP and HCPC registered and members of national and regional neuromuscular networks. We have two clinical specialist involved in research trials, national policy and care pathway development for MD.

We can provide a range of treatments which include, but are not limited to:

  • Active Exercise Programmes
  • Muscle stretching techniques
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Assisted standing with tilt tables and specialist standing frames
  • Acupuncture
  • Respiratory treatment and preventative care
  • Access to specialist active/assisted exercise equipment
  • Home exercise planning
  • Treatment of associated musculoskeletal disorders
  • Equipment, advice and carer support

The benefits reported from our clients are:

  • Physiotherapy prevents GP appointments and minimises hospital admissions
  • Provides advice on local services
  • Prevents falls
  • Provides timely intervention following injuries and repetitive strain injuries
  • Enables clients to maximise their mobility, independence, function, and enables them to remain in employment for longer

Stretching Techniques

Many people with muscular dystrophy develop tight and shortened muscles and these need to be stretched to avoid bent limbs. Our physics help with these stretches by supporting limbs and gently stretching muscles. This should not be painful and will loosen and ease muscles and joints. WE can teach these to relatives and carers so that they can be preformed at home. 

Assisted Standing

There are great benefits to standing upright even when we cannot support ourselves. Leg muscles are stretched, weight bearing strengthens bones and all internal organs work more efficiently.

We have two ways of providing assisted standing :

  • Tilt tables
  • Standing Frames

Most people can be raised to standing using a tilt table even if there legs do not straighten. Physios support people with padded straps and blocks, there is no danger of falling. A table is fitted to the front so you can enjoy a drink and biscuit.

Standing frames are used for those who can support their upper but need pressure around knees and hips to gain a good stretch and standing position.

The average time for each stand is approximately 30 minutes.

Active Exercise

Anyone can and should carry out active exercises and we have adapted equipment that can enable anyone at any level of disability to exercise. 

This improves:

  • Balance
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Flexibility
  • Mobility
  • Muscle strength
  • General well-being

Examples of exercise at NMC include:

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Assisted arm and leg pedals
  • Swiss/Gym ball exercises 
  • Traditional exercise programmes
  • Core stability exercises
  • Re-education of walking pattern

This list is not exhaustive and personalised exercise can be devised to carry out at home. 

Manual Therapy Techniques

These are used to reduce acute and long term pain in joints, muscles and other tissues. They are more localised treatments that can also improve posture, movement and function.

These include:

  • mobilisations
  • manual trigger point
  • myofascial release
  • deep and soft tissue massage
  • kinesiology taping

Acupuncture 

The Neuromuscular Centre is registered with the local council for its premises to be used to practice acupuncture. It is used primarily for the treatment of short and long term pain and is particularly useful for our clients who have limited movement and resulting pain.

Chloe Berry is our registered practitioner.

Intermission Compression 

This is often called “flowtron therapy”. It is the use of inflatable garments attached to an electronic pump to provide alternate inflation and deflation to improve circulation to limbs + reduce swelling.

Respiratory Care

Many of our clients have respiratory problems and have aids to improve breathing and prevent chest infections (ventilators and cough assist machines). We can supplement theses with:

  • Chest physiotherapy techniques
  • Using lung volume recruitment bags
  • Couch assist machines
  • Lung function testing

This enables us to monitor our clients in-between hospital appointments and prevent hospital admissions.

Additionally

We can prepare our clients for hospital visits by monitoring there weight, do lung function tests, writing reports and liaising with healthcare colleagues in order to provide a holistic approach to all our clients. We complete a health passport that includes all relevant information to tae on admission to hospital.

Benefits of Physio

Essential aims of treatment:

  • Maintain flexibility
  • Maintain joint range
  • Preserve mobility and independence 
  • Maintain muscle power as mush as possible 
  • Maintain respiratory function
  • Eleviate pain
  • Encourage self management and general well being