Which activity modifications are used in the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)?

Updated: May 29, 2019
  • Author: Jeffrey Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, FAAN; Chief Editor: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Encourage mobility. The goal of active but nonfatiguing exercises is to maintain range of motion, increase muscle flexibility, and prevent contractures. These exercises should not produce pain or exhaustion. A small series showed that the risk of falls is strongly correlated to stride-length variability, so this variable should be a focus of physical therapy programs. [60]

Preventing spinal deformities (eg, scoliosis) and joint contractures is important. This goal is accomplished by using range-of-motion exercises, knee-ankle-foot orthoses, specialized wheelchairs and seats at home and school, and home assistance devices.


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