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Neuromuscular Conditions

What is a neuromuscular condition?

Neuromuscular conditions affect the muscles, resulting in weakness and problems such with function, walking, movement, strength and the ability to complete daily tasks like playing or feeding. This can be due to a problem affecting the muscle, the nerves that supply them or the junction between the two.

There are many different neuromuscular conditions. These include:

  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)
  • Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD)
  • Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD)
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
  • Peripheral Neuropathies such as Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT)


How will the Physiotherapist work with me/my child?

  • Maximise function
  • Maintain independence
  • Maintain mobility
  • Maintain strength
  • Prevent pain
  • Encourage involvement in normal activity


The physiotherapist will also monitor changes and secondary complications such as muscle tightness and curvature of the spine (scoliosis).


As well as seeing our team, most children or young people with a neuromuscular condition will be seen at a specialist centre such as Heartlands Hospital or Great Ormond Street Hospital.


What is postural management?

Children and young people who find it hard to move are most at risk of developing body shape changes. This is because they often sit and lie in limited positions. Postural management is important to protect a child’s body shape. If they are not supported correctly, they may develop further issues such as scoliosis (curve of the spine) which can cause pain and reduce their ability to function.

Postural management is a 24 hour approach to manage a person in all positions, for example lying, sitting, standing. Your Physiotherapist will monitor alignment in all positions and may suggest strategies or request equipment to provide the necessary support.

The specialist equipment may be:

  • Standing frames
  • Sleep systems
  • Therapy wedges
  • Floor sitters

Seating is also very important for postural management so a CYP with a long term neurological condition may see Wheelchair Services to provide a wheelchair, and Occupational Therapy who will consider whether the CYP needs specialist indoor seating.

Below are some useful links: