Keeping mobile is important for all people affected by muscular dystrophy. There are no guidelines about the type or intensity of activities however it is recommended that any exercise undertaken is done within your limitations and ensuring you remain comfortable.
Extreme tiredness, muscle pain and cramps during or after activities can mean that you have pushed yourself too hard and therefore those activities should be avoided. Swimming is a good activity because it promotes movement of all muscles without increased strain.
Joint contractures (tightening) can occur in LGMD2A and therefore regular physiotherapy is recommended. This can be carried out by a physiotherapist or people can be taught to do this by themselves in their own home. These types of exercises can include the stretching of all joints, in particular the ankles, knees and elbows.
If ankle contractures impair mobility, referral for an orthopaedic opinion may be indicated. Orthoses (splints) are sometimes worn day or night to enhance good positioning of the ankle joints. In the case of severe contractures, minor surgical procedures may be necessary.
With progression of the muscle weakness, people with LGMD2A are at risk of developing breathing difficulties. Therefore regular monitoring of respiratory function (forced vital capacity – FVC) is recommended. Sometimes overnight studies are indicated (pulse oximetry).
Regular cardiac assessment is usually not required because there is no involvement of the heart muscle in this condition.