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Muscular Dystrophy - Holistic and Alternative Medicine Solutions

Muscular Dystrophy

Describing over 30 genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and skeletal muscle degeneration, muscular dystrophy (MD) can occur in infancy, childhood or adulthood. The disorders differ in terms of the distribution and extent of muscle weakness, age of onset, rate of progression and pattern of inheritance.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms vary according to the type of muscular dystrophy. Typical symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Progressive crippling
  • Involuntary muscle contractions
  • Loss of mobility

Many specific signs and symptoms vary from among the different forms of MD. Each type is different in the age of onset, what parts of the body the symptoms primarily affect and how rapidly the disease progresses. For example, signs and symptoms unique to Duchenne MD may include:

  • Frequent falls
  • Large calf muscles
  • Difficulty getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • Weakness in lower leg muscles, resulting in difficulty with running and jumping
  • Waddling gait
  • Mild mental retardation (in some cases)


There is no specific treatment to stop or reverse any form of MD. Treatment plans are designed to help prevent or reduce deformities in the joints and spine and to allow people with MD to remain mobile as long as possible. While not curative, a host of alternative treatments are often turned to for periodic, symptomatic relief for muscular dystrophy.

Holistic and alternative medicine therapies can help with MD.

The links below will take you to that therapy page, where you can view our practitioners directory for that therapy, and use our "instant info" to email a question to the relevant practitioners.

Massage therapy has been reported to ease a wide range of MDís symptoms including:

  • lieving muscle pain
  • Relaxing tight or contracted muscles
  • Increasing circulation in a deprived area
  • Restoring some range of motion

Since the goal of all bodywork is analogous to its application for muscular dystrophy, it almost appears massage is designed specifically for MDís symptoms. While never intended to replace or supersede a physicianís advice, adding regular massage therapy sessions to a MD management plan can help reduce spasms, ease chronically tightened muscles, and improve the personís quality of life.


What alternative therapies for agoraphobia worked for you? Sharing your own experiences often helps others. We'd love to know.

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