6 Complications of Muscular Dystrophy

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by Wendy Henderson |

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a progressive disease that causes muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass. There are many different types of muscular dystrophy that affect people differently and range in severity. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the common complications associated with muscular dystrophy include:

Contractures are the shortening of tendons, ligaments or muscles around the joints. This can lead to mobility issues and loss of joint motion.

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Scoliosis or curvature of the spine can occur when the muscles in the back become weakened and unable to fully support the spine.

Problems Walking
As muscular dystrophy progresses, some patients with certain types of the disease will lose the ability to walk and will need to depend on a wheelchair. Others may find their walking deteriorates and they need crutches.

MORE: How physical therapists can help children with neuromuscular disorders.

Problems Breathing 
The diaphragm and chest muscles may also be affected by muscular dystrophy leading to breathing difficulties. Some patients will require assistance through a ventilator.

Problems Swallowing 
Facial and throat muscles affect the way a person can swallow, so if these become weakened the patient may need a feeding tube.

Heart Problems
The heart is also a muscle so it can also be affected by muscular dystrophy, particularly those who suffer from Duchenne or Becker MD.

MORE: Nine areas of research for Duchenne MD.

Muscular Dystrophy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.