What Are the Treatment Options for Myotonic Dystrophy?


Quick Answer

Treatment options for myotonic muscular dystrophy include surgery, drug therapies or a treatment plan involving assisted breathing, long-term physiotherapy and orthopedic devices, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The treatment plan may also include complementary and alternative therapies, such as modifying the diet or using homeopathic remedies.

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Treatment of myotonic muscular dystrophy aims to prevent deformity of the spine and joints to maintain the patient's ability to walk and keep him physically and emotionally healthy, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. In addition to the use of orthopedic devices and physiotherapy, doctors recommend hydrotherapy to maintain a complete range of joint motion. Speech, respiratory, occupational and physical therapies also help reduce the symptoms of myotonic muscular dystrophy.

Physicians prescribe procainamide, quinine or phenytoin to treat delayed muscle relaxation, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. Patients with scoliosis sometimes undergo spinal surgery, while those with Achilles tendon, knee or hip contractures undergo tenotomy.

To reduce symptoms, doctors advise avoiding common food allergens, such as food additives, preservatives, soy, corn, wheat and dairy, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Multivitamins containing antioxidant vitamins and supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids help address nutritional deficiencies in patients with myotonic muscular dystrophy. Herbs such as green tea and rhodiola can strengthen the body. Regular massage also helps manage muscle contractions and spasm.

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