Increasing Cervical Range of Motion and Reducing Tension For SMA Patients

Cervical, or neck, range of motion is important for many different reasons. A major reason it is needed has to do with safety with scanning the environment during functional activities. Due to scoliosis, Michael has had most of his...

SMA Patients May Have Difficulties Laying on Their Stomachs

When patients are limited in their range of motion, this can lead to an inability to tolerate certain positions. For example, Michael, who has been diagnosed from an early age with SMA, is severely lacking hip and knee extension, making...

The Dangers of Pressure Ulcers For SMA Patients

People with SMA spend most of their time sitting in a wheelchair. Because of this, they are at an increased risk of developing pressure ulcers. This is due to the increased time spent with weight-bearing through a specific area, usually,...

Transferring My SMA Patient To A New Outpatient Clinic – Change Is Good!!

For nearly 3 years, I’ve been working with Michael as his primary clinician for physical therapy. Within the past month, I decided to move to a different physical therapy location in Ft. Worth Texas. A few weeks before the change was...

Percussion Therapy For SMA Patients

In 1980, when Michael was 15 years old, he underwent scoliosis surgery at Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. During his preop preparation, his parents performed percussion therapy on his back to keep excess fluid and mucus from building up...

Safety For Both Therapist and SMA Patient

While working with a patient with SMA, you may find it beneficial for the patient, as well as the therapist, to have at least two people available to help in the treatment if you plan to transfer to a therapy table for different...

Improving Muscle Length to Prepare For Future SMA Muscle Targeted Therapy

In preparation for a muscle-targeted treatment, which is currently under development by Scholar Rock for patients with SMA, we have continued to work to maintain the strength improvements Michael has made, but we have also shifted to...

Helping To Control Swelling In Lower Extremities For SMA Patients

Swelling in the lower extremities is a common occurrence in people who are diagnosed with SMA, secondary to different reasons. Some reasons include lack of muscle contraction and the ability to pump fluid out of their feet, as well as...

Q&A Between Physical Therapist and SMA Patient

Michael and I have been working together for the past couple of years, and while speaking with each other about my March HCP article, we thought that doing a question-and-answer article would be interesting. Michael would ask me 5...

Using Dry Needling To Relieve Muscle Spasms For SMA Patients

Dry needling has been a popular treatment in the world of physical therapy for the past few years and is continuing to gain popularity with more research being performed. There are many different reasons to use dry needling to improve...


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SMA Patient Columns

My Experience with the JACO Robotic Arm

Throughout my life, I have required assistance with the most basic tasks. Things like scratching my head, getting myself a drink, or picking something up off the floor are just a few items on a never-ending list of impossibilities. Fortunately, there is now technology...

The Amino Acid Diet and Its Benefits

Nutrition has always been a challenge for my daughter, Ella. And, in turn, it is a challenge for my wife and me. Due to Ella's disease, she has an increased amount of difficulty digesting long-chain fats (meats, cheeses, etc.) and she also has a hard time maintaining...

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