sma contractures

Increasing Range of Motion in Ankles and Knees of Patients with SMA

For a patient with SMA to be able to function with their maximal amount of independence, it is important to have as much range of motion possible. As with the majority patients with SMA, my current patient with SMA spends most of his time in his wheelchair. Therefore,...

Orthopedics and Bracing Considerations for SMA

SMA provides myriad challenges to multiple people on the caregiving team.  As a prosthetist and orthotist, there are a few observations I have made over the years in terms of bracing considerations for SMA.  The first big question relates to whether to brace or not,...
nutrition in SMA

Key to a Healthy SMA Diet is Variety

Diet is one of the key factors for healthy growth and development in children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).  Often, the quality of the overall diet may be overlooked in favor of a single nutrient or food that comes with curative claims.  Over the last few years,...

Physical Therapy: Making Progress with a Patient with SMA

In Physical Therapy, our goal is to improve independence and return the patient back to within functional limits. With my current patient with SMA, his goal for physical therapy is to improve his core strength and neck strength. I am the first to admit, I was a little...
kidney stones

Kidney Stones and Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive, hereditary disease with a reported prevalence of 1 in 11,000 live births.[1]  As the disease affects motor neurons, the clinical manifestations relate to muscular weakness and atrophy.  The specific clinical...

Recovering from Pneumonia with SMA: How Diaphragmatic Breathing and Abdominal Strengthening Aides Recovery

 According to the article "Spinal Muscular Atrophy1," "with SMA the spared diaphragm, combined with weakened intercostal muscles, results in paradoxical breathing. Also with the involvement of bulbar motor neurons often tongue fasciculation, poor suck and swallow with...
viral footprint

The Common Cold, Antibiotics and SMA

Our experience with SMA is a unique one. As parents of a 9 year-old with SMA, being medical professionals has given us somewhat of an advantage over finding doctors, medications, and treatments for our son. We hope to share a little of our experience and opinion with...
PT treating SMA patient

5 Tips for Physical Therapists Who Treat SMA Patients

So, you received your patient’s medical history form and there it is. Spinal Muscular Atrophy. If you did what I did, you searched and searched the internet and articles for best practices to treat and evaluate this patient. I found out more information on Spinal...
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Diagnosis

SMA Care Has Significant Financial, Career, Social, and Psychological Impact on Families, Study Reports

Taking care of a child with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) significantly affects several aspects of  families’ lives, including finances, career choices, social life, and mental health, according to an Australian study. The study, “Financial, opportunity and...

Two Mutations Seen to Help Identify SMA Carriers, Allowing Better Family Counseling

Two specific mutations may help in identifying people who are carriers of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) — those who do not have the disease but can pass it to children — and should be aware before starting a family, a study from Spain reports. The study, “Utility of...

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Latest Articles from SMA HCP

Increasing Range of Motion in Ankles and Knees of Patients with SMA

Increasing Range of Motion in Ankles and Knees of Patients with SMA

For a patient with SMA to be able to function with their maximal amount of independence, it is important to have as much range of motion possible. As with the majority patients with SMA, my current patient with SMA spends most of his time in his wheelchair. Therefore,...

Orthopedics and Bracing Considerations for SMA

Orthopedics and Bracing Considerations for SMA

SMA provides myriad challenges to multiple people on the caregiving team.  As a prosthetist and orthotist, there are a few observations I have made over the years in terms of bracing considerations for SMA.  The first big question relates to whether to brace or not,...

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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