Physical activity is important for overall health

Physical
activity is important for overall health and regular function. Individuals with
facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD1) have a difficult time exercising
due to pain caused by weakened muscles, and for muscles to strain. FSHD
patients are often sedentary making it important for them to exercise. In this
study, Andersen, Heje., Buch, &
Vissing, J (2017) explore
the concept of cycle training for patients with FSHD as well as High-Intensity
Training (HIT) to see how maximum exertion would affect their health
specifically oxygen levels and if muscle damage occurs. The criteria for
patients who participated had been verified and diagnosed with FSHD and in
between ages 18-70 years, all of them untrained. Patients were turned away if
they were unable to cycle or other physical factors. Patients worked out three
times a week with a stationary bike and to wear watches that recorded their
pulse. Andersen et al. (2017) chose to test with a running technique called the
10 20 30 concept but redesigned it for cycling. Twelve patients chosen to do
the study, where half of the group performed eight weeks of HIT under
supervision whiled the other group performed eight weeks of usual care. After
completing the first portion, both groups performed another eight weeks of HIT
on their own. The study found to be a success and it was safe for people with
FSHD to engage in high-performance training and cycling. However, for the
participants that were in usual care had no change in fitness, but the same
patients found an increase in part two of the experiment. Overall, the patients
involved in HIT training increased muscle strength as well as function. HIT, as
demonstrated in this study, could improve patients’ maximum oxygen levels
increase fitness as compared to healthy participants. Patients found there to be
no extended pain and no further muscle damage occurred, out of all types of
training, they have experienced they preferred HIT techniques.

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of
neuromuscular disorder (Neuromuscular
Disorder | Medline Plus. (n.d.)) where people lack
dystrophin which is a protein that assists in functioning muscles. Muscular
dystrophy involves muscles that deteriorate and weaken over time making it
difficult for people to exercise and walk as well as simple everyday tasks (Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
(n.d.)). MD is broken down into several categories
in order to help with proper diagnosis. In particular Facioscapulohumeral
muscular dystrophy (FSHD) specifically affects the face, upper arms, and
shoulder which can inhibit people from chewing and swallowing. They have
certain characteristics like; crooked mouth appearance, wing-like shoulder
blades, and or slanted shoulders. People with FSHD generally live a longer life
compared to other types of MD because it is a slower progression. In general,
to be diagnosed there are several different ways such as; blood testing for
enzymes and genetic markers, perform an electromyography test, and or perform a
muscle biopsy (Muscular
Dystrophy: Types, Symptoms, and Diagnosis. (n.d.)). There
is no treatment for any type of muscular dystrophy but there are therapies that
can reduce pain and slow down the process of deterioration (Definition of Muscular dystrophy. (n.d.)).

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All of the research is consistent although
there is no treatment for muscular dystrophy, exercise is a safe therapy that
can help patients. With the articles, they all state that patients when
partaking in physical activity endure either less pain then they experience in
everyday scenarios or around the same amount. Some articles discussed maximum
oxygen levels and how exercise can help increase those levels, benefiting
patient’s health. While others discussed some strength regain in muscles
further slowing the process of deterioration. As seen, there are many options
for different types of muscular dystrophy for those that are able to
participate.

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