Physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation may help to improve posture, prevent joint immobility, and slow muscle weakness and atrophy in some cases of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Stretching and strengthening exercises may help reduce spasticity, increase range of motion, and keep circulation flowing. Some people with SMA may require additional therapy for speech, chewing, and swallowing difficulties.

From infants to adults with SMA, therapies for posture management, seating, contracture and pain management are helpful for daily living. Assistive equipment, wheelchairs for mobility, limb orthotics and developmental therapies are all important for maintaining optimal health.

The first approach should be an evaluation of the patient’s current muscle and functional deficits. The goals of orthopedic and rehabilitation care, and eventually surgery, depend on the functional level of the patient and the family’s wishes.

The decision-making process should also include improving strength where possible, maintaining the best posture for each situation, preventing or delaying joint deformity, keeping the bones as strong as possible, minimizing pain, and promoting comfort, all while keeping children and adults with SMA as mobile as possible.

From very young children to adults, all SMA patients should be offered independent mobility and all the activities of daily living whenever possible. For older children and adults, walking should be encouraged with appropriate assistive devices and orthotics.

Read the latest news about SMA rehabilitation at SMA News Today.

Follow the latest developments for all experimental spinal muscular atrophy treatments on the SMA Therapy Tracker.

SMA 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 other 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.