Different types of upper extremity exercise training in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: effects on functional performance, strength, endurance, and ambulation

Ipek Alemdaroğlu, Ayşe Karaduman, Öznur Tunca Yilmaz, Haluk Topaloğlu
Muscle & Nerve 2015, 51 (5): 697-705

INTRODUCTION: We investigated and compared the effects of 2 different types of upper extremity exercise training on upper extremity function, strength, endurance, and ambulation in patients with early-stage Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

METHODS: The study group (n = 12) exercised with an arm ergometer under the supervision of a physiotherapist, whereas the control group (n = 12) underwent a strengthening range-of-motion (ROM) exercise program under the supervision of their families at home for 8 weeks. Upper extremity functional performance, strength, endurance, and ambulatory status were assessed before and after the training.

RESULTS: Ambulation scores, endurance, and arm functions, as well as proximal muscle strength, were improved after the training in the study group (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that upper extremity training with an arm ergometer is more effective in preserving and improving the functional level of early-stage DMD patients compared to ROM exercises alone.

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