Spinal muscle atrophy (SMA) is basically an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by progressive muscle weakness. The problem is caused by the loss of specialized nerve cells known as the motor neurons, present in the spinal cord and the part of the brain connected to the spinal cord. SMA makes it extremely difficult for the patients to execute daily activities such as walking, sitting or controlling the head movements. Even with treatments, it remains a challenge as to how to manage spinal muscle atrophy. So, here are a few ways and accessories to consider.
- Proper nutrition
Deciding on a proper and balanced diet, especially for children with SMA, can be challenging. No specific type of diet, as such, is recommended. So, depending on the overall health condition of the child or even an adult, a balanced nutrition should be provided.
- Adaptive strollers and wheelchairs
Adaptive strollers or medical strollers are built for children with special needs, such as those suffering from SMA. The strollers are designed in a manner that enables the child to be supported as well as positioned comfortably. Some strollers have trays to carry the necessary medical equipment too. These items have been a great relief to parents wondering how to manage spinal muscle atrophy in their children.
- Car beds and E-Z-ON modified vests
Traveling is, of course, challenging for SMA patients. There are car beds that lie flat and allow a child with spinal muscle atrophy to travel safely and comfortably. Sitting in a regular car seat can cause apnea or oxygen desaturation in the patients. On the other hand, E-Z-ON modified vests can make traveling easier for the child even when he/she has outgrown the car bed. The vest is meant to be integrated into the backseat of the car, enabling the child to lie flat while traveling and thereby, removing all discomfort or pain experienced by him/her.
- Standers and braces
Accessories for adult SMA patients always play a significant role with regards to the question of how to manage spinal muscle atrophy. Standers are supposed to help the patients with digestion, breathing, and circulation. They also help in promoting bone strength. Braces, on the other hand, can be of three distinct types. The ankle-foot orthoses are designed to control the motion and ankle position to correct deformities or manage the weakness. The knee-foot orthoses provide support and adequate joint alignment to the knee, foot, and ankle. And the third variety is the thoracolumbosacral orthosis, which is basically the back braces wrapped around the arms, rib cage, lower back, and hips to let the spine be in a straighter position.
Using these tips and most importantly, support accessories is precisely everything about how to manage spinal muscle atrophy. It is equally important for the patient and the family members to stay mentally strong and positive always.