Role of rehabilitation in the management of myopathies

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Myopathies, regardless of their varied etiologies, are associated with muscle damage and, often, other organ system involvement causing physical impairment. The resultant adverse impact on mobility, activities of daily living, communication, and cardiorespiratory fitness results in disability, handicap, and reduced quality of life. The extent of the functional impact depends on the type of myopathy and the extent of clinical involvement caused by it, duration of the disease, time to diagnosis and treatment, and rate of progression and response to medical management. The usefulness of rehabilitation in maintaining function in muscular dystrophy has been addressed in the literature for several decades. However, the need for and efficacy of specific rehabilitation interventions and assessment tools to measure function in inflammatory myopathy have just recently emerged this decade. Although studies are few in number, they are useful. More research is needed and should be encouraged. The overall goal of rehabilitation is to enhance function and quality of life.

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