Spinal Muscular Atrophy

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What is Spinal Muscular Atrophy?

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (also known as SMA) is a genetic disease that affects the nervous system. It is the loss of nerve cells called motor neurons in the spinal cord that makes it difficult for the cells that control your muscles to work properly. Atrophy means your muscles get smaller, so your muscles become weakened with this disease due to lack of movement.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness
Watch this short video to learn more about SMA
Importance of diet and being active

Obesity and being overweight is a concern when it comes to SMA because excess weight makes muscle weakness worse


Those with SMA need to watch their diet and keep foods high in fat and sodium to a minimum.

Physical Activity

Those with SMA should do as much physical activity as they are comfortable with. Activity helps maintain range of motion and protects those with SMA from excess muscle stiffness.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help children and adults with SMA with daily regular activities. It can help those with limited muscular strength find the best ways to perform everyday movements.

Pay attention to how muscle weakness affects every part of the body

There are issues created by this disease that require special treatment methods due to muscle weakness throughout the body

Respiratory Muscle Weakness

When respiratory muscles weaken, air has trouble moving in and out of your lungs. There are portable ventilation devices that help with breathing issues, such as the use of oxygen masks.

Swallowing Muscles

Swallowing muscles can also be affected by this disease. In severe cases, people with SMA may need to use feeding tubes for nutrition if they cannot properly chew and swallow food.

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