What is included in physical therapy (PT) for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS; Chief Editor: Ryan O Stephenson, DO  more...
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Answer

Answer

Physical therapists should instruct proper stretching and daily range-of-motion (ROM) exercises to the patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and his/her caregivers. Therapists should try to anticipate the patient's future needs and introduce assistive devices in a timely manner. Lightweight ankle-foot orthoses can be provided to minimize foot drop and stabilize weak quadriceps muscles to prevent falls. [7]

The physical therapist should also emphasize energy conservation and teach patients and caregivers methods for performing safe, efficient transfers. Therapists also can provide instruction for strengthening exercise programs, but exercises should be performed at submaximal levels in muscles without marked weakness and should be prescribed only for patients with slowly progressive disease. [8]


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