The changes in muscle strength and relaxation time after a comprehensive rehabilitation program for patients with myotonic dystrophy.
Myotonic dystrophy is a muscular disorder characterized by muscle weakness and myotonia. Myotonia manifests with abnormally slow relaxation after strong voluntary contraction of the muscles. In our previous study we reported that quinine sulfate provided therapeutic benefit to myotonia and a home exercise program based on muscle strengthening exercises improved muscle strength. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a multi-therapeutic program in patients with myotonic dystrophy. For six months, seven patients with myotonic dystrophy received heat therapy, were given psychologic intervention using relaxation techniques, were trained at home, and were given quinine sulfate. The changes in muscle strength and relaxation time between the post-six-months home exercise program combined with quinine sulfate therapy, and the post-six months multi-therapeutic program, were assessed from the first dorsal interossei, the elbow flexors, and the knee extensors. The results were as follows: 1) The mean muscle strength of the each of the three muscles after the six months multi-therapeutic program was improved but was not significant compared with the post-six-months home exercise program combined with quinine sulfate therapy. 2) The mean relaxation time of each of the three muscles after the six months multi-therapeutic program was significantly reduced compared with the home exercise program combined with quinine sulfate therapy. In conclusion, the multi-therapeutic program undertaken in this study was the better program for the patients with myotonic dystrophy.
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