Living with spina bifida can mean dealing with mobility issues, as well as physical, emotional and mental health challenges. Understanding how spina bifida affects movement can help you create an environment that supports the needs of your loved one living with this condition.
Learn About Low Muscle Tone and Range of Motion Issues.
People with spina bifida may experience limited range of motion due to decreased flexibility and strength of their muscles. This can be caused by low muscle tone (hypotonia), where the muscles are weaker than average, or from joint contractures, where the joints become permanently fixed in position. Learning how to best support these issues is important for improving mobility and functioning.
Consider Equipment That Increases Independent Mobility.
For those with spina bifida, it can be helpful to explore the range of mobility devices and equipment available. Electric wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and braces are just some of the tools that can help increase independence by allowing easier movement. Other products like medical lifts or rollators provide a way for people with spina bifida to safely maneuver around their home or perform everyday tasks without assistance.
Talk to Doctors and Physical Therapists Who Specialise in Spina Bifida Mobility Issues.
Physiotherapy is an important part of managing mobility issues related to spina bifida. Your doctor should be able to refer you to a physical therapist who specialises in this area, and they can assess your abilities and help plan out the best treatment options for you. They will also be able to provide advice on the types of equipment or mobility devices that would be most beneficial for you.
Incorporate Physical Activity Into Daily Life Through Swimming
Physical activity is an important part of staying healthy and can help people with spina bifida maintain their mobility. Swimming or aquatic therapy programs are a great way to incorporate physical activities into your daily life. These programs often feature specialized exercises that target specific muscle groups, helping to strengthen them to improve mobility. In addition, swimming can also provide relief from the pressure placed on joints due to the effects of the condition.
Research Community Support Groups to Gain Further Understanding and Connect With Others Experiencing Similar Challenges.
Getting involved in a spina bifida community can offer great emotional and psychological support. You can meet with other people who understand what it’s like to live with the condition, and share experiences. However, not all areas have community support groups for spina bifida. If there isn’t one available in your area, you might want to consider starting one yourself or creating an online group for others who also have spina bifida related mobility issues.