Different profiles of upper limb function in four types of neuromuscular disorders

Arjen Bergsma*, Mariska M.H.P. Janssen, Alexander C.H. Geurts, Edith H.C. Cup, Imelda J.M. de Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this research was to study impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions due to upper limb involvement in people with four different types of neuromuscular disorders (NMD) – FacioScapuloHumeral Dystrophy (FSHD), Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD), Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) – and to investigate whether common or different profiles could be identified. Total of 267 respondents with NMD from the Netherlands answered a set of questionnaires covering upper limb impairments (pain and stiffness), activity limitations and participation restrictions. Pain was most often reported by persons with FSHD. Problems in the FSHD group were mainly characterized by relatively high scores for pain and stiffness and low scores for activity limitations. People with LGMD reported also low scores for activity limitations. Conversely, people with SMA and DMD experienced in general relatively low scores for pain and stiffness and high scores for activity limitations. Although people with FSHD and LGMD had relatively few activity limitations, all NMD groups experienced restrictions when participating in social activities. Our results indicate specific profiles of upper limb function in different types of NMD. While the profile observed in persons with FSHD seems to reflect overuse, the profile seen in persons with DMD and SMA is suspicious of disuse, each requiring a specific rehabilitation strategy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1115-1122
    Number of pages8
    JournalNeuromuscular disorders
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


    • Activities of Daily Living
    • Limitatations
    • Pain
    • Stiffness
    • Upper Extremity


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