Unfortunately, due to the fact that FSHD is a genetic condition that damages your muscles you can’t build back the muscle that is lost. However, you may be able to support your muscles to slow down the progression of weakness through a healthy diet and gentle exercise. There are a range of nutritional products sold to assist with muscle health. There is very little scientific evidence that they have an effect however, they may assist in maintaining healthy muscles that are not affected by FSHD. You should discuss any potential benefits with your neurologist before buying any products as some can be very expensive, so it is a large investment for little benefit.
There may be some benefits to gentle exercise. Recent studies have shown that exercise is not harmful and that light to moderate activity (15 – 30 minutes on a stationary bike 3 times a week) may help maintain muscle strength. Maintaining a healthy diet is good advice for anyone to follow.
There is a lot of research being done in the area of exercise and rehabilitation, it is hoped that this is an area that can significantly improve quality of life for people with FSHD. For updates on this area sign-up to our monthly EDM.