FSHD causes progressive muscle weakness. This can lead to joints being frozen in one position. This is known as a contracture.
Spinal misalignment can occur, most commonly as lordosis – where the spine curves excessively making the stomach stick out.
FSHD is a muscular dystrophy. The effects will be felt in any system which contains skeletal muscle. This can include breathing due to involvement of the diaphragm. People may also experience visual and hearing problems. In extremely rare cases FSHD may affect the function of the heart.
FSHD does not cause problems with learning or any other cognitive impairment. It also has no effect on sensation nor does it affect control over the bladder or bowels. FSHD does not affect sexual function.