Muscular Atrophy

Muscular Atrophy is a medical condition characterised by the progressive loss of muscle tissue and muscle strength. It can result from various underlying causes, including neurological conditions, genetic disorders, disuse, or diseases affecting the muscles themselves. Muscular atrophy can affect specific muscle groups or be generalised, impacting muscles throughout the body.

The most common form of muscular atrophy is known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which is a type of motor neuron disease that leads to the degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, ultimately causing muscle weakness and atrophy. Other forms of muscular atrophy may be associated with conditions like spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) or disuse atrophy, which occurs when muscles are not used due to immobility or prolonged bed rest.

The symptoms of muscular atrophy may include muscle weakness, reduced muscle tone, muscle twitching, and loss of motor function. Treatment and management typically focus on addressing the underlying cause, if known, and on physical therapy and assistive devices to maintain functional independence.

Centrobed’s Bed Functions for Patients with Muscular Atrophy:

Patients with muscular atrophy, whether due to ALS, SMA, or other causes, have unique healthcare needs due to the progressive loss of muscle strength and function. The choice of bed functions for these patients should prioritise their comfort, safety, and support for managing symptoms related to mobility, muscle weakness, and potential complications. Here are some bed functions and considerations that may be beneficial for patients with muscular atrophy:

  1. Adjustable Bed Height: An adjustable bed height allows patients to get in and out of bed more easily, making transfers and daily activities more manageable, especially as muscle weakness progresses. Here at Centrobed we know the importance of ease of transfer – beds with adjustable heights makes it a lot easier in shifting a patient from one area to another.
  2. Full Profiling Options: Full profiling capabilities, including adjustable head and foot sections, provide flexibility for patients with muscular atrophy to find comfortable positions for resting, reading, or engaging in activities.
  3. Tilt-in-Space Functionality: Tilt-in-space features allow the entire bed frame to tilt vertically or horizontally. This function can be beneficial for:
    • Pressure Sore Prevention: Regularly changing the patient’s position can help prevent pressure sores, which may be a concern for individuals with limited mobility. It will also be able to ensure at least some movement of the muscles during the night.
    • Respiratory Support: Tilted positioning can assist with lung function and breathing for patients with muscular atrophy who may experience respiratory challenges.
  4. Central Locking System: A central locking system for the bed’s wheels ensures stability during care activities and minimizes the risk of unintended bed movement, which can be disruptive and unsafe for patients with muscular atrophy. The vast majority of our beds rest on 4-8 wheels, these wheels are lockable and have an extremely high weight tolerance.
  5. Pressure-Relief Mattress: A pressure-relief mattress helps distribute body weight evenly, reducing the risk of pressure sores, which can be a concern for individuals with limited mobility due to muscular atrophy. Centrobed offers a variety of mattresses for a multitude of reasons and conditions, please get in touch for further information.
  6. Patient Positioning Aids: Built-in positioning aids, such as trapeze bars or handles, can assist patients with mobility and repositioning, promoting independence and comfort.
  7. Battery Backup: In case of power outages, battery backup ensures that essential bed functions remain operational, maintaining patient comfort and safety. All of our turning beds come with battery backup power due to the risk of pressure sores, however our other beds do not have any additional power options.

It’s crucial to involve healthcare professionals, including neurologists, physical and occupational therapists, and caregivers, in assessing the patient’s specific needs and recommending the most suitable bed and equipment to enhance their comfort, safety, and quality of life, considering the individual variability of muscular atrophy symptoms and progression.