Gaucher disease is a genetic disease characterized by the toxic buildup of a fat molecule called glucocerebroside in various tissues and organs, including the bones.

Over time, this accumulation weakens bones, causing stiffness and risking fractures and making movement difficult. Bone damage can become chronic, and joint replacement surgery is often necessary to ease pain and discomfort.

In addition to frequent bone tests and imaging, many think it vital to incorporate physical therapy and exercise into a patient’s treatment management plan.

How physiotherapy can help

There is no standard physiotherapy regimen for Gaucher disease patients, but a trained physiotherapist can help design a safe exercise routine. Its intensity and scope will vary depending on a given patient’s health status. But, generally, a mild-to-moderate workout plan is adapted to maintain mobility and range of movement, and to help prevent joint stiffness.

During the consultation, the therapist will review the patient’s medical history and consider their needs and abilities before planning an exercise regimen.

A combination of aerobics, strength training, and exercises that improve balance can help build muscle strength, maintain weight, and lessen the likelihood of falls. Leg exercises help to loosen frozen joints and improve movement. Stretching routines may be included to relieve muscle cramps and maintain fluidity.

Low-intensity activities that do not exert pressure on the joints and bones, such as swimming, are usually preferred to help build muscle strength.

Other information

Physical therapy must be performed under the supervision of a physiotherapist, and in consultation with their physician.

Patients who have swollen spleens, are severely anemic or have a tendency toward bleeding and fractures are strongly advised  to avoid contact sports like football and basketball in favor of activities like swimming, bike riding and dance programs.

Gaucher patients who have had hip or knee replacement surgery should also avoid jogging and other high-impact exercises.

***

Gaucher Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Vijaya Iyer is a freelance science writer for BioNews Services. She has contributed content to their several disease-specific websites, including cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, among others. She holds a PhD in Microbiology from Kansas State University, where her research focused on molecular biology, bacterial interactions, metabolism, and animal models to study bacterial infections. Following the completion of her PhD, Dr. Iyer went on to complete three postdoctoral fellowships at Kansas State University, University of Miami and Temple University. She joined BioNews Services to utilize her scientific background and writing skills to help patients and caregivers remain abreast with important scientific breakthroughs.
×
Vijaya Iyer is a freelance science writer for BioNews Services. She has contributed content to their several disease-specific websites, including cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, among others. She holds a PhD in Microbiology from Kansas State University, where her research focused on molecular biology, bacterial interactions, metabolism, and animal models to study bacterial infections. Following the completion of her PhD, Dr. Iyer went on to complete three postdoctoral fellowships at Kansas State University, University of Miami and Temple University. She joined BioNews Services to utilize her scientific background and writing skills to help patients and caregivers remain abreast with important scientific breakthroughs.
Latest Posts
  • Filipino Gaucher patients
  • blood infection, Gaucher disease