The following is from the transcript to a session conducted on Friday, November 13, 2015, over the FSH Society’s Facebook page with Julie Hershberg PT, DPT, NCS. Hershberg is a physical therapist who is a Board Certified Neurologic Specialist. She practices at [re+active] physical therapy & wellness and is an instructor in Doctor of Physical Therapy program at USC. Additional questions and answers will be posted in the future.
Q. I am a physical therapist also and my son has FSHD. Has there been research done on using braces or taping techniques to assist weak muscles or improve posture to then decrease the stress on other compensatory muscles? If so, what are your recommendations for how to get these braces?
A. There is not research in FSHD on particular braces, but there is clinical expertise (Wendy King and Shree Pandya are great resources and PT’s with a lot of experiences in this area) that have recommended specific bracing depending on your son’s problems. Abdominal bracing and leg orthotics are two of the most common forms. General abdominal braces can be found online and I often recommend the least restrictive and most comfortable ones to start, which are essentially soft elastic. I also recommend custom AFOs for the legs, made by an orthotist.