Living with MD

There are many different forms of muscular dystrophy and not all will benefit from bike riding. As this group of conditions are genetic, there isn’t a known cure but some treatments focus on physical mobility to lessen symptoms, increase mobility and slow the progression of the disease. Physio is used in MD treatments for people of all ages and can include bike riding to increase muscle strength and range of motion.

The interaction between families and allied health professionals who work alongside families who have children living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) have focused on how bike riding can assist with keeping muscles strong and flexible while offering an appropriate level of balance support and motor assistance for when the rider becomes tired or stiff. Children as young as 6 have been assisted with ebikes designed to suit their size, build and strengths, aiming to provide a safe and secure platform to make treatment easier, more fun and part of social activities. Using bikes can offer a regular and sustainable form of assistance.

Typical symptoms

Riding a bike when living with MD can assist with keeping muscles strong and flexible. Working with both physiotherapists and occupational therapists enables us to tailor the bike to suit the individual. Certainly the use of both the pedal activated electric motor and the walking mode can make a huge difference to coping with sudden onset of fatigue or cramping.

Benefits

  • Low-impact form of exercise to strengthen muscles
  • Alternative mode of transport for community access and social participation
  • Use of pedal assist electric motor to make pedalling easier
  • Step-through frame to enable safe and easier transfers
  • Light-weight models to conserve energy when transferring for transport or stowage
  • Use of the walking throttle mode when things just get too much and you have to manage fatigue

Case studies

P.M.

Ebike options for those living with MD

BF Muskateer 14” or 16”BF ezi-step 2+2BF i-Tri Euro 20”
– Rear steering attendant bar
– Motor assistance – Backrest/lateral supports
– Versatile design for growth
– Folding electric bike
– Adult stabilisers
– Small format purpose built etrike
– Very stable
– Great torque for use on hills
See the range here: https://blindfreddyebikes.com.au/collections/special-needs-bikes-trikes-australia

Contact us to discuss your options & speak with our team of specialists!

Sources: https://musculardystrophynews.com/2019/06/20/e-bicycles-things-to-consider/