Vranch House is a centre for the treatment of over 2,000 outpatients with physical difficulties, a provider of various therapies throughout Devon and an independent Day School in Exeter for children with significant physical difficulties.

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Last updated: 17/07/2024

Neuromuscular Service

There are 60 different types of muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions. These conditions are characterised by the loss of muscle strength as progressive muscle wasting or nerve damage occurs. There is yet no cure but there is much to be done practically to improve life for those affected.

Children with neuromuscular conditions such as Duchenne Muscular dystrophy are seen by the specialist neuromuscular physiotherapist. Individual needs are assessed and therapeutic programmes are established for home and /or school. Base line assessments are used following national guidelines and the children are then reassessed approximately 3-6 monthly to closely monitor changes. A clinic is held every three months with the paediatrician, physiotherapist and nurse specifically for these children. Due to the complexity of the conditions families are able to invite their key-worker or school link to these meetings to discuss the wider issues and ensure a whole team approach.

Once a year a clinic is held with the Neuromuscular specialist Paediatrician, Physiotherapist and Family Support Worker from Bristol so children and their families do not have to travel so far for their regional appointments.

We currently run two swimming groups for local boys who have Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Swimming group

The aims of physiotherapy are to:

  • Minimise the development of contractures and deformity by developing a programme of stretches and exercises where appropriate
  • Anticipate and minimise other secondary complications of a physical nature
  • Prescribe equipment such as orthoses, callipers, wheelchairs and standing frames
  • Advise on moving and handling issues and equipment
  • Monitor respiratory function and advise on techniques to assist with breathing exercises and methods of clearing secretions

Physiotherapists can assist in ensuring as fulfilling a lifestyle as possible, giving advice on activities that are not only beneficial but can be enjoyed throughout life.

Further information on these conditions can be found on the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign website at: www.muscular-dystrophy.org