August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month!

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder that negatively affects the motor control of 1/10000 people across the lifespan depending on type with which diagnosed. A decline in muscle strength is common affecting an individual’s ability to contribute and participate in society, increasing their economic burden, and in extreme cases, results in death. Hospitalization costs an average of 100k annually for these individuals. Therapy can help reduce hospitalizations, burden on caregivers, and provide education on how to manage this progressive chronic condition to improve these outcomes.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Physical therapists screen for neuromuscular delays while monitoring gross motor developmental milestones as part of their SMA assessment. They reduce fall risk by slowing the decline of range of motion, endurance, and strength to maintain and possibly increase mobility (walking, standing, sitting etc.) through therapeutic exercise and neuromuscular electrical stimulation. Seating/mobility device and orthotics recommendations may be made. Preventing the worsening of scoliosis may be included in treatment.

How Speech Therapy Can Help

Speech therapists screen for oral/laryngeal/pharyngeal motor delays as part of their typical assessment. Communication devices and vital stim to aid in breathing and swallowing function may be recommended to aid the individual with SMA in returning to social and mealtime participation.

How Occupational Therapy Can Help

Occupational therapy can assist people with SMA in becoming more independent in their daily activities, including with basic self-care, work, or hobby pursuits through the use of therapeutic activities. A screening for fine motor and self-care developmental milestones is part of the typical assessment for SMA. Home and lifestyle modifications, adaptive equipment and assistive technology recommendations, energy conservation strategies, and basic mental health care may be provided.

Therapy has been associated with reduced anxiety/depression and increased hopefulness for the future. Early intervention and collaboration with physicians is the key to comprehensive care. Help facilitate access to therapy services for individuals you may know with SMA today!

Alita Borkar MA, OTR/L, CPAM is an Occupational Therapist in the outpatient setting.  Alita believes everyone deserves access to therapy services that improve the ability to live a happy, meaningful, and productive life.  She believes in ethical, evidence based, high quality services and is passionate about developing evidence based programs, advocacy, and mentoring students for effective family services.



Ch’ng, G.S., Koh, K., Ahmad-Annuar, A. et al. A mixed method study on the impact of living with spinal muscular atrophy in Malaysia from patients’ and caregivers’ perspectives. Orphanet J Rare Dis 17, 200 (2022).
“Cure SMA, Novartis Publish Economic Burden of SMA Analysis in Journal of Market Access & Health Policy – Cure SMA.” Cure SMA, 20 Dec. 2020. Accessed 26 July 2023.
“List of Treatments for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.” MySMAteam, 2023.
“Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) | CDC.”, 20 Dec. 2021.

It’s Women’s Health Week! Questions? We Have Answers!

May 8th through the 14th is Women’s Health Week and the goal is to empower women to make their health a top priority and educate on the steps women can take to improve their health.  During the week, you can get the answers to top questions that are asked about Women’s Health. 

Women’s issues are important and most women suffer needlessly because they are not aware of the rehabilitation programming designed especially for women. Many patients suffer in silence from disorders caused from pregnancy, disease, musculoskeletal injury and surgery, or an unknown etiology.

Women’s Health physical therapists are trained to evaluate and treat the common conditions as well as more extensive diagnoses. The Tx:Team’s Women’s Health Program works with each patient on an individual basis with the ultimate goal of returning you to your daily routine as quickly as possible.  Physical Therapists work alongside you, the patient, to examine, treat, train, and educate.

Many of the diagnoses that women face are sensitive and can make a woman feel embarrassed. It’s time to get the conversations started! Since a women’s health program may be new to a majority of women, there are typically many questions surrounding how the program might help with your diagnosis or problem.

What does a Women’s Health Physical Therapist do?  

Women’s Health Physical Therapists provide specialized physical therapy services to diagnoses specific to women. These clinicians have received additional training for evaluation and treatment of the pelvic floor including both external and internal assessments.

What conditions does the Women’s Health Program address?

  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Pelvic Pain
    • Clitirodynia
    • Levator Ani Syndrome
    • Prudendal neuralgia
    • Vulvodynia/VVS
    • Dyspareunia
    • Coccygodynia
    • Tension Myalgia
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Low/Mid Back Pain
  • SI Joint Dysfunction
  • Pregnancy related pain
  • PreNatal/PostPartum Conditions
  • Painful scars (c-section/episiotomy)
  • Diastasis Recti
  • Back Pain
  • Neck/Shoulder Pain
  • Painful Intercourse
  • Sacrococcygeal Joint Dysfunction
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lymphedema Management
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gynecological surgery (pre/post op care)
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Pain associated with Interstitial Cystitis & Endometriosis

Tx:Team Women’s Health Physical Therapy programs can be found at FMH Rehabilitation in Frederick, MD. Ladies, it’s time to take the steps to improve your health and Women’s Health Week is the perfect time to start!