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Wednesday 17 July 2019
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Physiotherapy Services

The physiotherapist provides a support service in clinic for any patient under the care of the Mark Holland Metabolic Unit.


If required an initial comprehensive physiotherapy assessment is conducted with the patient in clinic. The assessment is aimed at identifying the underlying cause for any physical problems the patient may be having. The patient is very much viewed as an individual and not as a disease. It is for this reason that we are not able to list a disease specific management plan based around physiotherapy aims.


We use a wide range of recognised and validated assessment tools and outcome measures from which we are able to monitor disease progression. Some of these are listed below:

  • Six minute walk test (6MWT)
  • Timed up and go (TUAG)
  • Other motor function tests
  • Dynamometry Muscle testing
  • MRC muscle testing
  • Non-ischaemic forearm exercise test
  • Ataxia tests
  • Assessments of hand function including grip strength and functional dexterity


Patients will not be assessed with all these tools. The most appropriate tools will be identified at each assessment.


The physiotherapy management plan aims to:

  • Achieve as efficient and normal movement patterns as possible
  • Preserve integrity of the musculoskeletal system
  • Improve posture and comfort when standing, sitting and lying
  • Refine the compensatory strategies being used
  • Provide advice on management of fatigue
  • Referral to other services such as orthotics or wheelchair services


We also liaise with your local physiotherapy services who we encourage to be involved in your on-going management. Where we identify that assistance is required with day-to-day activities, or there is a need for equipment and adaptations, we would liaise with local occupational therapy services. We are also constantly involved in research in an attempt to find better ways of treating and managing metabolic and lysosomal storage diseases.