CMT UK Offering Video Series of Exercises for Home Use

Marta Figueiredo, PhD avatar

by Marta Figueiredo, PhD |

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CMT physical activity

To promote physical activity in people with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, the charity CMT UK shared seven exercise videos that patients can carry out in the comfort of their home.

The exercises are presented by Rebekah Knight, a physiotherapist diagnosed with CMT1A, the most common form of CMT type 1, in 2011.

CMT, the most common inherited neurological condition globally, is estimated to affect nearly 3 million people worldwide, including 25,000 in the U.K. It damages the peripheral nervous system, the network of nerves that transmits motor and sensory messages between the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the rest of the body.

While symptom onset may differ among CMT patients, common manifestations include progressive muscle weakness and atrophy, and decreased sensation in the feet, lower legs, hands, and forearms.

Exercising or being active (within a patient’s limits) is key for people living with CMT to maintain their muscle mass.

Physical and occupational therapies also help, but the current COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted such sessions for many patients.

As part of CMT Awareness Month activities in the U.S. and Europe, CMT UK produced a series of seven workout videos suited to CMT patients that can be done at home, with minimal equipment. The goal is to keep patients’ muscles strong and get them to be more active.

Knight, the video presenter, aims to use physiotherapy to promote “different ways that people living with CMT can get stronger, improve their activity levels, and manage the condition to the best of their ability,” the organization wrote in its facebook post announcing the exercise series.

The series includes workout videos focused on the lower body, upper body, or both, as well as a video of light cardio and stretches. Links for each video can be found here. Knight also included exercise modifications so that patients can pick what best suits their current level. The exercises may require bands and/or dumbbells (or tins of beans), but can be done without these.

CMT UK also suggested that patients use these videos to participate in the organization’s #7DayActiveChallenge, an awareness month initiative that combines exercise with fundraising.

The aim is to complete an activity or exercise for seven days, consecutive or not, through Oct. 31, while promoting donations to CMT UK within its #CMTUKAppeal campaign.

Participants can choose a set number of steps, or a particular exercise, such as walking, chair-based exercises, or yoga. For more information on how to set up a fundraising challenge, click here.

More than £13,000 (about $17,000) have been raised so far with the #CMTUKAppeal, which is more than twice the initial goal of £5,000 (nearly $6,500) set for the July through October campaign.

Part of the European CMT Federation, CMT UK supports patients and caregivers, promotes research, and educates the public about the disease through campaigns, membership meetings, annual conferences, and fundraising.

CMT UK is also asking supporters to share its posts, using the hashtag #CMTawarenessmonth, on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.