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Physical Activity and Exercise in Paediatric Neuromuscular Disease

  • : Online

Neuromuscular diseases (NMD) are rare and often progressive disorders including spinal muscular atrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, muscular dystrophies and myopathies. Weakness is the primary manifestation of paediatric NMD with contracture and deformity, gait dysfunction, poor balance, falls, reduced endurance and fatigue secondary to weakness. Historically, exercise was considered harmful in NMD. Exercise is safe in most NMD. Additionally, children with NMD are less physically active than their TD peers. Disuse is known to compound disease-related weakness. This lecture will review paediatric NMD, and safe physical activity and exercise for children and adolescents with these conditions.


Rachel Kennedy (B.Physio, PhD) is a physiotherapist with over 25 years experience working with children, young people and their families. For the past 15 years this has included a joint research clinician role in the Neuromuscular team at The Royal Children's Hospital and the Neurosciences research group at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia. This role includes the weekly multi-disciplinary Neuromuscular Clinic at RCH and clinical evaluations for numerous international studies including pharmaceutical research in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy. Rachel's PhD studies investigated factors affecting gait and functional gait-related activities and physical activity in children and adolescents with the inherited peripheral neuropathy Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). Rachel is interested in further exploring exercise interventions and the effect on function and physical activity in children and adolescents with physical disabilities. She has recently received a Churchill Fellowship to travel overseas - hopefully in the not too distant future post COVID-19 - to centres in the UK, Europe and the USA which specialise in exercise for people with neuromuscular diseases.

Kate Carroll is a senior clinician physiotherapist who has spent the last 17 years working in the Neurology Department at the Royal Children’s Hospital as a researcher and clinician to children who have neuromuscular disorders. In 2009 she completed her PhD. She has initiated and undertaken local research projects collaborating with RCH team members, as well as colleagues interstate and internationally. Kate has worked on a number of international pharmaceutical trials and natural history studies as a clinical evaluator and has contributed to a number of publications. Kate is also the lecturer in paediatric physiotherapy at Monash University, coordinating their postgraduate paediatric program.


Paediatric Physiotherapy National Group

Date of Live Event


CPD Hours

1.5 Hours

Please note: The content of this Lecture on Demand (LOD) was captured via a recording of a live lecture at the APA premises. Due to the nature of the event and the recording method, this LOD may not have captured some of the questions/comments from live audience. Your purchase of this module indicates your acceptance of this.

Physical Activity and Exercise in Paediatric Neuromuscular Disease
Interest Areas / Topics Covered
Children and young peoples health, Neurosciences and Rehabilitation, Paediatric
Provider Type
Non Profit Organisation
CPD Points
CPD Hours: 1.5 Hours
Price Details
Member: $30.00 inc. GST; Non-Member: $50.00 inc. GST
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Cover Picture 264_apa_cover1602566688.jpg
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