Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Muscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral -- therapy; Case Reports


Purpose: The purpose of the case study was to explain a treatment program involving low/moderate intensity strength training and stretching for a patient with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD).

Background: FSHD is the third most common type of muscular dystrophy. This pathology results from a mutation in chromosome 4 and results in progressive weakening of facial, scapular, and hip musculature. Research behind effective strengthening programs is often inconclusive and varies in results.

Case Description: The patient was a 34-year-old female, who was diagnosed with FSHD 3 years prior to our first visit. She had complaints of left shoulder pain (2-3/10), shoulder and hip weakness, and limited shoulder range of motion (ROM). The patient reported her lower extremities fatigued and had multiple falls over the last 2 years.

Plan of Care: Interventions included upper and lower extremity strengthening exercises and shoulder ROM exercises. Prior to discharge, exercise program to continue strength training independently was provided to the patient. The patient received a significant amount of education throughout her plan of care.

Outcomes: At discharge, the patient had no significant changes in strength or ROM. She reported no left shoulder pain and significant increases in functionality as recorded on an Upper Extremity Functional Index (UEFI).

Conclusion: After 6 weeks of low/moderate intensity strength training and stretching, strength and ROM did not improve, but functionality based on the UEFI did improve.