Holistic Approach to Medicine and Rehabilitation in Physical Therapy: Tina Duong, PhD, PT


The director of clinical outcomes and research development in neurology at Stanford University spoke about the paradigm shift in neuromuscular therapy interventions at the 2023 MDA conference. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“Part of our patients' problems are the muscle imbalances around a joint that may not allow them to move throughout an entire range of motion. This results in muscle loss from the disease and also muscle atrophy from disuse. There’s this combination that adds on to decreased function and ability, resulting in a lot of secondary conditions that are developed because of lack of movement or inactivity.”

Several characteristics of neuromuscular disease include respiratory muscles, thoracic ventilation, muscle strength and coughing capacity. Those who live with a neuromuscular disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myasthenia gravis (MG), and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), may experience a lower quality of life and have a higher risk of morbidity and mortality, mainly because of respiratory impairment.1

Tina Duong, PhD, PT, recently presented a talk on rehabilitation therapy services in a session centered on the delivery of care at the 2023 Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinical & Scientific Conference, March 19-22, in Dallas, Texas. Overall, the session engaged the neuromuscular community to address leveraging services, assessments, and management for patients. Experts in neuromuscular medicine, including Doung, spoke on topics such as rehabilitation, physical therapy, child development, respiratory therapy and psychology.2

Duong, director of clinical outcomes and research development in neurology at Stanford University, sat down with NeurologyLive® in an interview at the conference to talk about the physical therapy interventions currently used in the neuromuscular field. In the conversation, she emphasized the importance of movement medicine regarding as part of essential care for these patients. Duong also discussed the combination of approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy and physical therapy, as well as finding a healthy balance of exercise for this patient population.

Click here for more coverage of MDA 2023.

1. Cabrita B, Dias S, Fernandes AL, Correia S, Ferreira J, Simão P. Inspiratory muscle training in neuromuscular patients: Assessing the benefits of a novel protocol. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2021;34(4):537-543. doi:10.3233/BMR-200141
2. Duong T. Leveraging Providers in the Community: Rehabilitation Therapy Services. Presented at: MDA Clinical & Scientific Conference; March 19-22, 2023; Dallas, TX. NMD Care Delivery: Care Throughout the Patient Journey Track.
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