Charcot Marie Tooth Disease and MAT®: A Case Study

June 11, 2020

Mark Trombold has been in the health and wellness industry for over three decades as an established Physical Therapist. He has been an MAT® Practitioner since 2001 and continues to expand and develop his abilities to help his patients. Below is a case study that he sent in based on a patient of his who was living with a life-altering muscular disease:

This is a particular case study of a patient of mine who has a peripheral demyelinating neuropathy known as Charcot Marie Tooth disease. CMT affects all myelinated peripheral nerves leading to significant body-wide muscle atrophy. Distal muscles of the hand and lower leg demonstrate especially pronounced weakness. Muscle wasting can result in joint instability and deformation.

My patient has undergone four reconstructive foot surgeries but has managed to stay physically active and is an employed researcher/instructor. However, at the time of menopause, she experienced very rapid muscle atrophy. Within 6 months, she was no longer able to ascend normal 7-inch stairs and within one year, she needed to use a walker. It was at this point a friend heard about Muscle Activation Techniques® and sent her our way. Charcot Marie Tooth Disease

Because her feet were so sensitive to touch, I decided to work more proximally starting with the trunk and spine and move distally as tolerated. Beginning at the suspension system of the hips and trunk using Muscle Activation Techniques®, we were able to increase her stability and mobility up the chain, addressing the muscles such as the latissimus dorsi, gluteus, and trunk extensors. In turn, this helped her ability to stand more erect and walk with better upright posture. Additionally, she started to notice an immediate improvement in trunk and hip control. How? By addressing the contractile efficiency of each muscle (along with all divisions). Once contractile efficiency was restored, the muscles were able to do their job to stabilize joints and protect her from injury.

Over several sessions, we were able to work down the chain and address her feet. This was a delicate process. Emotionally this was challenging for my patient after 4 major reconstruction surgeries to her feet and a lot of emotional over-lay. However, we have now worked through the MAT/RX movement patterns. She is now walking completely independently and increasing her tolerance to exercise all the time. She is increasing her reps, resistance, and overall muscle strength ― frankly, MAT® has been a life-changer for her.

MAT® is an amazing tool in my Physical Therapy practice. It allows me to think outside the box and look globally and then hone-in on the micro or local system. By raising her muscle threshold away from the problem area (her feet), we were able to improve her stability up the chain and then move forward down the chain to improve the overall system. The sky is the limit.

Mark Trombold, Physical Therapist and MAT® Practitioner
Muscle Activation Physical Therapy