Self-management

Some habits may prevent complications caused by Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and help you manage its effects.

Started early and followed regularly, at-home activities can provide protection and relief:

  • Stretch regularly. Stretching can help improve or maintain the range of motion of your joints and reduce the risk of injury. It's also helpful in improving your flexibility, balance and coordination. If you have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, regular stretching can prevent or reduce joint deformities that may result from uneven pulling of muscle on your bones.
  • Exercise daily. Regular exercise keeps your bones and muscles strong. Low-impact exercises, such as biking and swimming, are less stressful on fragile muscles and joints. By strengthening your muscles and bones, you can improve your balance and coordination, reducing your risk of falls.
  • Improve your stability. Muscle weakness associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease may cause you to be unsteady on your feet, resulting in falls and serious injury. Walking with a cane or a walker can increase your stability. Good lighting at night can help you avoid stumbling and falling.

Support groups, in conjunction with your doctor's advice, can be valuable in dealing with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Support groups bring together people who are coping with the same kinds of challenges, and offer a setting in which people can share common problems.

Ask your doctor about support groups in your community. The Internet and your local health department, public library and telephone book also may be good sources to find a support group in your area.

Aug. 11, 2017
References
  1. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/charcot_marie_tooth/detail_charcot_marie_tooth.htm. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  2. Facts about Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and related diseases. Muscular Dystrophy Association. http://www.mda.org/publications/facts-about-charcot-marie-tooth-related-diseases. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  3. Aminoff MJ, et al. Sensory disorders. In: Clinical Neurology. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  4. Cruse RP. Hereditary primary motor sensory neuropathies, including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  5. Ekins S, et al. A brief review of recent Charcot-Marie-Tooth research and priorities. F1000 Research. 2015;4:53.
  6. Klein C (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 19, 2016.
  7. Verma A. Next-generation sequencing and diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease disease. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology. 2014 Oct-Dec; 17(4): 383–386.
  8. Important foot care for people with CMT. Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Association. http://www.cmtausa.org/resource-center/treatment-management/foot-care/important-foot-care-for-people-with-cmt/. Accessed Jan. 29, 2016.
  9. Pedicure pointers. American Podiatric Medical Association. http://www.apma.org/Learn/HealthyFeetTips.cfm?ItemNumber=9859. Accessed Jan. 29, 2016.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease