Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy

The first sign of muscular dystrophy is usually some sort of weakness, though this can manifest in many ways—trouble performing daily activities, tripping or failure to meet childhood milestones. Each case is different. There can be a wide variation in first symptoms and the age of onset even within the same form of the disease. This can make getting a diagnosis a long process, so it is important to be seen by specialists familiar with the range of muscular dystrophies.

The condition is most often diagnosed in children between ages three and six years old. The most common signs of muscular dystrophy include:

  • Clumsiness
  • Walking on tip toes
  • Leg pain
  • Tripping and falling frequently
  • Trouble climbing stairs
  • Facial weakness
  • Arm and shoulder weakness
  • Difficulty closing the eyes
  • Large calf muscles from fatty deposits
  • Trouble getting up from a sitting or lying down position (a common sign of Duchenne muscular dystrophy)

Related Resources

Muscular Dystrophy Association