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Home 9 Latest News 9 Conquering Multiple Sclerosis with Physical Therapy

Conquering Multiple Sclerosis with Physical Therapy

Mar 11, 2023

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurologic disease that damages the nerves. This damage often leads to serious symptoms, such as the following:

  • numbness and tingling
  • weakness
  • muscle pain
  • vision problems

In some people, MS can be aggressive and advance quickly. In other people, it can be mild and progress at a much slower pace, with long periods of inactivity.

In any case, physical therapy (PT) can be an important part of treatment for people with MS.

Why PT can be helpful with MS:  PT for MS involves exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your gait (how you walk) and your balance and coordination. It also involves stretches to help you maintain mobility and prevent muscle spasms. PT can also include training on how to use mobility aids like a cane, walker, or wheelchair.

PT can be helpful even in the earliest stages of MS. It can help you:

  • learn how to support and cope with your changing body
  • avoid exacerbating symptoms
  • develop strength and stamina
  • regain abilities after a disease relapse

Physical therapy at different MS stages

  • At diagnosis
    • An initial baseline evaluation with a physical therapist is crucial upon MS diagnosis to assess your current abilities and establish a reference point for future comparisons. This evaluation helps determine appropriate levels of exercise and activity while addressing physical limitations. Continued physical therapy may be recommended for individuals with aggressive, rapidly progressing MS
  • During a relapse
    • A relapse in MS refers to a period of increased frequency or severity of symptoms, making everyday tasks more challenging. Your physical therapist can assess the impact of the relapse through a physical exam and compare it to your baseline evaluation. Following a relapse, resuming physical therapy can aid in recovering lost strength and improving overall function.

Different Types of MS:

MS comes in different types, each with its own progression. Primary progressive MS involves a gradual and constant decline without relapses, making early PT crucial for learning compensatory strategies and using mobility aids. Advanced MS, marked by severe symptoms and limited mobility, can still benefit from PT, which focuses on sitting techniques, upper body strength, and optimizing mobility aid usage for improved well-being.

Our Pain and Movement Solutions team, can help you understand how MS affects you and how the disease may progress over time to help you maintain or improve your healthy lifestyle. For those interested in scheduling an evaluation with our Doctors of Physical Therapy they can contact the clinic to set up an appointment.

PRESS RELEASE: Pain & Movement Solutions, [email protected], June 21st , 2023