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Multiple Sclerosis: Exercise Is The Right Thing To Be Doing …

May is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness MonthMultiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a clinical condition characterized by a loss of the myelin tissue that surrounds the nerves and aids in normal conduction of electrical impulses

Some common symptoms may include (depending on stage of the condition) …

  • weakness in the arms or legs
  • loss of balance 
  • problems with mobility 
  • potential bladder function

While the condition itself cannot be cured, the various treatments are aimed at slowing down the progression of the disease and helping individuals with MS recover to a point where they are independent at home.

Individualized tailored medical exercise programs play an important role in the rehabilitation therapy process and improves quality of life for those individuals with MS.

The purpose of tailored medical exercise programs are to ensure that the person with multiple sclerosis maintains a degree of functionality and is able to perform daily activities without too much difficulty and help in energy levels. 

 

Stages of Multiple Sclerosis

The medical exercise programs are an important part of the treatment process during the different stages of MS.

During the initial evaluation, the medical exercise specialist will determine if there are any limitations with skin sensation, muscle strength and overall function.

At times, as the condition progresses, if there are acute attacks that occur, your medical exercise specialist will work closely with your physicians and other specialists in the healthcare team to complement their efforts and to ensure quick recovery for the you (if you have multiple sclerosis).

MS can also present as a slow, progressive condition that relapses a number of times and seems to ‘go away’. Don’t be fooled, because it may cause severe limitations over time.

In some situations, the side-effects are minimal and daily life is not impaired. Each person’s progression is different. Your certified medical exercise specialist will always assess the most important functional problems affecting you and will address those needs in a comprehensive, customized program.

 

This Is How I Can Help …

Supervised, controlled exercise is the foundation of the medical exercise programs.  As individuals with MS may fatigue quickly, the exercise plans are designed to be simple and gradual. Exercise programs are also designed to be intermittent to prevent sudden ‘attacks’ of pain and discomfort.

Here are some of the benefits of medical exercise for MS:

  1. Correction of posture and improved trunk control – People who have MS are at risk of falling, so exercise therapy is aimed at controlling posture and balance to minimize the risk of falls.
  2. Increasing functional independence – To improve independence and movement, it is important to keep muscle groups strong for the use of walkers, and canes (if used). Conditions such as foot drop and loss of sensation in the lower extremities may warrant the use of blended manual therapy like lymphatic therapy, fascia stretching, assisted stretching and support of kinesiotape.
  3. Enhancing mobility – Mobility is an important prerequisite to your independence. Joint and muscle stiffness (especially in the legs) can be corrected with stretching and active range of motion exercises. Stiffness in the neck muscles can affect neck and head posture and control, which can also be corrected with supports and exercise.
  4. Restoration of muscle tone – Increased tone (hypertonia) or decreased muscle tone (hypotonia) is a result of the impact of MS on the nerves. I may use manual techniques to improve joint sensation and help restore normal muscle tone.

 

Medical exercise specialists (MES) do play an important role in the management of individuals with MS and several other conditions affecting the nerves, muscles, bones, and joints.

If you or someone you know needs help, I am just a simple email or phone call away.

There is a lot that I as a medical exercise specialist in chronic pain & diseases can do to help you (and everyone you know) live an independent, pain-relief lifestyle.

Give me a call or email me today, and I’ll start a Discovery Session with you, to show you what I can do for you.

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