Physiotherapy can help improve physical independence, flexibility, strength and fitness for those with Multiple Sclerosis
Flex Health can help you lead a better quality of life by helping manage many symptoms such as:
- Trouble walking/balancing
- Muscular spasms
- Bladder & bowel control
- General pains
What is multiple sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple sclerosis, sometimes referenced to as muscular sclerosis, is a long-lasting condition affecting the brain, spinal cord and optical nerves; potentially causing problems with muscle control, vision, balance and other basic body functions.
It is caused by damage to the coating (myelin) that coats and protects your nerves. Without this protection the nerves can become damaged causing a range of symptoms which can differ from person to person. Sometimes these can be mild which don’t need to be treated, but they can be more serious causing trouble in getting around and performing everyday tasks.
What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
The damage to the nerves causes problems with sending signals through the body, preventing your body from moving and feeling correctly. This can manifest itself in a range of symptoms such as:
- Trouble Walking/Balancing
- Feeling tired/Fatigue
- Muscle Weakness, Stiffness or Spasms
- Blurred or Double vision
- Numbness & Tingling
- Sexual dysfunction
- Poor bladder or bowel control
- Depression & anxiety
- Problems focusing or remembering
- Swallowing & speech problems
How to treat symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
Currently there is no cure for MS, however, it is possible to treat the symptoms.
Typically, treatment starts with steroid medication, but depending on the severity of your condition different treatment can be taken/advised. Two other common treatments are:
Corticosteroids: Treatment typically starts with this steroid medication, they are prescribed to help reduce nerve inflammation.
Muscle Relaxants: Usually advised when problems with muscular spasticity or spasms are present.
Plasma exchange: Useful if your symptoms are new, severe and you haven’t responded to steroids.
This involves the plasma being removed from your blood, mixing your blood cells with a protein solution and put back into your body.
Physiotherapy: One of the most useful and cost effective treatments, physiotherapy can help with symptoms such as pains, muscle spasticity/spasms, balance, bladder/bowel control, and with mobility. Increasing the chance of you returning to performing everyday tasks without need for assistance.
Other medication: With the numerous symptoms associated with MS, there are a variety of different medications that can be prescribed. This can help with fatigue, depressions, pain, sexual dysfunction, bladder/bowel control or depending on how badly you are affected by your MS
There are many other treatments depending on the symptoms, however MS treatment guidelines are in favour of physiotherapy to help with many of these.
How does Physiotherapy help treat MS?
Physiotherapy can be a key factor in maintaining quality or life once being diagnosed. Early physiotherapy intervention and advice can help to reduce disability and maximise potential for independence. Improving the sustainability of employment and help to reduce the impact of the condition.
There are strong bodies of text supporting physiotherapy use as part of a rehabilitation programme. Physiotherapy’s main concern with maintaining human function and maximising potential, means it can help with many symptoms related to MS. It promotes activity and exercise which is known to help mobility and reduce muscle spasticity.
Can I help myself?
There are many things which can help with treating MS, from managing diet, stretching, and exercising. During your treatment you should be advised by your doctor which of these are applicable to you.
Your doctor may also advise seeing a physiotherapist who can better help your rehabilitation and give you a more detailed routine to follow, allowing you to better help treat yourself at home.