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.
Common symptoms include weakness in the arms or legs, loss of balance and problems with mobility and bladder function. While the condition itself cannot be cured, treatment is aimed at slowing down the progression of the disease and helping patients recover to a point where they are independent at home. Physical therapy plays an important role in the rehabilitation process and improves quality of life for patients with MS.
The purpose of physical therapy is to ensure that the patient maintains a degree of functionality and is able to perform daily activities without too much difficulty.
The Various Stages of Multiple Sclerosis
Physical therapy is an important part of the treatment process during the different stages of Multiple Sclerosis. During the initial evaluation, the therapist will determine if there are any limitations with skin sensation, muscle strength and overall function.
As the disease progresses, acute attacks are likely to occur and the patient may need to be hospitalized. In such cases, a physical therapist will work closely with physicians and other specialists in the healthcare team to complement their efforts and to ensure quick recovery for the patient.
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 can 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 physical therapist will always assess the most important functional problems affecting you and will address those needs in a comprehensive, customized treatment program.
This is How We Can Help With MS
Supervised, controlled exercise is the foundation of physical therapy treatment. As patients tend to fatigue quickly, 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 physical therapy in MS.
Physical therapists play an important role in the management of patients with MS and several other conditions affecting the nerves, muscles, bones, and joints. If you or someone you know needs help, we are just a phone call away. There is a lot that physical therapists can do to help you (and everyone you know) live an independent, pain-free lifestyle.