Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects about 2.1 million people worldwide, with 10,000 new diagnoses in the United States each year.
So what is multiple sclerosis? MS is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system (CNS), whereas the body’s natural defense system starts negatively impacting the brain and spinal cord. This process involves inflammation, demyelination (damage to the protective layer of nerve fibers,) and gliosis (a change in glial cells which are found in the CNS).
There are different types of MS based on disease progression. The presentation of MS varies by patient, as symptoms are dependent on where the lesions (demyelination) occur in the brain and spinal cord. Early symptoms typically include visual disturbances, numbness, weakness, and fatigue. At some point, many will also experience pain, changes in muscle tone, balance impairments, and decreased strength and speed, all of which can be addressed through physical therapy.
Checking in with a physical therapist on a routine basis is highly recommended. No matter where you are in the disease process, interventions can be designed to help you live a fuller, more comfortable life. At MOTION RX, we understand that fatigue is a big consideration when designing a plan for MS. Our goal is to help you feel stronger and more resilient while not negatively impacting your ability to complete your daily tasks.
Taking the first step
During the examination, our goal is to get a baseline understanding of your current strength, range of motion, endurance, and balance. From there, we curate an exercise program for you to implement what stresses your tissues in a way that help you become stronger without pushing you beyond your body’s current tolerance for physical activity. When we find a good baseline of exercise, we slowly increase the exercise demands as tolerance improves.
At MOTION RX, we have found that daily balance training significantly improves a client’s confidence with normal life activities. Despite disease progression, the body can continue to adapt. We’ve also found that adequate rest breaks are important for managing fatigue and ensuring safety with exercises.
We know that symptoms associated with MS can change, sometimes rather suddenly. Given our open communication style throughout the treatment process, we are a great option for physical therapy. We can help adapt your program as needed throughout the treatment process. Whether you are currently active or ready to become more active, we are here to help!