Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative inflammatory demyelinating neurological condition. The insulating conductive tissue surrounding neurons, called myelin, is broken down in the central nervous system (CNS) causing lesions / plaques. This changes how the nerves conduct messages from the brain down the spinal cord and to your body. It is an increase in the inflammation which can cause an increase in symptoms. MS is progressive in nature due to the degeneration of myelin. On top of the MS disease process deconditioning related to inactivity can compound and lead to secondary impairments.
Symptoms of MS vary considerably between individuals as the lesions can appear anywhere in the CNS. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced balance
- Muscle weakness/stiffness
- Changes in cognition
- Reduced mobility and function
- Reduced quality of life
- Sensitivity to heat
- Vestibular changes
- Visual disturbances
- Bladder and bowel changes
Did you know that there is evidence to show that the 10 symptoms listed above can be positively influenced by regular specific exercise?
Often when first diagnosed, subtle changes in strength, flexibility and muscle tone may already be occurring. Historically people with MS did not seek out physiotherapy until things became difficult. It is essential that you seek out treatment from an appropriately qualified allied health professional such as a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist with specific experience in neurological rehabilitation.
This means you can get assessment and therapy early and start participating in regular specific exercise straight away. This helps to avoid the deconditioning that comes with being less active with the progression of symptoms and will allow you to remain active, mobile, and address any change in symptoms as they present. The best time to begin a specific education and exercise program is as early as you can after diagnosis. This is the prime time to get into good exercise habits for the future, to help you be as strong and fit as you can be, and to learn how to manage symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and any specific impairments.
People with MS are often concerned that exercising will increase their fatigue levels and avoid physical activities. However, the research shows specific regular exercises does not make fatigue worse, but actually helps people manage their MS symptoms. With an individually tailored exercise program the body is fitter, stronger, recovers more quickly and everyday movements feel less effortful.
There is currently no cure for MS. But research strongly recommends regular physical activity and exercise to maintain and improve movement, mobility, independence, cognition and quality of life. Regular exercise also delays secondary complications, like heart and lung disease so now is the time to get moving!
Keen to get moving better? We offer individual therapy as well as hydrotherapy and land based group circuits. Each program is individually tailored for you and your needs. We see people who are newly diagnosed through to those who have been managing with MS for many years.
At Neurospace we have a large selection of therapy options based on the stage of your MS, your goals and the amount of time you have to invest in your exercise.
We have a great understanding of the motor, autonomic, psychological and emotional factors associated with MS, and the secondary biomechanical changes and muscle weakness.
Your initial assessment will help you and your therapist understand your movement changes. We will help to quantify impairments, activities such as walking and balance and use standardized MS walking and fatigue scales to track your progress. We will then discuss the therapy options and expected outcomes.
Look at how our MS Get a Head Start program may help you
Book now to see how our Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists can assist you to maintain your wellbeing and assist you with any difficulties you may be facing due to MS. We assess you carefully then make recommendations for tailored exercises, walking aids if you need them and pain and fatigue management strategies.