Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is neurological disease that causes the body’s immune system to abnormally attack the covering of the nerve cells, called myelin. This causes scarring and decreases the nerve’s ability to transmit signals properly. The progression of MS is based on 4 different types of aggressiveness. Multiple sclerosis is categorized by bouts of activity, with periods of minimal to no activity, depending on the different type of MS you may be suffering from. Symptoms can vary person to person dramatically as different parts of the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves are affected, making no two cases alike.
Common symptoms of MS are fatigue, numbness or tingling in the face, body or extremities, weakness, dizziness or vertigo, pain, walking difficulties, loss of balance, bladder and bowel problems and emotional / cognitive changes.
Multiple sclerosis requires a multi-discipline approach with medical and rehabilitation management. The goal of helping MS is to decrease the severity of symptoms, make adaptive changes physically and in lifestyle to cope with the progression of the disease. Fatigue management and temperature management are critical components of managing MS.
How therapy for Multiple Sclerosis helps
The rehabilitation process is critical to those suffering with MS. Physical therapy helps to address weakness, range of motion loss, balance issues, transfers and walking. Physical therapy can help significantly in improving function and independence in a person with MS. In addition, our physical therapists can help you with improving walking, balance and safety with daily movements. Furthermore, as needs change, we are with you every step of the way to teach you how to use assistive equipment such as canes and other devices.
Occupational therapy works closely with patients who have MS to help improve their quality of life. Occupational therapists evaluate the function and use of the hands and upper extremities. Furthermore, we help you evaluate the needs for adaptive techniques and equipment for work and everyday life activities. Occupational therapy can make a big difference in your quality of life.
Speech therapy may be required with changes that can occur in speech, swallowing or cognitive changes. Speech therapy is important if these symptoms are present to promote safety with eating / drinking, improving speech communication and helping with cognitive tasks.