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Multiple Sclerosis and How Physical Therapy can Help

Multiple sclerosis—also referred to as MS—is a disease of the central nervous system that affects more than 350,000 people in the United States and more than 2.5 million people worldwide. MS disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body. Symptoms vary from person to person, depending on what part of the central nervous system is affected, but often include:

  • Trouble walking
  • Feeling tired
  • Muscle weakness or spasms
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Poor bladder or bowel control
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Problems focusing or remembering

Though there is no known cure for the disease, the symptoms can be managed with a combination of medical management and physical therapy.

How can a physical therapist help?

Over 91% of those diagnosed with MS report difficulty with walking and other body movements. Physical therapy can help patients with MS to regain mobility so that they can function normally in their day-to-day life.

Whether you are having trouble with tasks required for work or with activities you enjoy, a trained physical therapist can help. For example, we can find ways to overcome dragging your feet, or prevent spasms throughout the day.

A physical therapist can even teach you home exercises that are beneficial to gaining back a lot of your strength. Your health is extremely important, and we want to help you learn how to manage MS before it gets any worse. By working with physical therapists, you learn proper techniques and exercises so that you limit the risks for future injuries and get back to a normal lifestyle.

Physical therapy treatments for multiple sclerosis

Upon first visiting a physical therapist, patients can expect a full examination that will help the physical therapist to determine their areas of strength and weakness. Following the examination, the physical therapist will develop an exercise program based on the patient’s condition, ability, and personal goals. Exercises that are typically beneficial to patients diagnosed with MS are aerobics, strength training, stretching, and balance training. These can help with issues such as:

  • Balance problems
  • Clumsiness and poor coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Deconditioning
  • Pain
  • Weakness

Research has shown that early symptoms, if left untreated, only lead to further disability. The best practice is to begin physical therapy immediately after being diagnosed with MS so that mild symptoms don’t become worse and to assist in slowing down the progression of the symptoms associated with the disease. Remember, your body and health come first!

Find multiple sclerosis physical therapy treatment near you

If you or a family member were recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it’s important that you begin physical therapy in conjunction with your medical treatment as soon as possible. For more information about what physical therapy can do to help, or to schedule an appointment, please visit our locations page to find an office near you.