MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease where the nerve cells that transport messages between your brain and body are damaged. A gap then develops along the message path, disrupting the flow of the messages travelling to and from the brain and body. As a result the message is either distorted in some way or completely lost affecting the individual’s health and lifestyle in different ways.
No two people are the same and likewise the condition affects each individual differently. The symptoms that arise depend on which particular nerve cells have been damaged therefore a wide range of symptoms occur and tend to differ greatly from one patient to the next. Some of the more common symptoms that can develop include fatigue, sensory disturbance (vision problems), muscle weakness and lack of balance and co-ordination.
Physiotherapy on its own or in conjunction with appropriate medication can help people with MS to live a more comfortable and active life by helping to lessen the effects of the condition through exercise. A Chartered Physiotherapist can assess the physical difficulties you are having and be able to help restore more normal movement by setting you an exercise regime designed specifically for you.
The suggested exercise plan can help you to: Coordinate movements, Control movements to reduce muscle spasms, Strengthen muscles, Improve coordination, Reduce stiffness by keeping joints mobile, Address Balance issues and retrain Balance, Assist in Preventing falls.
Physiotherapy exercises can also help in preventative manner by ensuring that further disability from muscle disuse does not occur. Once taught to you by the Chartered Physiotherapist, these exercises can be continued at home and only need to be progressed when needed, helping you to help yourself. Impaired mobility can be the most disruptive symptom for people living with MS so it is important to try and maximise mobility to maintain as active a lifestyle as possible. Physical difficulties, such as reduced mobility is only one of the challenges facing people living with MS. There are other factors to consider such as the emotional and social struggles that patients living with MS may encounter.