Affecting approximately one million Americans, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, typically progressive health condition that is characterized by the loss of myelin – the material that covers and protects the nerves in the central nervous system.
While there’s no known cure for MS, certain rehabilitative treatments, such as physical therapy, can help in controlling its symptoms. Physical therapy can help MS patients regain and maintain flexibility, strength, and overall fitness, helping them live productive, active lives.
Multiple Sclerosis: The Symptoms
The symptoms of MS vary from case to case depending on which part or parts of the nervous system have been impacted. These include those that control sensation, emotional and mental processes, and movement. The following are some of the common symptoms of MS:
- Constant fatigue
- Bowel and/or bladder problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Memory loss
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Vison problems
- Speech problems
- Difficulty swallowing
- Vertigo and dizziness
Some of these symptoms can be controlled with proper medical management. Moreover, since the disease affects each person differently, the symptoms can vary between individuals suffering from the same type of MS.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
Physical therapy programs that are designed specifically for MS patients focus on helping them regain the physical and mental fitness required to carry on fulfilling their roles at work, home, and in the community. First, a physical therapist will conduct a series of tests to gauge how the disease has affected the patient and the impairments they have.
Based on the results of these tests, the physical therapist will tailor an exercise program that’s specific to your goals and condition. Exercise therapy programs that can be beneficial in the early stages of MS may include:
- General Strengthening: These exercises involve relaxation techniques, stretching activities, balance training, and strengthening of the arm and legs.
- Aquatic Therapy:Aquatic exercises may help MS patients in increasing their activity. The water temperature can help in maintaining a normal core body temperature while exercising and the buoyancy of the water can provide just the right amount of resistance to exercise movements.
- Yoga and Tai Chi: These movement-based, low-intensity exercises are focused on increasing general strength and flexibility.
If you have a loved one in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos or Escondido who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, get in touch with Mobile Physical Therapists (Mobile PT). We provide physical therapy sessions at home for senior patients of MS and a range of other health conditions. Call us today to begin therapy right away (760) 536-2377!