How can MS
physical therapy and other therapies help those of us with Multiple
Just 10 years ago, doctors had more of the opinion that physical
therapy was not very helpful for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis,
but that way of thinking has been gradually changing.
More doctors are finding that
doing intense phyical therapy with more of their MS patients is helping
to reduce the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, reduce the effects of
MS, and helping to increase how much their MS patients are able to function.
Typically those with Multiple Sclerosis
are sent to a phyical therapy doctor to be evaluated for the strength of the
muscles and for the degree our bodies are functioning (or not functioning)
to determine which type of therapies (both physical and other
therapies) could be more effective for each case of Multiple Sclerosis to help
maximize the benefits that are gained from doing the therapies.
To be effective, the intense physical
therapy is often done for anywhere from 3 to 6 months to help improve the
amount that people with Multiple Sclerosis can function.
Physical therapy can help to improve include the following:
* reduce spasticity
* increase muscle strength
* increase muscle mass
* improve overall physical balance
* improve how well a person can stand by
improving balance during movement
* improve how long a person with MS can stand before they have to sit down and
improving endurance and stamina.
* help to regenerate and repair nerves
contected to the muscles that are being
* help to reconnect neural pathways throughout the body, including rewiring the brain to function better.Other
problems can be present with each particular case of Multiple Sclerosis
that can benefit from doing other types of therapy, which can
include speech problems, problems with standing and/or walking, and others.Depending
on which other problems are present in each case of Multiple Sclerosis,
the physical therapy doctor may recommend further therapies to address
these problems more effectively.Some of the therapies listed
below are not covered by many health insurances and for you to
participate in these therapies, they would be considered out-of-pocket
expenses. The standard for of physical therapy is more often
covered by most health insurances.
Other types of MS physical therapy can include:
* Helps to evaluate a person that has been
diagnosed with MS to see if they can return to working again.
* Helps to retrain the person to do
average tasks that are required to perform many job-related tasks.
* Retrains the person with MS to be able
to speak more clearly again, to reduce stuttering, slurring words or problems
with forming words or being able to speak more clearly to make it easier to
understand what the person affected by MS is trying to say.
Water (Aqua) Therapy
* Allows the person with MS to be able to
exercise while reducing the fatigue that is often associated with more intense
* Can retrain a person to walk again in
water, even if they can not walk on land by supporting the weight of the body
without added exertion by the person undergoing the therapy.
Horse (Equine) Therapy
* Exercising on a horse strengthens the
muscles, and helps to retrain the brain to get used to the movement and natural
gait of walking again, even if the person is not able to physically walk for a
period of time.
* Equine therapy has the potential of
being able to help people, that have been diagnosed with Multiple
Sclerosis walk again, by retraining the brain to become more accustomed to
what it is like for the body to walk again.
Brain Strengthening Exercises and
* Helps to redevelop Neural Pathways in
the parts of the brain, which have been damaged or confused by the scarring
that results from MS.
* This typically involves exercises
specifically designed to stimulate and strengthen the parts of the brain that
allows those with MS to function better on a daily basis.
* This can include increasing the ability
to speak, increasing how well we can form sentences, increasing how well we can
think logically, improving memory (both short and long term), increasing the
ability to respond to outside stimulation, and improving how quickly our brains
can respond to what is going on around us, and increasing cognitive function,
including many other functions that the body performs daily.
Brain Retraining Therapy
* Helps to retrain how the brain responds
to any stimulation by basically resetting what is considered the average brain
wave pattern to be at a higher level.
* Several different methods, medical
devices and techniques fall under this category, that stimulate the brain in
different ways to help improve how well the individual can function.
of the type of therapies, described above are can help those of us with
Multiple Sclerosis to recover more of our abilities to function better,
if done consistently over a period of time.
you can't afford to do MS physical therapy, you can also do exercises at
home. DVDs and books on different kinds of exercises that are very
helpful for the majority of cases of Multiple Sclerosis can be
purchased to give you more instructions for home-based exercises.
can help those with Multiple Sclerosis in so many ways, so get started
exercising and keep going and you will end up with good results
in the end. There is also a book that I found that describes and shows
you how to do exercises in a wheelchair, if that is what you need.
for physical therapy, if you can, because it can help in many ways to
help your body to function better again, but if you can't go for
physical therapy, find some type of exercise that you can do, since
this can make a big difference in how well your body can function, if
exercise is done more consistently over a period of time.