Although multiple sclerosis can cause severe disability, the average life span of people with MS is reduced by only a few years. This increases the importance of long-term, specialized care in a comprehensive MS center to maintain independence and quality of life.
As a National Multiple Sclerosis Society affiliated center for comprehensive care, we provide MS specialty services and coordinated rehabilitation therapy services
that address the full spectrum of MS related problems. Our program includes the expertise of health care professionals from neurology, urology, pain medicine, psychiatry, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology. Our team of specialists aim to promote independence, comfort, and health and wellness.
Rehabilitation is an integral part of comprehensive multiple sclerosis care, aiding in the management of the diverse set of problems many patients encounter.
Our neurological rehabilitation program provides education, exercises, assistive devices and tools designed to improve and maintain function at all stages of the disease.
Common MS rehabilitation programs include:
Physical therapy: eases problems related to walking and mobility. Exercises are designed to improve issues related to balance (including dizziness), posture, energy, and strength. Physical therapy may also include training in the use of mobility aids, such as canes and wheelchairs.
Occupational therapy: focuses on enabling independence and safety in self-care activities (e.g. dressing, bathing), productive activities (e.g. work, home management), and leisure activities (e.g. recreational interests). Occupational therapists also perform mobility evaluations to determine the most appropriate mobility device for a particular situation.
Cognitive rehabilitation: provides techniques for improving memory, learning, and thinking.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): helps individuals identify distressing thoughts, change their thinking and initiate behavioral change. CBT is used for depression, anxiety and adjustment difficulties.
Speech-language pathology: addresses problems related to speech and swallowing. Speech-language pathologists evaluate your speech patterns and facial muscular control to help you regain and maintain speech abilities.
Exercise and Strength Training
People with multiple sclerosis are at a greater risk for deconditioning, or the loss of muscle tone and fitness due to prolonged physical inactivity. One of the best ways to maintain your health while managing multiple sclerosis is through a regular exercise and weight lifting program.
Studies have demonstrated that aerobic exercise helps people with MS achieve improved overall health and better perform activities of daily living.
Benefits associated with exercise include:
Did You Know?
30 minutes of aerobic activity four to five days per week (two to three days per week when recovering from a relapse) can help ease symptoms.
- Better cardiovascular fitness
- Improved strength and balance
- Improved bone density and reduction in fracture risk
- Reduced muscle stiffness and involuntary muscle spasms
- Elevated mood
- Improved cognitive function
- Less fatigue
- Better bladder and bowel function
It is important to consult with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program. Your exercise program should fit your capabilities and limitations to prevent risk of strain to an already compromised muscular system.
Our neurologists and physical therapists can work with you to develop a personal exercise program that meets your needs.
Common types of exercise for people with MS include:
- Riding a street or exercise bicycle
- Swimming and water aerobics
- Tai chi