Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune inflammatory condition affecting the Central Nervous System (Brain, spinal cord and optic nerve). In MS the Myelin Sheath which coats nerve fibres is damaged causing an interruption of transmission along neurons. This inflammation of nerve tissue can occur anywhere in the CNS, leading to a diverse range of symptoms.
It is estimated that up to 130,000 people live with MS in the UK alone, and its incidence is approximately 3 times more common in women than men. MS tends to be first diagnosed in people around the ages of 20-30 years, but it isn’t uncommon for people to start to experience symptoms at a younger or older age.
After diagnosis of MS is confirmed, the course of the disease can vary enormously between different individuals.
Medical treatment of the disease depends on the nature of the symptoms experienced. Most people will have medication either to reduce the inflammatory episode or to attempt to slow down and modify the disease progression.
Due to the diverse range of symptoms that can occur when somebody is living with MS, the management of this condition can be highly complex and therefore requires skilled intervention and collaboration of professionals across the health and social care backgrounds.
What is the role of physiotherapy?
Specialist Neurological physiotherapy has been recognised to play a pivotal role in improving the quality of life for people affected by MS. Physiotherapy intervention can have a positive impact on a range of symptoms such as fatigue, exercise tolerance, muscle strength and coordination, balance, posture, stability, walking as well as dexterity and reaching ability (Nice guidelines 2022).
How can MNC help you?
The physiotherapists at MNC are highly skilled in assessing the problems associated with MS and use a “hands on”, problem solving approach to their assessment and treatments in order to maximise each individual’s activity and function.
Our goal at MNC is to improve the ability of our patients to recover from relapses in their condition, and to maximise their functional abilities over a longer period of time.
All of our physiotherapists are trained in the Bobath Concept and are trained to carry out detailed assessments of posture, balance and movement. This forms the foundation from which to explore an individual’s potential to change and improve their functional movement. The type of treatments we deliver for MS patients are very individualised and can include a range of activities such as:
Improving muscle activation
Muscle strengthening and retraining
Balance and core stability work
Improvement respiratory function
Postural and ergonomic support
Education and general support around quality of life issues
Although Multiple Sclerosis is often considered to be a progressive neurological condition, in our experience almost all patients benefit from rehabilitation and make positive change to their quality of life as a result of therapy input.