How can a Physical Therapist help a person with MS?
Erica B. Gaskins Kasey Gore Melissa Mahon Kelly Thomas
Physical Therapists (PTs) are educated, board-certified specialists that help people living with MS improve their mobility, strength and endurance so they can more effectively deal with the day to day symptoms of MS. A PT will work with you, your family and your health care team to develop an individualized program that will help you GET MOVING and BEAT FATIGUE!
PTs can help you GET MOVING.
Your PT will help you develop a personalized exercise program that will improve your flexibility, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. This applies to people at all levels of disability and with all types of MS. PTs understand the unique challenges MS adds to daily life that can act as barriers to exercise, such as sensitivity to high temperatures, increased fatigue, medication side effects, spasticity, pain and decreased motivation. Your PT will accommodate your needs and educate you, so that you can get moving without fear of symptom exacerbation or increased fatigue.
Symptoms of MS, such as muscle weakness and impaired sensation, often affect walking and balance abilities. PTs are trained to use manual techniques and equipment such as leg braces, canes and walkers to improve walking pattern, speed and efficiency. PTs can conduct balance evaluations and provide specific exercises to help improve your stability. Your PT can also give you skilled recommendations for equipment for the home, such as shower chairs and railings, for your vehicle, such as ramps and lifts, and can work with your caregivers. Your individualized treatment plan will address your specific needs for walking and balance to help improve your ability to get moving.
PTs can help you BEAT FATIGUE.
Fatigue affects more than 80% of people with MS. Improved fitness, strength and endurance has been shown to decrease fatigue in people living with MS. Your PT can help you develop strategies to conserve energy, relax and improve your sleep quality. Soon you will enjoy the positive effects of increased fitness and be on your way to beating fatigue!
Physical Therapists are a valuable part of the comprehensive health care team for any person living with multiple sclerosis. They will address your goals and develop a skilled plan of care to assist you in reaching those goals. Find a PT today to help you get moving and beat fatigue!
Read more about our Physical Therapy Initiative.
View the physical therapy and multiple sclerosis video here.