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Multiple Sclerosis

Personalised physiotherapy to live your best life

What is Multiple Sclerosis or MS?

Multiple Sclerosis is a complex disease that attacks your central nervous system. It may cause damage to your brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. As a result, your brain struggles to send signals to the different parts of your body, resulting in a wide variety of symptoms. It’s a lifelong condition that affects different people in many different ways. 

In Australia, more than 10 Australians are diagnosed with MS every week, and Multiple Sclerosis is the leading cause of disability in young adults, according to Multiple Sclerosis Australia. MS is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 30-40, and is three times as common in women as in men, explains a report by Multiple Sclerosis Australia

Multiple Sclerosis Physiotherapy Sunshine Coast

Types of MS

The three different types of MS are:

Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS)

The most common type of MS with periods of relapse and remission

Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS)

The next phase after RRMS characterised by continued progression

Primary Progressive MS (PPMS)

MS characterised by steady progression from the beginning

Symptoms

Symptoms of MS

MS has symptoms that are different for everybody, varying in what part of the body is affected, and to what degree. Many symptoms can be invisible to the people around you and hard to notice:

  • Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS, with studies showing up to 80% of people with MS will experience significant fatigue.
  • Pain is a common symptom in MS and can be very debilitating. It’s often due to neurological damage as a direct result of MS (from the nervous system), but can also be due to secondary musculoskeletal damage (from the muscles and joints). 
  • Some people with MS experience the MS hug, the experience of being squeezed by an invisible force. 
  • Dizziness and vertigo are also invisible symptoms common in MS. 
  • Brain fog is another common symptom. This may result in having difficulty concentrating on a task, remembering someone’s name, or forgetting what you were about to do.
  • An MS diagnosis also means you’re more likely to suffer from depression. 
  • Sensitivity to heat, which further contributes to fatigue.

How we can help

Treatment for MS

Due to the complexity of MS, it’s important to have a team of health professionals looking after your care. It’s not uncommon to have a Neurologist, an MS Nurse, an Occupational Therapist, a Physiotherapist and a Psychologist as part of your healthcare team. Together, we can work with you to maintain the highest level of independence and achieve better quality of life.

Medication

There’s no medication to cure MS, but medication can modify the course of the disease. These disease modifying treatments, or DMTs, aim to:

  • Slow down the rate as your disability progresses
  • Decrease severity of relapses
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce relapses

Physiotherapy and rehabilitation

After our initial assessment where we look at your symptoms and how your MS impacts your day-to-day life, your physiotherapist will design a personalised treatment plan. The focus will be on building capacity and maximising function to help you maintain the highest level of independence, at home and at work. 

Treatment will be individualised to your needs and will vary from person to person. Exercises may include high-intensity interval training, strengthening exercises, balance exercises or stretches. We may also consider equipment that may assist you to maximise your function, such as a foot splint, electrical stimulation devices, walking aids or e-Bikes and e-Trikes.

Above all, your neurological physiotherapist will work with you to help you manage from day to day, while being realistic about what’s possible. 

Link:  MS Australia

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