Physical therapy (PT) is vital in the rehabilitation as well as conservation of important functional abilities for somebody with multiple sclerosis. Since multiple sclerosis varies from individual to individual (and the disability progresses over time), it is essential for a physical therapist to customize the treatment plan for each patient by adjusting the plan as required in the long term. In addition, given that multiple sclerosis affects different aspects of a patient's life and necessitates a teamed approach for effective management, the physical therapist must be willing and comfortable to work with other members of the team, including the rehabilitation professionals and individual patient's caregivers (i.e. family and friends).
The Role of Physical Therapy in MS
Physical therapy’s role in multiple sclerosis varies as the patient's needs change because of relapse, disease course, and disability progression. Nevertheless, the main objective of physical therapies will not change. PT’s main objective revolves around to help the patient in achieving and maintaining normal physical functioning for a safe, independent, and quality life. Your physical therapist will utilize special tools such as education and instruction, assistive devices, emotional support, and appropriate equipment to achieve these goals. Any intervention by your physical therapist will depend on the prevailing symptoms and disease course. The intervention may also include:
- Educating the patient and his/her caregivers about all physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis and what they can do to lessen these symptoms.
- Developing a customized exercise program to deal with the symptoms. Such exercises will also maximize the patient's overall health situation and enhance normal body functioning.
- Introducing assistive and adaptive equipment in homes, offices, and automobiles to aid mobility and functionality.
- Designing physical therapy interventions that can address specific MS impairments.
- Identifying community resources that can support objectives of effective physical therapy.
Multiple sclerosis is very unpredictable. In fact, the symptoms fluctuate and vary from time to time and from individual to individual. For some, multiple sclerosis is only mildly intrusive. This means that the MS’s signs and symptoms are diminutive as compared to other invasive conditions like spinal cord injury and stroke.
However, multiple sclerosis can also progress rapidly. This can develop to severe flares, making it hard to recover. After a while, multiple sclerosis will destroy the myelin around the nerves, something that can be hard to repair.
Physical Therapy Session
Also known as occupational therapy, physical therapy helps the muscles stretch and straighten to reduce inflammation of the affected areas. Specialized physical therapy devices are used to accomplish this. Physical therapy, when effectively used along with mobility aid, can help in the management of leg weakness as well as gait problems.
Physical Therapy: The Venues
You can conduct physical therapy in several settings, whether at home, in an outpatient facility, at the gym, or at an MS treatment center. The physical therapy for multiple sclerosis usually varies depending on the setting you use. In other cases, the stage of your disease plays a vital role in determining the type of venue to use.
Multiple Sclerosis: Making Treatment Plans
If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, speak with your physician about the course of treatment. You should also consult your doctor before commencing working with any physical therapist. He/she is better placed to give you a referral. Moreover, learn how to support your body, how to use assistive mobility devices, and avoid exacerbating your symptoms. Make an appointment with your physical therapist to deliberate on what you should expect. Your physician will also help you on how to cope with the changes in your health during treatment.
- PT’s main objective revolves around to help the patient in achieving and maintaining normal physical functioning for a safe, independent, and quality life.
- Physical therapy’s role in multiple sclerosis varies according to the patient's needs.
- Make an appointment with your physical therapist to deliberate on what you should expect.