These Treatments May Help Imbalance Related to Multiple Sclerosis
One of the earliest symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) that often appears several years before a diagnosis is imbalance. Patients often discuss the sensation of turning their head to look at something beside or behind them and feeling as though they were slightly off balance. Most patients don't think anything is wrong until the imbalance becomes worse and more symptoms begin to present themselves over the years.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society U.K. published an article, "Causes of balance and walking problems," which takes a closer look at how and why MS patients might incur balance problems.
The article discusses how the body requires several different parts to work together in harmony in order to achieve good balance. The article also discusses how patients with MS may often experience a complication between the brain and the relaying of information. MS often causes severe damage to the connection between the brain and the body’s feeling of balance; it causes the brain to send incorrect information to the body, which makes the patient feel imbalanced.
The way the different parts of the body work together can be better understood when grouped into three functions: input, processing, and output. MS can have adverse effects on all three parts of the body's balancing system. The information from a brain in an MS patient might be sent out in incomplete bits or misleading data, the info may be sent out too late, or it may be disrupted, all of which affects the way the brain processes the information required for the body to remain balanced.
Imbalance has been recognized as one of the earliest symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Many a times, individuals feel nothing is wrong until the imbalance symptom worsens over a period of time. The manner in which the brain of an individual suffering from MS tends to process information becomes quite complex. One of the major issues that an MS patient would experience is damage to the nerves in the brainstem or the cerebellum, which can be problematic and at times can lead to nausea, among other symptoms. MS is known to cause troubles with vision, the senses, and the inner ear, but it can also lead to many other issues that cause balancing problems.
Doctors recommend that those who suffer from balance troubles caused by MS should immediately schedule a consultation for a treatment plan from an MS specialist or a physiotherapist. These specialists are essentially able to identify the direct cause of the balance issues, and they may also recommend certain exercises that the individual can perform which can help with balancing, strengthening the muscles, and posture as well. A few of the exercises that can prove helpful for MS patients are yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates. Vestibular exercises are also said to help deal with symptoms concerning balance.
The vestibular exercises are a special set of movements that are known to provide relief from both the primary as well as the direct complications of MS. In this form of therapy, there are certain exercises as well as techniques whose main focus is to reduce the concerns related to imbalance, such as vertigo, overall balancing trouble, feeling dizzy, and having problems with vision. Another set of movements known as habituation exercises are helpful for those patients who complain of dizziness issues mostly when they are in certain environments that tend to be highly stimulating, such as watching a movie in an overcrowded movie theater. The main goal of these exercises is to reduce the level of dizziness experienced by the individual.
When it comes to dealing with vision problems, gaze stabilization is another set of exercises which can help to improve the individual’s eye control. These exercises can be helpful for the patient while they are reading, driving a vehicle, working on their laptop or computer, or watching television. One type of gaze stabilization exercise is to fix your eyes on a still object in front of you and then try to move your head in various positions, such as down, up, right, and left.
Carrying out various balance exercises can help the individual to experience a stronger sense of steadiness while walking or moving around as well as make it easier for them to perform their regular daily activities, which they would otherwise have found difficult to carry out. The exercises focus mostly on posture and making the muscles more supple.