A person with MS can gain great benefit from neuro physiotherapy treatment. Neurological physiotherapists play a key role in the treatment of MS.
According to the MS Society they describe Multiple sclerosis (or MS) as a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by the disease.
The body’s own defense system attacks myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. The nerve fibers themselves can also be damaged. The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing the variety of symptoms that can occur.
Neuro physio treatment will improve mobility, muscle strength, joint flexibility and balance as well as increasing energy levels and reducing muscle spasm.
Neurological physiotherapy treatment will help you achieve your maximum potential by increasing independence with your functional ability. Physiotherapy is important when the physical symptoms are changing, or during the recovery phase after a relapse. Physiotherapy treatment will depend on which symptom you are experiencing at the time and treatment programmes will be tailored to your individual needs. Neurological physiotherapy treatment will be centred around:
- Exercises to reduce spasticity and encourage more normal movements
- Activities to promote functional ability so that you can enjoy daily activities that are important to you.
- Correcting posture with particular emphasis on the right way to stand, to walk, to rise from a sitting or lying position, and how best to position oneself for sleeping.
- A range of exercises to keep muscles strong and strengthen those that are weak
- Specialised stretches to relieve stiffness or spasms and keep joints flexible.
- Balance training to improve coordination and make walking easier.
- Advice on walking aids, ankle foot orthosis for dropped foot, or orthotic devices to aid everyday activities and minimise injury. Assistance with seating and wheelchair purchase if necessary.
- Hydrotherapy treatment can help people with MS stretch tight muscles and improve posture in standing and walking.
- Botox referral or serial casting in house if required.
During the initial assessment your physiotherapist will see how MS affects you and a structured rehabilitation programme will be developed suited to your needs. The treatment program will then be adjusted appropriately, following re-assessment when you have made progress or when your symptoms change.
At Rehabilita, Anne Knowles Physiotherapy, Roodepoort, Johannesburg, we have some specialised equipment that could benefit you:
- Therapeutic electrical stimulation (Reduce pain and build muscle strength)
- Functional Electrical Stimulation (help you walk if you have muscle weakness in the lower legs)
- Theratrainer Active passive exercise bike (assist you to turn the pedals if you would otherwise not be able to cycle, you can either try and build up muscle strength or just let the bike do the work and get the benefits of your legs being moved and stretched). You can also use it for arm strengthening as it has upper limb attachments.
- Tilt Table (if you are wheelchair bound and would like to stand up, this piece of equipment will stand you up safely to get some weight through your legs with no effort required by the patient)
- Parallel bars (practice walking and balancing in a safe environment)
Neurological physiotherapy will improve your quality of life by promoting recovery after flare ups and maximising your functional potential. This will make activities of daily life and mobility easier to achieve. We are able to do home visits if required.