Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an incurable, chronic disease of the central nervous system whereby the immune system mistakenly starts to attack myelin. This is the protective coating around the nerve cells in the central nervous system that assists nerve conduction. The symptoms are varied and unpredictable in MS, with the progression and severity also different among affected individuals.

Symptoms may include:

  • Sensory Changes

  • MS Related fatigue

  • Muscle weakness

  • Heat sensitivity

  • Reduced balance and coordination

  • Bladder and bowel disturbances

  • Cognitive and visual changes

Regular exercise under the guidance of an Exercise Physiologist helps to maintain general fitness and to reduce the impact of specific symptoms of MS. The goal is to maintain optimal physical function.

Benefits Include:

  • Reduced fatigue and improved endurance

  • Improved muscle strength and coordination

  • Improved balance and gait

  • Improved mood

  • Improved fatigue and concentration

  • Reducing risk of cardiovascular and other lifestyle diseases

  • Prolonged independence and improved quality of life

Aerobic exercise is encouraged for individuals with MS, starting at a low intensity and duration and gradually increasing as tolerated. Short bursts of physical activity have a beneficial cumulative effect. Consider using an exercise bike or elliptical trainer for aerobic exercise to reduce falls risk. For individuals with heat sensitivity, exercising in well ventilated/cooler areas is important. Strength and stretching exercises are also encouraged for the management of MS. Strength training should target major muscle groups and areas of weakness. Complete low weight and high repetitions initially, then gradually increase as fatigue and muscular endurance allows.

 

Given the complexity and stages of degeneration, an individualized program that meets your current needs and goals is important for the management of MS. Consider seeking help from 4 Life Exercise Physiology by booking with our Accredited Exercise Physiologists for a program that is right for you.

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