MS is an inflammatory disease of the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system CNS). It mainly affects the white matter tissue which is made up of nerve fibres which are responsible for transmitting communication signals within the CNS and between the CNS and the nerves supplying rest of the body with information .
Throughout the disease’s progression, Multiple Sclerosis causes patches of damage called plaques or lesions within areas of the Central Nervous System’s white matter. Around the nerve is an insulating material called Myelin which is lost at the site of these lesions. Depending on which areas of the CNS are affected and how badly they are damaged, the type and severity of symptoms can vary greatly. So the disease affects people very differently.
Here at the East Cliff Therapy Centre, treatment with our Neuro Physiotherapists is aimed at the relief of symptoms and management of posture, making your life as comfortable as possible. We aim to maintain your muscles’ ability to function, give you advice on pressure care, looking after your lungs and any aids and adaptions you may need.
In addition to appointments with our Neuro Physiotherapists, East Cliff can make contact with other professionals if necessary such as: occupational therapists, speech therapists, GPs, carers & district nurses.
Different Forms of Multiple Sclerosis
There are different types of Multiple Sclerosis characterised by the course of the disease.
- Relapsing and remitting Multiple Sclerosis is characterized by relapses when new lesions occur and new symptoms develop and/or old symptoms worsen followed by periods of remission where the person can fully or partially recover from the symptoms.
- Progressive relapsing and remitting follows a progressive pattern with relapses along the way with reduced recovery in between relapses. There is significant recovery immediately following a relapse but between relapses there is a gradual worsening of symptoms.
- Primary progressive this is a gradual progressive type of Multiple Sclerosis with no remissions.
- Secondary progressive people who have had relapsing/remitting Multiple Sclerosis will pass into a secondary progressive phase of the disease. This is characterised by a gradual worsening of the disease between relapses.
Physiotherapy and Multiple Sclerosis
Due to the complex nature of Multiple Sclerosis one of our specialist neurophysiotherapists would need to asses the individual to determine the symptoms which affect their own physical ability and independence. After a comprehensive assessment has been completed the physiotherapist would then develop a treatment plan to address your needs. A realistic and achievable goal plan would then be discussed with you.
Treatment could involve the following:
- Positioning and posture advice both in bed, in sitting and standing.
- Stretches to improve or maintain muscle and soft tissue length.This could involve the physio, the individual and carers.
- Muscle strengthening exercises to maximize arm and leg strength as well as core stability to achieve physical goals.
- Tone management to reduce spasticity and spasms. This could involve stretches, a standing programme and correct positioning. Also advice on possible splinting and medication.
- Practice of functional tasks such as transfers, sitting balance, standing, walking, standing balance. Also outdoor tasks and wheelchair mobility.
- Advice on sensory impairment and pain management.
- Advice on fatigue management and pacing.
If you require any assistance, advice or treatment for your Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, please contact us or call 01202 296969 .