Multiple sclerosis is a condition in which body’s immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerves in the brain and spinal cord. The damage to myelin sheath results in disrupted communication between brain and rest of the body which ultimately leads to deterioration of the nerves.
Multiple Sclerosis Physical Therapy
The cause of Multiple Sclerosis is not known. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is believed to be an autoimmune disease i.e. a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. In MS, the immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath covering nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.
Just as the electrical wires are insulated, myelin insulates nerve fibers. When the myelin sheath is damaged, either the messages travelled along the nerves are slowed or blocked. A range of factors like genetics to childhood infections may play a role in causing Multiple Sclerosis.
Signs and Symptoms of MS vary widely depending upon the location of affected nerve fibers. These may include:
- Weakness or numbness of limbs, typically occurring on one side of the body at a time
- Blurring of vision or double vision
- Partial or complete loss of vision
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination or tremor
- Unsteady gait
- Poor bowel or bladder control
- Pins and needles or numbness
- Dragging feet
- Psychological changes
The course of the disease in most patients with MS is relapsing-remitting i.e. new symptoms develop over a period of days or weeks which improve partially or completely followed by a quiet period when symptoms do not appear for months or years altogether. Signs and symptoms of MS can temporarily worsen with increase in temperature but that event is not a relapse. Eventually, about 60-70 percent of patients with relapsing-remitting MS develop a steady progression of disease which may or may not have periods of remission (secondary progressive MS). Problem with gait is usually the worsening symptom. The progression rate varies widely among people with secondary-progressive MS.
Some people may have a gradual onset of symptoms with steady progression of disease without any relapses (primary-progressive MS).
There is no specific test to diagnose MS. The diagnosis for MS is based on ruling out other conditions that have signs and symptoms similar to MS. Based on the patient’s medical history and examination, following tests may be recommended:
- Blood tests for ruling out infectious or inflammatory diseases similar to MS
- Spinal tap (Lumbar puncture) to rule out viral infections and conditions similar to MS
- MRI may reveal areas of MS (lesions) in brain and Spinal cord
- Evoked Potential tests
Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis – There is currently no cure for MS. The treatment for MS is focused at giving medications that help in speeding recovery after attacks, slowing disease progression and managing symptoms. Physical therapy and Rehabilitation help in relieving symptoms and in making everyday life of patients with MS easier.
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation form an essential component of comprehensive treatment of Multiple Sclerosis throughout its course. The main aim of rehabilitation is to help improve and maintain function of a person with MS. Right from the time of diagnosis, rehabilitation personnel educate patients with strategies that promote good health, reduce fatigue, help an individual perform function with best of his abilities, be at home or at work.
In cases where symptoms have begun to interfere with everyday activities of an individual with MS, the rehabilitation team addresses the problems related to mobility, dressing, personal care, everyday activities at home and work along with patient’s participation in leisure activities. The problems related to speech and swallowing and thinking and memory are also addressed by rehabilitation personnel.
OVERSEAS REHABILITATION CARE (ORC) is the most reputed name for providing Rehabilitation services in association with best rehabilitation experts in India. Having served numerous of our clients from across the globe in India, ORC over the years has gained a reputation of being the most trusted medical tourism company in India.
Our core team of Rehabilitaton experts for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis includes highly experienced physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists who together provide comprehensive rehabilitation program for people with Multiple Sclerosis. At ORC associated clinics, we aim at providing individualized rehabilitation program suiting the unique needs of individuals with MS. Our attention to detail and prompt query answering has made us one of the best healthcare providers in the industry.
Our neurological approach to physiotherapy includes exercises and therapy programs that are tailored as per the unique needs of an individual with Multiple Sclerosis. Our rehabilitation programs aim to help patients with MS to:
- Control and coordinate movement patterns
- Execute normal movements by reducing spasticity
- Get back their functional abilities
Our rehabilitation experts emphasize on helping persons with MS to recover a good posture, for instance, the right way to rise from sitting, standing, walking or lying in the bed. All such activities along with use of adaptive devices help in benefitting patients with executing normal and easier movements, thus improving quality of life of patients with MS. Preventive therapy is also emphasized early which stresses upon including exercises and programs that prevent occurrence of secondary disabilities arising as a result of disuse.
Our specialized physical therapy and rehabilitation programs are designed keeping in mind the individual needs of persons with MS. The main goals of our rehabilitation programs for people with MS include:
- To improve muscle strength
- To strengthen weak muscles
- To prevent muscles to become permanently stiff
- To keep joints mobile
- To improve balance and coordination
- To prevent pressure sores
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