Physiotherapy plays an important role in the management of multiple sclerosis. In early stages of multiple sclerosis, it is strongly recommended that patients educate themselves on physiotherapy, exercise regimes & self-management. The type of physiotherapy approach and intensity of the therapy will vary depending on the need and condition of the person with MS.
People with all Types of MS, regardless of their degree of disability can benefit from the right kind of exercises & routines.
Exercise: Exercise helps you to remain active and prevent complications that can result from inactivity. It can improve flexibility, fitness, strength and stamina. It also helps with the stimulation of fluids and excretion of waste products.
Many patients with MS are afraid of doing exercise because they think they may experience extreme fatigue. The fact is that exercise helps you to gain energy, increase circulation as long as you do exercises appropriate to your current physical condition.
You may start your exercise in short sessions so as to avoid overheating of the body. Over exertion may lead to weakness, fatigue, pain and spasticity. So it is better to start and maintain a light exercise regime.
Physiotherapy: It is important to consult a well-trained physiotherapist as soon as possible. If you are suffering from spasticity, a physiotherapist can help you to stand and balance properly, walk better, co-ordinate your movements better and help with posture etc. It is good to make your physiotherapist of any therapies you are currently taking or are thinking of taking . The physiotherapist may advice you on any exercise machines available.
Swimming: Swimming involves the movement of many muscles in your body. It may help you to increase hand-feet-mind co-ordination. It is helpful because your body weight is supported by the water which, in turn will help you overcome balancing issues. Many swimming pool centers provide special sessions for people with MS. It is advisable to ascertain the temperature of the water as many people with MS experience the water to be too hot or too cold for them. Further, it is recommended to have adequate supervision while swimming if there are concerns with your hand-feet-mind coordination.
Pilates: Pilates is an exercise program which is based on correct body alignment. The main focus is on co-ordination, moving properly and core strength. In MS, Pilates may help you to improve the immune system, stress, energy and bone density, circulation and respiration. It also helps in muscle toning and improving body balance.
T’ai Chi: It is a meditation with movements. It concentrates on relaxation and corrects breathing patterns, sometimes with music. It is helpful especially for people with MS who experience low stamina to exercise at a high speed. The advantage of T’ai Chi is that you can exercise without overheating.
T’ai chi can help in Multiple Sclerosis Treatment by improving balance, combating fatigue and giving more energy. It may also help with spasms, exercise muscles. Regular practice can also help you to improve depression and maintain a calm, relaxed inner state.
Yoga: Many specialist centers are providing yoga sessions as it is most widely used by people with MS. It may help you to calm the mind and energises the body as well as helping to combat stress, fatigue and depression.
It has a good effect on the endocrine glands, circulatory and respiratory system and improves overall condition. Yoga also tones the digestive organs and other glands in the body such as thyroid and adrenals.