Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) can be a challenging experience. The symptoms of MS can depend on the stage of progression and type. The most notable signs may include impaired walking gait, fatigue, heat sensitivity, impaired vision, dizziness, muscle stiffness, sleep disruption, balance issues, bowel and bladder control and mental health problems. This not only affects individuals directly but can extend to family, friends, and work life.
The latest research in multiple sclerosis and its relationship with exercise demonstrates strong evidence that including a regular exercise routine is considered a feasible intervention for MS management. Regular exercise has shown to improve muscular endurance, muscle strength, fatigue levels, balance, coordination, improved self-esteem, and mental well-being.
Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
It is common to believe that exercise may only worsen MS symptoms however the opposite is true! There is no evidence that exercise is associated with any greater risk for persons with MS than for those of the healthy population.
So what are the best exercises for MS?
The answer is it depends!
There is currently 4 different pathways MS can take
- Relapsing – remitting
Symptoms can appear suddenly and then cease for various time intervals before appearing again
- Primary progressive
Remission or relapse does not occur. Symptoms gradually progress with time
- Secondary progressive
Symptoms begin as relapsing/remitting but transitions into being progressive
- Progressive relapsing
Symptoms steadily progress and may contain relapses
People with MS can present completely different from one another which means that all health professionals should individualise an exercise program that should be based on the meaningful goals and what is tolerable for the individual. It is important that health professionals are also able to adjust exercise programs according to any changes in symptoms or progression of MS whilst keeping the needs, wants and goals of the participant in mind.
At Exercise for life, we ensure all our practitioners you see are keeping up to date with the latest evidence of treatment to ensure you get the most effective health outcome.
Are you looking for a different approach to help manage MS?
Are you someone who has an NDIS- plan and is looking for more support and guidance?