What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, demyelinating, neurodegenerative disorder of the Central Nervous System. The body’s immune system begins to attack the myelin sheath surrounding the neurons, which are the communication system of the body, otherwise known as the central nervous system (CNS).
There are four subtypes of MS. These include:
• Relapsing-remitting MS- Symptoms suddenly reappear every few months/years
• Primary progressing MS-symptoms gradually worsen from onset.
• Secondary progressing MS-symptoms relapse/remit for years until they suddenly become progressively worse
• Progressing relapsing MS- symptoms gradually worsen after first presentation.
Relapsing-remitting is the most common form of MS, approximately 85 % of all diagnosed cases. However, within 10 years of diagnosis, 50 % of these people will progress into the secondary progressing MS subtype.
Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis
The Signs and Symptoms of MS are quite varied due to the changing positions of lesions between patients. The most common symptoms that are seen in majority of patients include, sensory disturbance in limbs, partial or complete vision loss, gait dysfunctions &/or motor dysfunctions of limbs.
The diagnosis of MS is a process. There is no one test that can definitively diagnose MS. Instead, a combination of criteria and tests are used to diagnose the disorder. These include, MRI, visual Evoked Potential (VEP) oranalysis of Cerebrospinal fluid by lumbar puncture.
It’s important that the management of the disorder between you, your family and other health professionals. Successful management should include, effective communication, proper emotional support, encouragement of independence/ self-management, support from family in understanding the conditions, team approach to rehab and goal-setting
MS and Exercise
Whilst the symptoms of MS can be debilitating and limit everyday activities, their severity can be minimised through exercise. The team at Optimum Health Services can design and closely monitor patient-specific programs, applying the most appropriate modes of exercise and appropriate exercise intensities to ensure that health benefits such as decreased symptoms and increased quality of life are achieved.
Subsequently, it’s important to note that in order to avoid worsening of symptoms, exercise of moderate intensity should be performed. Exercise should be comfortable, not done to the point of maximal exertion and over-heating. Some key considerations are temperature regulations/hydrations as increased core body temperature in MS suffers can worsen symptom in MS individuals which can lead to increase in heat stress and fatigue along with balance Impairments.
If you or anyone you know suffers from MS, exercise may be beneficial to help manage the condition and improve quality of life. Contact your nearest Optimum Health studio for a an assessment today!