Physical therapy can help ease and relieve many multiple sclerosis symptoms. If you have trouble getting to an exercise class or yoga class on your own, working with a physical therapist might be an option for you. Many neurologists prescribe it along with medicines, braces and other options for their patients.
According to the National MS Society, physical therapy is used for balance problems, trouble using your body, fatigue, pain, spasticity, mobility, weakness, and better and easier ways to perform everyday tasks.
A physical therapist will pick exercises that are right for you. Sometimes you only have to go to an appointment once to get a routine or, depending on your circumstances, you can have regular appointments. Physical therapy can play an important role in rehabilitation.
MS affects everyone differently and it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider and physical therapist before starting any program. Therapists can also talk with your caregivers and family about developing individualized exercise plans, ways to keep you safe and avoid falls, introduce adaptive aids such as canes or walkers and recommend adaptive equipment for your home.
I currently go to a physical therapist twice a month to keep me on an active exercise program to reduce my spasticity and strengthen my legs and core. Currently I have a stretching program and a few strengthening exercises. I am also relearning how to walk again which is a difficult task.
Each day about five times a day I do the butterfly stretch to loosen the legs, reduce spasticity and it helps with my legs functioning. It’s better to do quality instead of quantity since MS patients fatigue quickly. I also learned that trying to do a big walk a day is not as beneficial as many short walks each day. Instead, I try just to get up once an hour and go for a short walk around the house or yard rather than doing a longer walk and then being exhausted the rest of the day.
Do you go to physical therapy? Does it help?