Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

  • Have you recently been diagnosed with MS, and don’t know if exercise is safe or helpful?
  • Do you experience MS related fatigue, and are afraid to exercise?
  • Are you wondering how to manage a flare-up of your MS?
  • Do you sometimes find your symptoms difficult to explain, or ‘invisible’ to others?

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Receiving a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can be very confronting.

In MS, the immune system mistakenly damages  the protective sheath (myelin) around nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord.  The resulting scars or lesions can produce a range of symptoms that vary depending on their exact location.

In addition to the variability in the location of lesions, MS symptoms can be unpredictable in the same person, from day-to-day. Symptoms commonly ‘relapse’ and ‘remit’. Symptoms can also interact with each other. The uncertainty of the condition can lead some people to be fearful about exercising and to avoid taking activities they would normally engage in, for fear of having a ‘bad day’.

Many people with MS report that the ‘hidden symptoms’ are the most challenging to manage – that is, the symptoms other people cannot easily see. Fatigue, changes in sensation, heat intolerance, cognitive symptoms like brain fog and memory problems, and difficulties with fluctuating mood, are all but invisible to others. People with MS frequently report that it’s these hidden symptoms that lead them to avoid physical and social activities.

Common Symptoms

It’s important to remember that not all people with MS experience all of the possible MS symptoms. Your specific symptoms are dependent on how MS is affecting your nervous system. MS symptoms:

  • differ from person to person;
  • may vary and be unpredictable from day-to-day and week-to-week;
  • can interact with other symptoms and with other conditions or diagnoses the person has; and
  • can be invisible, debilitating and result in a range of functional difficulties.

Symptoms can Include

  • Muscle weakness, cramping / spasms, stiffness, rigidity or involuntary movements 
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Dizziness or vertigo 
  • Rapid involuntary eye movement
  • Heat intolerance
  • Impaired balance
  • Bladder and bowel problems 
  • Sensory changes e.g., pins and needles, tingling or burning, abnormality of taste or altered touch sensation
  • Visual symptoms including: blurred vision, double vision or vision loss
  • Mood disturbance including: anxiety, mood swings or depression
  • Changes in memory, concentration or reasoning
  • Functional difficulties with activities such as walking and / or rapid change of direction
  • Speech symptoms including difficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • Swallowing difficulties

How can we Help?

When you have MS, working with a health professional who ‘gets it’ is really important.  You will not need to explain to your Active Neurological Physiotherapist the nature of MS symptoms in general, just how your condition is impacting you.

It’s recommended that you talk with a neurological physiotherapist as soon as possible after your diagnosis. Neurological physiotherapists can support you to manage your condition and answer any questions you may have.

At Active, we have a team of advanced trained  Neurological Physiotherapists, who will provide advice and suggest strategies to help you at any stage of your Multiple Sclerosis. Where appropriate, we provide treatment to stabilise, reduce or prevent problems you may be experiencing, related to your general mobility and the way you function in your daily activities.

Talking with a physiotherapist can be helpful if:

  • you have queries on the frequency, intensity and safety aspects of exercising 
  • you’re uncertain about what type of exercise is helpful and safe for you
  • you’re finding regular exercise difficult
  • you’re experiencing difficulties with walking
  • you experience balance problems resulting in falls, nearly falling or fear of falling
  • you experience dizziness or disequilibrium (feeling disoriented)
  • you’re experiencing pain
  • you’re experiencing fatigue or heat intolerance when exercising

What Should I Expect From my Appointment?

  • Detailed Interview to fully understand your symptoms, medical history and your specific goals
  • Physical Assessment of your body and movement patterns, including your functional abilities. If you’re experiencing dizziness, your physiotherapist may use special technologies to assess the cause of your symptoms.
  • Targeted Treatments including treatments that address specific problems associated with Multiple Sclerosis such as muscle weakness, balance difficulties, dizziness, falling, fear of falling, fatigue and reduced coordination 
  • Progressive Exercise Program that is safe for you. It will be specifically designed to address your particular needs, be that for specific movement problems, or simply to improve your general fitness, health and well-being, to help you to self-manage your condition.
  • Communication and Collaboration with your Neurologist, General Practitioner and the broader health team, to keep them informed of your progress and to support your care. 

Where can I see my Physiotherapist?

On this page

In Clinic

Online Video Appointments

Web & Mobile App

Private Gymnasium