What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system which occurs when the immune system breaks down or damages the myelin, the protective layer which surrounds nerve fibres. This damage causes disruption to messages travelling along nerve fibres, causing them to slow down, become distorted, or not get through at all. As well as myelin loss, there can also sometimes be damage to the actual nerve fibres. It is this nerve damage that causes movement disruption, weakness and spasticity.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis:
Relapsing remitting MS is the most common and affects around 85 per cent of those diagnosed. During relapse periods, symptoms appear or are exacerbated. In the remitting periods, symptoms ease or fade away, either partially or completely.
A small percentage of people, about 15%, are diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS. Primary symptoms present and then progress gradually.
Most people who have relapsing-remitting symptoms will go on to develop secondary progressive MS. Secondary progressive is usually diagnosed when there is a gradual progression of symptoms with no periods of remission, or only a slight ease in symptoms.
Benign MS is when there is a small number of relapses followed by complete recovery of symptoms. However, symptoms can reoccur many years after a period of remission.
Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis
At Hobbs Rehabilitation, we offer a variety of services and treatments for MS. We work very closely with NHS colleagues and other appropriate health care professionals to provide advice and management of the condition.
Through a variety of treatment techniques, our specialised physiotherapists aim to promote recovery during relapses and maximise functional potential. Neurological physiotherapy for MS can help to:
- Improve balance and posture through balance and strengthening work and postural re-education
- Increase mobility through assessment of different mobility aids
- Reduce muscle stiffness, spasms and pain through stretching programmes
- Increase muscle strength through strengthening and mobilisation exercises
- Reduce the risk of falls through balance work, gait re-education and training
- Increase independence and quality of life
- Manage fatigue with advice on management tools and resources
- Combine stretching, aerobic exercise, strengthening and relaxation techniques through exercise classes
Our specialist OT’s aim to improve areas of personal care, work or leisure that are becoming difficult. This can be achieved through:
- Functional activities independently or in groups
- Assessment of function in your own environment and establish any needs for equipment, adaptations, or further rehabilitation
- Hand therapy including splinting and exercise programmes
Speech and Language Therapy:
Communication and swallowing are a key part of life and if you're experiencing difficulty it may be having a huge impact on quality of life. Specialist speech and language therapy may be able to help you through:
- Training for family and carers on how to communicate with someone with dysphasia
- Advice on communication aids
- Treatment at the centre or at home
Our clinical neuropsychologists can help to provide:
- Detailed assessment of a clients’ functioning in particular their cognition, behaviour and emotional state
- Advice, consultation, teaching and supervision to other professionals as well as family and carers
Orthotics for MS:
Our specialist orthotist working with the team can help by designing and fitting orthoses to best complement your treatment and rehabilitation. These include:
- Orthotics to prevent foot drop and aid walking
- Insoles to improve alignment, proprioception and gait
- Alteration to shoes to assist with leg length discrepancies, alignment and improve mobility
Benefits/quotes from patients:
“It has been recognised that the service provided by Hobbs Rehabilitation is such a crucial support and a valuable service and a lifeline to local people affected by MS, who would be otherwise left alone to struggle.” ‒ Pat Neal