Physical Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) | IMPACT Physical Therapy

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Services Performed for Treatment of This Pain


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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that primarily affects young adults and usually progresses over time. Effects vary widely and there is currently no known cure for the disease. However, with treatment, it can be managed. Physical therapists help people with MS regain and maintain strength, flexibility, and general fitness, and to live active, productive lives.

What is Multiple Sclerosis? 

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which the body’s immune system directs repeated inflammatory attacks on the central nervous system. These attacks destroy the covering of the nerves, called myelin, as well as the nerves themselves. This damage prevents the nerves from properly carrying signals throughout the body, which can cause a whole host of symptoms depending on where the nerves are impacted. 


MS Symptoms

Symptoms can vary greatly between individuals and can include periods of remission and relapses. Common MS symptoms include:

  • Change in vision, such as double vision or blurry vision
  • Balance issues
  • Difficulty walking 
  • Fatigue that is not improved with rest
  • Stiffness and muscle spasms 
  • Heaviness in your legs or arms
  • Bladder or bowel problems
  • Sexual dysfunction and decreased sensation
  • Cognitive issues
  • Vertigo
  • Problems with speech
  • Issues swallowing
  • Pain 
  • Mood and emotional issues, including higher rates of depression

Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis

To receive an MS diagnosis, the following criteria need to be met: 

  • Clinical or MRI evidence of central nervous system damage: This must be occurring in 2 or more different parts of the body. Examples can include symptoms in the legs and arms, or impaired vision or walking. 
  • Clinical or MRI evidence of recent brain, optic nerve, or spinal cord damage: This damage must have happened at different points in time. Abnormal findings in the cerebrospinal fluid obtained via a lumbar puncture are another indicator. 

Ruling out other conditions: Strokes, tumors, or other neurologic diseases can cause similar symptoms and must be ruled out.

Physical Therapy for MS: How Can it Help?

Physical therapy can help support and maintain movement abilities for someone living with MS. To ensure you receive proper treatment, our physical therapists will get a thorough medical history, and do an exam to determine impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Afterward, they’ll use the information to construct a plan to help you reach your goals. This comprehensive plan can include:

Try Physical Therapy for MS at IMPACT Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be a beneficial part of any Multiple Sclerosis treatment plan, and the skilled therapists at IMPACT Physical Therapy can develop a personalized plan for your goals and needs. Request an appointment today to speak with one of our physical therapists!


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This content is provided by the APTA

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