If you or a loved one lives with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), you’re not alone.
MS is a neurological disorder affecting the central nervous system of 33,335 Australians.
Each person’s journey with MS is as unique as they are, with symptoms varying in presentation and severity from one individual to the next.
While there’s no cure for MS, our Valens Care physiotherapists are experienced in helping those living with the condition manage their symptoms. We aim to help you increase your muscle strength, reduce pain, and improve your mobility.
Here, we take a closer look at MS, and how the physiotherapists at Valens Care may help.
What is multiple sclerosis?
MS is one of the most common central nervous system diseases. With an average of 10 Australians diagnosed with MS each week, the condition affects more Australian young people than any other chronic progressive neurological disease.
Multiple sclerosis occurs when your myelin (the protective sheath around your nerves and spinal cord) is damaged. This damage can disrupt the communication between your brain and body, commonly causing challenges with your mobility, balance, movement, coordination, speech, and vision.
What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?
Living with MS can present a range of symptoms, depending on which part of your body is affected and to what degree. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Fatigue: Many living with MS find the condition can be both physically and mentally fatiguing. Fatigue can significantly impact your endurance, ability to work, concentrate, perform daily tasks and your overall quality of life.
- Muscle Weakness and Coordination Difficulties: You might experience weakness in your muscles, which can cause balance and coordination issues. These symptoms might make it hard for you to walk, perform everyday tasks and may increase your risk of falls.
- Altered Sensations: Sensory disturbances like numbness, tingling and burning can occur in various parts of your body.
- Vision Problems: Visual symptoms, such as blurred or double vision, involuntary eye movements, reduction in colour vision and loss of vision may occur.
- Speech Impairments: MS can affect the muscles responsible for your speech, leading to slurred or difficult-to-understand speech, changes to your speech rhythm and difficulty with swallowing.
- Pain: You might feel sharp, stabbing, or burning pain in your muscles.
- Bladder and Bowel Problems: Your bladder might need to be emptied more often or more urgently and some can experience bladder incontinence. Bowel issues can include incontinence or constipation.
- Cognitive and emotional disturbances– You may experience brain fog, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mood swings and mental health conditions.
- Heat Sensitivity– It’s common to feel more sensitive to hot weather, with many complaining of worsening pain, fatigue, or cognition in the warmer weather.
How could multiple sclerosis physiotherapy help you?
While there’s no cure for MS, our highly qualified and experienced Valens Care physiotherapists are committed to working with you to manage your symptoms, maintain and maximise your physical abilities and keep you as active as possible.
The goal of multiple sclerosis physiotherapy is to support and enhance your independence so that you can confidently perform your day-to-day tasks and enjoy the things you love, as safely and independently as possible.
Here are some of the ways we aim to help you:
- Improve mobility and balance- We use targeted exercises to improve your balance and mobility, aiming to reduce your risk of falls and support a more active lifestyle.
- Manage muscle weakness– Muscle weakness can lead to decreased functional abilities. Through strength training and exercises, we aim to strengthen your muscles and build your endurance, making it easier to perform everyday activities.
- Manage pain – Multiple sclerosis physiotherapy interventions focus on reducing pain through a combination of manual therapies, exercises, and relaxation techniques.
- Increase flexibility- Your flexibility is crucial to your mobility and independence. Our physiotherapists will guide you through stretching exercises that may improve joint mobility and help you preserve your range of motion so that you can move more freely and comfortably.
- Manage fatigue – We incorporate strategies to manage fatigue, such as pacing activities and teaching you energy conservation techniques. Managing your fatigue may help you to have more stamina in the day so that you can achieve more and feel more alert.
The Valens Care difference
At Valens Care, we’re passionate about ensuring your treatment is tailored very specifically to you and your needs. This is especially important in multiple sclerosis care where every person experiences the condition differently.
Our physiotherapists are committed to working closely with you to create a treatment plan, designed just for you, centered around your needs and goals. We consider your unique abilities, limitations, and lifestyle, ensuring your treatment aligns with what matters to you most.
Plus, we want you to be as comfortable as possible and get the most out of your physiotherapy experience, so we offer you the flexibility to choose the most convenient location for your sessions.
Whether it’s in the comfort of your own home, at the gym, at your workplace, or even at the pool for an aqua therapy session, the choice is entirely yours.
When you work with our Valens Care physiotherapists you get the high-quality, consistent support you need to achieve your goals.
To learn more about how multiple sclerosis physiotherapy could help you or for a multiple sclerosis assessment, contact us today.
* All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Valens Care can consult with you regarding your individual health needs.
Brain Foundation. (2021). Multiple sclerosis (MS). https://brainfoundation.org.au/disorders/multiple-sclerosis/#symptoms
Healthdirect. (2023). Multiple sclerosis (MS). www.healthdirect.gov.au/multiple-sclerosis-ms
Multiple Sclerosis Australia. (2023). Multiple Sclerosis Rising and Accelerating in Australia, New Data Shows. www.msaustralia.org.au/news/multiple-sclerosis-rising-and-accelerating-in-australia-new-data-shows/
Multiple Sclerosis Queensland. (n.d.). MS Symptoms. www.msqld.org.au/about-ms/ms-symptoms/
Multiple Sclerosis Queensland. (n.d.). What is MS? www.msqld.org.au/about-ms/what-is-ms/
Physiopedia. (2023). Multiple Sclerosis (MS). www.physio-pedia.com/Multiple_Sclerosis_(MS)