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Rehabilitation Programs for Multiple Sclerosis

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Rehabilitation Programs for Multiple Sclerosis

Overview

Therapy is used to help improve specific skills that are lost or damaged due to MS. MS can cause problems with muscle control and strength, vision, and balance. It can also affect your thinking. Your therapy needs may change over time as your symptoms change.

There are many types of therapy that can help you function better when you have MS. They include:

Physical therapy

This therapy uses exercise of all types to help you stay as independent as possible. Your therapist will help you find which exercises are best for you. Exercise and physical activity are good for all people who have MS. And it's still important even as the disease gets worse.

Exercises will:

  • Stretch and strengthen muscles.
  • Get your heart and lungs working harder.
  • Help you with your balance and ability to move.

You'll also learn how to cool off between exercises, since heat can make symptoms worse.

Occupational therapy

This therapy teaches you how to be as independent as possible.

You can learn how to use equipment or aids to help you with your daily life. This includes aids that help you eat, get dressed, bathe, and do other tasks.

You can also learn how to save energy while you do those tasks. And you can learn how to do them while using a cane, a walker, or a wheelchair.

Speech therapy

MS can affect the nerves that help you to talk and swallow. With therapy, you may be able to:

  • Reduce long pauses or slurring.
  • Reduce the nasal sound that can happen when your face muscles get too relaxed.
  • Improve your speech patterns and the way you pronounce words.
  • Learn other ways to communicate, such as with a phone or alphabet cards.
  • Learn what foods and eating habits can help if it's hard to swallow.

Cognitive retraining

"Cognitive" is a word that refers to your brain's ability to do things like remember, solve problems, and make decisions. MS can make these things harder.

Therapy can often retrain your brain to find other ways to do these tasks. For example, you may learn to rely on other ways to remember and stay organized, like using a computer, a cell phone, a notebook, or a filing system.

Related Information

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Current as of: May 1, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
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