Rehabilitation in MS
Rehabilitation stresses improvement of function— maximizing your ability at work, at home, and in the community. Rehab can address problems with walking, dressing and personal care, using mobility aids, or performing tasks at work. It also addresses speech and memory problems, sexual difficulties, bladder and bowel needs, and overall fitness.
Rehabilitation is considered a necessary component of comprehensive, quality health care for people with MS, at all stages of the disease.
Types of Rehabs and Therapies
Physical therapy (PT) can help strengthen weakened or uncoordinated muscles, and improve balance. PT might include range-of-motion exercises, stretching, strengthening, assist with walking, and the best ways to be fitted for and to use canes, walkers, or other assistive devices. PT can also include exercises to increase overall function and stamina.
Occupational therapy (OT) is geared toward improving independence in daily living—energy conservation to combat fatigue. OT include techniques for dressing, grooming, eating, driving, and exercises for coordination and strength.
||Teddy Kelsey, OTR, FAOTA— |
"It's really about teaching people to deal with the effects of the disease. I want to teach my patients strategies, to look at how they plan their activities..."
Speech therapy improves communication for those who may have difficulty speaking or swallowing due to weakness or poor coordination. Techniques used by speech/language therapists (also called speech/ language pathologists) might include exercise, voice training, or the use of special devices.
Cognitive rehabilitation offers exercises and strategies to improve memory, attention, information processing, and reasoning. Cognitive rehab sessions may be with a neuropsychologist, speech/language pathologist, or occupational therapist.
Vocational rehabilitation specialists focus on retraining or use of adaptations and accommodations on the job. They may work independently or in consultation with your OT.
More information on:
|Carol Wilkerson, diagnosed with MS in 1993, had been prescribed Betaseron, but little else.
In 2001, she discovered she had limited movement in her left leg, increasing difficulty with her left hand, and balance issues. And she learned that her memory problems and fatigue, were likely to be part of her MS—and something she could learn to manage better.
Read more about Carol's therapy for her functions
Information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment
NARIC: The National Rehabilitation Information Center
Visitors can submit requests, search database, read RehabWire, explore research from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation, and more
Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
University of Washington —Dept. of Rehabilitation Medicine