Exercise can be a transformative tool in meeting the individual challenges of living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In this blog post we will share a couple of the tips we use with our clients we work with at the Balance Center who are living with MS.
Specificity and Dosage Really Matter:
Many impairments that people living with MS experience are directly linked to the disease itself. However, a number of impairments are actually due to de-conditioning and lack of use. This means that a specific exercise program can be incredibly effective at re-mediating certain physical limitations. Another way to optimize exercise is by titrating the dosage appropriately. As physical therapists, we design exercise programs on a daily basis and we are experts in helping people land on a perfect prescription to meet individual needs. We designed the Balance Center to be uniquely able to meet the needs of people living with MS. Follow this link to learn more about our Neurological Physical Therapy Services: https://www.mainestrongbalancecenter.com/neurological-physical-therapy
Consider the Pool:
In the pool, cooler water can prevent overheating and improve the amount of exercise you can do. The water also is a unique opportunity to 1. improve walking in a gravity minimized environment; 2. Improve strength with less energy expenditure for movements; and 3. Relaxing effects of buoyancy can positively affect tone. If you’d like to learn more about our pool at the Balance Center, feel free to click the following link: https://www.mainestrongbalancecenter.com/aquatic-therapy
Exercising increases our body temperature, but this is a problem if you are living with MS as it worsens the symptoms of MS. It may be that the body is slower to sweat and the sweat rate is lower. Try managing everything that is in your control: the environment, time of day of exercise, what you wear and completing a proper warm-up and cool down can all help avoid overheating.
Consider Timing of Exercise:
In our experience many of the folks we are working with have a sweet spot during the day, it’s often between late morning and early afternoon. This may be the best time to exercise as fatigue may be minimized at these times, but do consider other factors such as how hot it may be outside if walking in the summer for example. Not only does time of day contribute, but volume, or total time, of exercise is also important to consider. It may be beneficial to exercise in intervals to allow for a greater volume of exercise while also managing fatigue. It can be a delicate balance. There is no one size fits all approach for this tip.
It’s really important to talk with your doctor about your individualized exercise needs. Doctors are a critical piece of the puzzle and real experts to help establish any exercise restrictions to keep you safe. Also, consider utilizing a Physical Therapist to help you curate your best, individualized exercise program to meet your needs. We’d be happy to help, feel free to contact us (https://www.mainestrongbalancecenter.com/contact-us) and happy exercising!