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Exercise and mobility

For people with MS there are often functional consequences such as changes to balance, coordination and mobility that impact daily life and activities. Through the prescription of tailored exercise programs and targeted activities, exercise can be highly beneficial in promoting continued mobility and contributing to overall health and wellbeing.

 

Exercise and MS

Regular recreation, active living and a personalised exercise program can help you to live well with MS. Exercise does not trigger a relapse (exacerbation) of MS or adversely affect the disease process.  Regular exercise can help manage some of the symptoms of MS and decrease the effects of physical inactivity.

The physical benefits of exercise

Regular physical activity can benefit everyone – not just people living with MS. Benefits include:

  • Reduced fatigue and increased stamina and fitness levels
  • Improved joint flexibility
  • Improved coordination, balance and mobility
  • Improvement and maintenance of muscle strength and tone
  • Management of mild spasticity (muscle stiffness)
  • Improved posture and reduced back and neck pain
  • Maintenance of blood pressure at normal levels and decreased risk of heart disease
  • Reduced risk of obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis

The mental and emotional benefits of exercise

Regular exercise is also important to support mental and emotional health.  Physical activity and exercise can elevate mood and reduce stress and depression. It also helps build self-confidence and a sense of wellbeing, and provides the opportunity for social interaction and support.  Exercise is also important for the mind, providing increased alertness and concentration.

Special exercise considerations for MS

Starting an exercise program

You should always consult your doctor, physiotherapist or trained fitness instructor before commencing a new exercise regime. Ask your doctor what form of exercise is best for you and if there are any health risks which may affect your ability to exercise safely.

Talk to a physiotherapist

A physiotherapist can help you manage the physical symptoms of MS (e.g. muscle weakness, altered balance, loss of coordination, fatigue, pain, spasm or tremor) and can design an exercise program suited to your individual needs and preferences.

MS Queensland have a team of neurophysiotherapists who specialise in the management of MS and other progressive neurological diseases (PND).  Using specialist exercises and techniques they can help you regain or improve your mobility and increase your day to day functionality. You can contact the NeuroAssist InfoLine to learn more about starting an exercise program or to book an initial assessment with one of our neurophysio team members.

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