* Physical Therapy and its Positive Effects on Multiple Sclerosis
Posted Oct 30 2008 10:38am
I recently acquired another MS (Mutiple Sclerosis) client who atypically is a male in his mid 40’s.
Being a Medical Professional with 17 years tenure prior to the start of my Personal Training business, I tend to receive the most difficult “special population” clients to work with, their conditions range from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferer’s. Most of these individuals are referred to me from Physicians that I collaborated with during my research tenure at University California San Diego School of Medicine. They know I am deeply interested in alternate treatment modalities.
MS like ALS is a unique autoimmune disease which the medical community spends time and money researching, but still has not come up with a treatment modality that is curative. MS can be crippling and in its severe case can render its victim paralyzed. MS is a autoimmune disease which causes a malfunction of the Myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve fiber i the central nervous system. The damaged Myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis) which gives the disease its name. Fortunately , this only accounts for 33% of all MS victims. Your typical MS victim is left with a gait abnormality,coordination problems, sproadic numbness, tingling and pain/spasticity to the extremities.
From a psychosocial perspective the disease causes emotional changes leading to depression and a decrease in cognitive function. There thoughts are always clouded, concentration poor and emotions stand in the way of completing tasks.
Other than blasting MS victims with FDA- Approved Interferon, antineoplastics, monoclonal antibodies which all affect your immune system and hammer on your liver There are more natural alternatives to prevent a MS relapse, that the medical community chooses to ignore.
In numerous world wide studies the compliant MS victim does very well with a well rounded physical therapy and fitness program concentrating on adjusting or balancing leg strength and also decreasing poor coordination and gait imbalance. The psychological benefits in improving self esteem are huge! I personally have seen this in clients which I have worked with for numerous years.
My role in the rehabilitation of the these special clients are to educate them on their specific weakness and implement a program to enhance the quality of their life and physical functionality. It is not unusual to see MS victims who cannot change their own cloths,perform personal hygiene or is some cases lift a fork to their mouth! My secondary role is to modify tap into their psyche and understand their personal “owners manual” Perseverate on the positive things, produce tangible changes and enforce compliance in a safe productive way. Show them the light at the end of the tunnel!
I have had huge success with individuals who in the eyes of their physicians should have been bed bound or dead. I consider myself lucky and honored to be able to work with this unique population, as they have trusted me with their life, and I have always addressed their life as if it were my own. I look forward to seeing the benefits that my new client reaps. He is already off to a great start!