From The MS Information Sourcebook, produced by the National MS Society.
The purpose of physical therapy (PT) is to restore or maintain a person's ability when a medical condition or injury causes impairment of movement and reduction in normal activity. The physical therapist is trained to evaluate and improve movement and function of the body, with particular emphasis on physical mobility, strength, balance, posture, fatigue, and pain. The ultimate goal is to achieve and maintain optimal functioning and prevent unnecessary complications such as de-conditioning, disuse weakness, and muscle tightness.
Because most people with MS initially experience a relapsing-remitting disease course, they are likely to have different levels of physical ability at different times. The impact that the MS is having on an individual's central nervous system at any given point in time determines how effective PT can be in enhancing specific functions, and, indeed, what types of physical therapy an individual can do. Even in the earliest stages of the disease, however, there is a role for physical therapy in helping people to manage their energy wisely and maintain optimal levels of physical functioning.
A Written Referral from a Physician is Often Required by Insurance Plans
Consider the Effects of Heat and Fatigue During Exercise
For Healthcare Professionals
Schapiro R. Managing the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (5th ed.). New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2007.
Last updated March 2006