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Life Planning and Independence

MS and Mobility

The use of any type of mobility device is often viewed as the hallmark of disability, the ultimate sign of defeat. Viewed from a different perspective, however, canes, walkers, motorized scooters, and wheelchairs help people live active lives. They promote independence, conserve energy, and generally make life easier.
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Most gait problems can be helped to some extent by physical therapy, by the use of appropriate assistive devices and, in some cases, by medications.
Gait: An overview
Gait and Walking Problems
Assistive Devices
Medications Used in MS
Don't just sit there. There is something you can do about your mobility. It's called rehabilitation. The term is more commonly used in connection with accident victims or people who have suffered strokes, but today it includes people with MS, as well.
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Gait and balance problems may be affected by other MS symptoms, including:

To help manage these and other symptoms, view our brochures on 'Managing Specific Issues'

Improve Your BalanceYou Can...Improve Your Balance
Balance deficits can be improved with a properly integrated approach


Staying Healthy, Staying Mobile
Regular, moderate physical exercise is good for body, mind, and spirit. Exercise builds a reserve of muscle strength and cardiovascular function. Then, if an attack of MS calls for a time-out, the reserve is available. Read more


Preventive Care

Preventive Care Recommendations for Adults with MS: The Basic Facts (PDF)



Aqua exercise lets people with MS move in ways that their disability might not otherwise allow.

Adaptive Bicycling
A variety of adaptations are now available, that someone who really wants to ride might just find wheels that will work.

"Is my wheelchair going to slow me down? Yes. Stop me? Not a chance!" Meet George and views about exercise



Help improve or maintain strength, flexibility, and balance, and encourage a meditative mental state with adaptive tai chi and yoga.

These illustrated manuals provide basic range-of-motion, stretching, and balance exercises for at-home program.

For People with MS
View as a PDF
With a Helper for People with MS
View as a PDF

The National MS Society can provide local referrals to private and group instruction in a wide variety of sports activities and exercise programs, modified for people with MS.

Contact your chapter at 1-800-344-4867.


Keep Moving!

Keep Moving!
Suzan Black has lived with MS for 25 years, and learned that “regardless of my disability, staying mobile is the most important job that I have.”

You Can...Keep Moving!

webcast icon Webcasts
(transcripts available)
MS Learn Online presents
Improving Independence
Assistance for Mobility
Options of Rehabilitation and Recreation


Terri, Anita, and Merri

A cold metal cane, with its ugly adjusting buttons, can be transformed into a charming seasonal accessory. Having a beautiful cane doesn't have to be costly.
Read how Anita Cohen and her friends put the fun in functionality

For Parents

Helping Kids Adjust to Your New Mobility Aid

Tip: Have them choose a name for your cane or wheelchair

Read more tips and stories in Keep S'myelin, our children's newsletter
View as PDF
Keep S'myelin kids

When you're ready to hit the road—or the high seas, get in the know first. These sites and resources are especially geared to travelers with disabilities.
Information on travel


Have fun all year long! Find out swimming and sailing, hiking and camping, skiing and skating, and much more.
Information on recreation activities

Housing Modifications

Scooters, canes, and other devices need ample turning space. Modifications may be in order to make your work or home accessible.
Read more about modifications

Last updated October 17, 2007