Multiple Sclerosis Management: Best Recommendations
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition that can affect the lives of patients in a way that makes it difficult to live life independently.
The severity of this disease is different from person to person, yet therapy is wise for all MS patients in order to improve quality of life and restore independence.
Multiple sclerosis and its symptoms can be managed successfully when following medical recommendations from specialists.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis Management?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disorder that affects the brain and body.
Patients with MS will typically have symptoms that negatively impact their life and lifestyle and their ability to live independently.
The effects of multiple sclerosis on patients vary from person to person. Each patient will have their own set of problems and symptoms that affect their life in a way different from another patient.
Certain patients have such mild MS that management is unnecessary – in fact, some people have multiple sclerosis without even knowing. Then, some patients have severe MS that makes it almost impossible to perform even the most basic functions of human life.
Symptoms of MS include:
- Body tingling
- Visual disturbances
- Blurry vision/double vision
- Urinary issues
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- Walking difficulty
- Heat sensitivity
- Cognitive changes
- Emotional changes
That said, multiple sclerosis varies greatly from person to person. So, someone developing MS may have completely different symptoms from another patient.
Generally, when MS is developing in a patient, symptoms will appear for a period of time and then go away for days or even weeks. Then, symptoms will come back or even get worse.
Because this condition is such a wide spectrum in how it develops, MS is now classified into five different groups:
- relapsing-remitting (patients have an onset of symptoms followed by periods of no symptoms – condition does not get worse during ‘breaks').
- secondary progressive (usually patients will progress to this after years of relapsing-remitting – this is when the condition worsens).
- primary progressive (patients have a gradual onset of symptoms from the very start, with no ‘attacks').
- progressive relapsing (this is a rare type of MS – condition starts progressing only to develop attacks later).
- fulminant (another rare form of MS – this is a severe form of progressive MS that develops very fast).
Whatever form of MS a patient has, the symptoms will likely have an impact on their life.
What Are the Goals of Multiple Sclerosis Disease Management?
The goal of multiple sclerosis management is to mitigate the debilitating symptoms of MS patients.
As mentioned, the symptoms of MS greatly impacts the patient's quality of life and their ability to live independently. So, MS management is focused on helping with the many symptoms of this disease.
By managing MS, patients are then able to become more independent in their day-to-day activities.
Multiple sclerosis management is also very much about relieving any pain for the patient.
Some of the symptoms of MS that can be managed include:
- Balance/coordination issues
- Poor posture
MS can make it incredibly difficult for a patient to even rise out of a sitting position or walk a short distance.
MS disease management is focused on helping patients live their normal life despite their many symptoms. Because the condition varies in severity and its symptoms for patients, management can be difficult – especially since some of the symptoms can be severe, such as major fatigue, depression, etc. You can find out more about multiple sclerosis treatment guidelines at https://www.everestrehab.com as well.
What Therapies and Approaches Are Successfully Used in Managing MS?
Some of the main therapies and treatments used to manage multiple sclerosis include:
Multiple sclerosis disease management will typically incorporate some level of physical therapy for treatment.
Physical therapy will involve tasks and activities that are aimed to help patients use devices or perform daily functions easier, allowing them to live life and operate as they please.
Physical therapy for MS patients will often include both stretching and strengthening exercises.
Along with a mobility aid, physical therapy helps patients mitigate walking and mobility issues that arise from multiple sclerosis.
Fatigue is a major symptom of MS that debilitates patients and makes it difficult to go about day-to-day life.
So, medicine such as Ritalin or Provigil may be prescribed to restore energy for patients.
Many MS patients become depressed due to symptoms of the condition.
Medications for depression, such as SSRIs, may be prescribed to help.
MS patients might have spasms or muscle stiffness that is both painful and debilitating.
Muscle relaxants – such as Zanaflex or Lioresal – may be prescribed to help ease this tension.
Walking is a key part of life that is greatly affected by multiple sclerosis.
So, prescribing medication for patients that help them walk faster is a big part of multiple sclerosis management – a common walking speed medication is Ampyra.
Due to the wide range of MS symptoms, each patient will have their own set of problems that can be aided with medication (such as insomnia, bladder problems, bowel problems, pain, etc.)
These symptoms can usually be managed with the help of certain medications.
How to Manage Multiple Sclerosis With Specialists
For successful multiple sclerosis management, it is best to contact and receive help from specialists.
Because MS is a condition that varies widely in terms of symptoms and severity in patients, every patient must be treated individually and receive treatment that best matches them.
Receiving treatment from an MS specialist ensures that the MS patient gets the exact help they need to live the highest-quality life possible while dealing with this lifelong condition.