Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) can be a challenge. Not only does it affect the physical and mental functioning of the body, but it can also limit your ability to exercise and stay active.
We conducted many interviews with people living with MS and their rehabilitation specialists, and here are the best tips we learned from them:
Some facts about MS:
1. The prevalence of MS varies widely around the world, being more prevalent in North America, Europe and Oceania and less prevalent in Asia and Africa.
2. There are four main types of MS: relapsing-remitting (RRMS), primary progressive (PPMS), secondary progressive (SPMS) and clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). The most common type is relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which is characterized by periods of relapsing symptoms (relapses) followed by periods of remission.
3. The severity of MS can vary greatly from person to person, and some people with MS may experience only mild symptoms, while others may become severely disabled. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, around 50% of people with MS will eventually require a wheelchair or other assistive device for mobility.
4. The life expectancy of people with multiple sclerosis is generally similar to that of the general population, although it may be slightly reduced for people with more severe forms of the disease. However, advances in treatment have greatly improved the outlook for people with MS, and many are able to live long and full lives.
5. Treatment: There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis, but there are many treatments that can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. These include medications, therapies, rehabilitation and lifestyle changes.
Keeping physically active
Exercise can help improve strength, balance and coordination, as well as reduce fatigue, depression and anxiety. It can also help with bladder and bowel control, and may even improve cognitive functioning.
When it comes to exercising with MS, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Low-intensity activities such as walking, swimming and cycling are most recommended.
Strength training can also be beneficial, but it is necessary to work with a physical therapist to ensure that the exercises are appropriate.
In order for everything to go well, you need to pay attention to your body and take breaks when necessary. If you feel pain or discomfort, stop and rest. Also, be sure to stay hydrated and nourish your body with healthy foods.
It is also important to find an exercise routine that you enjoy. This will help you stay motivated and on schedule.
Finally, it is necessary to talk to your doctor about any exercise-related concerns. They can advise you and help you develop a safe and effective exercise program.
Living with MS does not have to mean giving up exercise and physical activity. With the right plan and medical monitoring, you can stay active and healthy!
Being supported on a daily basis
The previous tips will only be useful if you couple it with a regular and qualitative medical follow-up.
To assist you with daily living, we recommend the reference site Mon Compagnon SEP, run by the French association Handicamp13, which provides support, tools and lists hundreds of resources to help people with MS live better in their daily lives.
My MS Companion also offers a digital and physical health booklet that allows you to keep track of your symptoms, store and share with your doctor all your medical documents and follow-up, and search for qualified practitioners in your area.
Use adapted equipment
In order to help you regain mobility on a daily basis, we have developed a motorized medical orthosis that accompanies your daily movements and reduces the effort required to walk, sit down, stand up or climb stairs: DREEVEN.
DREEVEN will also allow you to do resistive rehabilitation exercises at home to progress at your own pace. And thanks to its full-day autonomy and its lightness, it will allow you to move longer and further each day.
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