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Multiple sclerosis treatment

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It can cause a variety of symptoms, from loss of movement to reduced sensation and balance. MS is a lifelong condition, but for many people it is possible to treat the symptoms.

At Circle Rehabilitation, we build bespoke private treatment and rehabilitation programmes for people with multiple sclerosis. Our aim is to build your independence as much as we can. Our rehabilitation programmes are medically-led - your care and rehabilitation is overseen by one of our specialist rehabilitation consultants and physicians.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease where your immune system attacks the myelin sheath: the fatty coating of nerve cells that is essential to the functioning of the central nervous system. This damage interferes with the transmission of signals between the brain, the spinal cord and the peripheral nerves, affecting muscle control.

The cause is unknown. Multiple sclerosis could be caused by genetic factors, environmental factors like infection, or a combination of the two. It affects young people and is more common in females than males.

It is thought that MS affects more than 100,000 people in the UK, making it the most common form of disabling neurological condition among young adults.

There are three types of multiple sclerosis:

  • The most common is remitting/relapsing MS, where patients have an episode, then it desists, then it returns again
  • Often, people with relapsing MS will go on to have secondary progressive MS, where they have disabilities independent of any relapses
  • With primary progressive MS, symptoms develop gradually over time rather than as attacks or relapses

Whatever type of MS you have, it is likely that you will experience it differently to other sufferers, even if they have the same type as you.

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis are different for everyone. They can include:

  • pain in either or both eyes, blurred vision and vision loss
  • an impact on communication including talking with slurred speech
  • tingling and numbness
  • increased weakness and loss of coordination
  • difficulty in bladder and bowel control
  • (in the latter stages) issues with swallowing and breathing

A number of tests can be performed to confirm a diagnosis of MS, including MRI scans and lumbar punctures.  There is currently no cure for MS, but with diagnosis and proper treatment, many people who live with MS are able to regain some of their function and independence.

There are medications available that can delay the progression of the condition in about a third of people, though it won’t alter the final outcome.

Rehabilitation has a significant role to play in the management of multiple sclerosis. At Circle, we are committed to helping people get their abilities and independence back as best we can.

We start by considering what you need to be able to go back to your own home. Then, we build a rehabilitation plan around how we as a team can best help you get there, preparing you for the transition and helping you through it.

We will set clear rehabilitation goals and our multidisciplinary team will work together with you towards achieving them. Each recovery plan is unique, and we will build yours together with you.

Our specialist care team includes doctors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and psychologists. We offer a comprehensive rehabilitation service, based around the latest research and best practice guidelines for MS, and tailored to your individual needs.

We offer intensive treatment programmes in our purpose-built rehabilitation centres based in Reading and Birmingham, both of which offer the latest equipment designed to help you get back your independence.

You can benefit from specialist equipment including:

  • A Lite Gait walking therapy device
  • Premium gym and exercise equipment
  • The MOTOmed exercise bike (specially developed for neurological rehabilitation)
  • The Biodex Balance System SD (for balance and agility)
  • A DAVID spinal strengthening kit
  • The Hydro Physio aquatic treadmill
  • An AlterG anti-gravity treadmill

Many of these facilities are unavailable elsewhere in the UK except in specialist training facilities, for example for the armed forces.

Our multiple sclerosis recovery programmes can include the following services:

  • Resistance or strengthening exercises
  • Aerobic exercises (such as cycling/running)
  • Stretching (helps keep muscles supple and relaxed)
  • Range-of-motion exercises (moving the arms, legs, wrists and ankles in wide-reaching circular patterns)
  • Posture exercises help keep your feet, knees, pelvis, and shoulders and head properly aligned, to reduce strain on the muscles and bones in the body
  • Advice on diet
  • Fatigue management therapy
  • Psychology support
  • Speech and language therapy

If you are struggling to regain your independence or confidence after developing MS, why not seek help from experienced specialists in a purpose-built facility?