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Assistive Devices for Multiple Sclerosis

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There is a variety of assistive devices that can help you manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). An assistive device is a tool or product that makes a certain function easier to perform. An occupational or physical therapist can prescribe these devices.

Below find a list of assistive devices and equipment that are available. Always consult your doctor, OT or PT before using any of these devices.

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Mobility Aids for Multiple Sclerosis

Orthotics: Orthotics are lightweight inserts worn inside the shoes that can be used to increase stability and decrease fatigue. Orthotics can help with spasticity in the foot and can help brace the foot.

Leg braces:Weakness of the leg muscles may make it more difficult to maneuver on stairs, rise from a chair, or walk. An ankle-foot brace can stabilize the ankle when there is weakness in the leg muscles that raise the foot. This brace fits into an ordinary shoe and prevents the toes from dragging. If muscle weakness occurs in the neck, a neck brace may be recommended to make you more comfortable.

Canes: A cane may be the most useful tool when one leg is weaker than the other, or when you have mild problems with balance. Here are some guidelines for cane use:

  • The cane should be held on the stronger side of the body while the weight is shifted away from the weaker side.
  • A quad cane (or four-legged cane) provides more stability than a standard cane.

It is a good idea to have a session with a physical therapist to learn how to properly use your cane or any assistive device.

Walkers: Walkers may be more appropriate when there is significant leg weakness or a balance problem. They can also provide support for maintaining balance. Wheels or platforms may be added to the walker if necessary.

Wheelchairs or scooters: Wheelchairs or power scooters may provide more independence. These are usually recommended when a person experiences excessive fatigue, unsteadiness, or occasional falls. A scooter can add a great deal of independence for a person with limited mobility.

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