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.
Now that you finally have a name -- multiple sclerosis -- to match the symptoms that have been plaguing you, you've probably got a lot of questions about how to treat those symptoms and keep your condition from getting worse. Although researchers haven't yet discovered a cure for MS, there are many effective medications to help manage your disease. Your doctor will work closely with you to find the treatment that works best for you while causing the fewest side effects.
Here is a rundown of your...
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 foot muscles. 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.
Walkers: Walkers may be more appropriate when there is significant leg weakness. 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.
Aids for Activities of Daily Living
Hand-held shower head
Grab bars installed in shower/tub
Grab bars near toilet
Toilet seat with armrests (a raised seat with armrests can be placed over a regular toilet)
Velcro, buttons, zippers, and hooks on clothing
A stool for sitting while dressing
Wheeled utility cart
Electric can opener
Specialized utensils, such as large-handled spoons and forks, or ''sporks,'' and rocker knives
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