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Treatments continued...

With plasma exchange, some of the blood is removed from your body. Your blood cells are separated from your plasma. The blood cells are then mixed with another fluid that replaces the plasma and are put back into your body. Doctors think it helps some people because it removes antibodies in the plasma that may cause problems in MS.

  • Watchful waiting. When symptoms are annoying but not severe, like a little numbness in your hand, you may choose to just watch them closely and see if they get better.

Talk with your doctor about what's right for you. You both may decide to avoid the hassle and side effects of steroids and just wait for the flare-up to go away.

"Steroids speed the healing of a relapse, but they don’t create healing that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise," Fox says. So you’ll recover just as much -- or as little -- without the steroids as you would with them.

Take care of yourself during a flare-up. "If it feels like you need more sleep, get more sleep," Fox says. But don't remain completely still. While the flare may limit your activities, you can -- and should -- still go about your daily business as much as possible. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, and pay attention to the signals your body is sending.