MS and Exercise: Finding the Right Workout for You

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Leslie Murray
MS patients that come to us with a new diagnosis or a flare, we always want to address their strength, their range of motion, their coordination, their balance, and issue them an exercise program that is specific to them to help them continue an exercise program.

So we do address their balance for safety. We may give them exercises to maintain their strength. And then the fatigue, you always have to address, 'cause you want to make sure that they aren't overdoing. Someone that isn't having falls, they can have a regular generalized strengthening program, balance program, and core program, and then we work from there. As their deficits appear, we adjust it as needed.

If a patient comes in and they aren't able to do as an aggressive exercise program as they used to be able to do, we do try to find their interests. We always encourage people to swim, or yoga, or Pilates, or any low-impact exercise that they enjoy.

MS patients that are severe, we still need to maintain the range of motion. They may not be able to raise their arm, legs, so that caregiver has to do it for them, which in the long run will be beneficial for the patient. They won't be in pain, and it will be easier for the caregiver.