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Multiple-sclerosis | Blog | Physio.co.uk | Leading physiotherapy provider in Liverpool and Manchester.

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At Physio.co.uk, we provide specialist Neurological assessment and treatment for people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong condition that can present very differently from person to person.  If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with MS, it can be daunting if you do not know about the nature of the disease.  The aim of this blog is to discuss how MS may present and to highlight how Neurological physiotherapy can help to manage symptoms.

What is MS?

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the relaying of information from the brain to the rest of the body.

Ultimately, the body mistakenly attacks itself affecting various bodily functions, movements and sensations.  Meaning the information coming from the brain and spinal cord is often slowed down or damaged.

Everyone with MS presents differently.  Some people who are diagnosed with MS are only mildly affected and others struggle with day-to-day tasks.

Types of MS:

Multiple Sclerosis can be broken down into three types.  Your symptoms may vary depending on the type of MS you are diagnosed with.

1.     Relapse Remitting MS- About 85% of people diagnosed with MS will have this form of MS.

Presenting with periods of relapse- where symptoms may worsen or new symptoms may present themselves.  These symptoms may last for 24 hours or up to months.  A relapse is always followed by remission where the symptoms dissipate.  After 10-20 years, these symptoms often do not dissipate completely but may worsen.

2.     Primary progressive- Only 10-15% of people with MS present with this type.

Often presenting with weakening legs; primary progressive differs from other types of MS in that it is a progressive disease and there are no periods of relapses or remissions.

3.     Secondary progressive- This form of MS is the progression of Relapse Remitting MS. 

You may or may not have relapses and remissions.

Typical Presentation of those with MS

Symptoms of someone with MS varies from person to person (I know not the answer you were looking for) but below are some of the common symptoms you may experience/see:

·     Pain

     A Study by the National MS society showed that half the people with MS also experienced pain which can be secondary to muscle spasms, lack of movement, injury or signals from the brain making the body perceive pain when it may actually lack an anatomical reason

·     Muscle spasms

     Causes the muscles to feel heavy, difficult to move and stiff

     It is a sudden tightening or contraction of a muscle

     Again this is caused by damage from the brain to the muscle telling the muscle to contract when it is not appropriate

·     Muscle weakness

     Affects 80 percent of people with MS

·     Numbness and Tingling

·     Fatigue

     This comes on secondary to the brain having to cope with areas of damage

     It is different than being tired or exhausted

     It can present as both physical and mental fatigue

     It often comes on suddenly and required someone to stop an activity immediately

     Often considered the silent symptom

·     Balance and dizziness

     Balance can be affected directly from the de-myelination of the nerves from the brain to the body as well as indirectly from increased muscle tone, muscle weakness and/or fatigue.

     Approximately 1 in 5 people describe decreased balance as one of their first symptoms of MS

     Decreased balance can increase the risk of falls

·     Cognitive problems

     Affect around half of the people with MS

     This can include decreased memory, attention span, concentration, etc.

     This can be directly affected by the MS or as a side effect of a medication

     Depression, fatigue and anxiety can also affect cognition

How can physiotherapy help someone with Multiple Sclerosis?

Physiotherapy can help in the following areas:

     Improving independence in functional activities


     Fine motor and dexterity in the hand


     Reducing the risk of falls


     Tone management

     Fatigue management

     Managing pain

At Physio.co.uk, we offer the following Physiotherapy Treatment for people with MS

     Personalised Home exercise program

     Aerobic exercises

     Chair or/and bed based exercises

     Strengthening exercises using resistance such as thera bands, free weights

     Walking practice with and without aids

     Orthotics to help with foot drop caused by weakness and spasticity

     Functional electrical stimulation to help with foot drop


     Treadmill training

Please contact Physio.co.uk today on 0161 883 0066 to organise a specialist neurological physiotherapy assessment.

Useful Links


MS Helpline 0808 800 8000 (Closed weekends and bank holidays)

Find your nearest group, MS centre or specialist at www.mssociety.org.uk/near-me