Multiple Sclerosis

Amy Bean
Wednesday, May 25th, 2022



World MS day is the 30th May. The theme for 2022 (and 2023) is to build connections. Build connections to quality care, build connections to communities, both local and worldwide, and to build connections with yourself if you have MS.

To help support World MS Day, we wanted to provide a beginners guide to learning more about MS. What is it? How does it affect people? What treatment and management is available? and can Saebo help in anyway?

What is MS? 

MS is a condition that affects the central nervous system which is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. It disrupts the information being sent to and from the brain to the central nervous system that controls everything our body does. This results in a wide range of varied symptoms such as reduced movement, memory problems, and sensory changes.

The exact cause is unknown, but we do know that the body’s immune system starts attacking the brain and spinal cord, reducing the protective myelin coating surrounding the nerves carrying messages to and from the brain. Because this protective coating is gradually destroyed, the messages get disrupted. The more extensive the damage, the worse the symptoms are.

It is a progressive, auto immune disease, which means the condition worsens over time and it is a result of the body’s own immune system essentially attacking itself.

To learn more about what MS is, the MS Society UK has produced a helpful video below

Symptoms

MS symptoms are variable and unpredictable. The most common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Reduced mobility
  • Vision problems
  • Sensory changes, e.g. numbness and tingling
  • Muscle stiffness and spasms
  • Problems with cognition e.g. memory, planning
  • Reduce balance and coordination

There is no one single test that diagnoses MS. Diagnosis is through a combination of medical history, neurological tests, spinal fluid analysis and MRI scans. If you think you or someone you know may have MS you should seek medical advice.

Many of these symptoms can be treated and managed with medication, rehabilitation and long term management strategies.

Treatment Options

Although there is no cure for MS, treatment can be effective in controlling the disease, helping with specific symptoms and helping recovery after relapses.

Medication

This is changing all the time as more funding and research is put into this area. The list below highlights just a few examples of medication that may be used

  • Steroids – can help recovery from a relapse (episode of worsening symptoms)
  • Amantadine – for fatigue
  • Anti spasticity medication for muscles stiffness and spasms e.g. Gabapentin, Baclofen
  • Anti depressants such as Amitriptyline for neuropathic pain
  • Disease Modifying Drugs – aim to reduce the damage happening to the nerves. Not suitable for everyone. For more details on these specifically, visit MS Society DMDrugs or MS Trust DMDrugs

Therapy

A mix of different therapy will be helpful, depending on the symptoms e.g. Physiotherapy for balance and mobility, Occupational Therapy for fatigue management and aiding independence with every day living, and Nursing for continence and medication. This is not an exhaustive list and everyone will benefit from their own tailored therapy programme.

There are also growing options online for self management (or with guidance from a therapist) such as the exercise programme below developed by the MS Society

 

 

Therapy is an area in which some of our Saebo products may be beneficial.

  • SaeboStretch – Resting hand splint to wear over night to help stretch the hand if it starts to claw and tighten
  • SaeboGlove – Dynamic hand splint to help with grasp and release. Not suitable if the grip is already very weak.
  • SaeboStep – Foot Drop splint. If your foot starts to catch when walking due to weakness, this provides lift of the foot.
  • SaeboStim One or SaeboStim Pro – Electrical stimulation can help with stiffness, weakness, and reducing swelling.

If you are not sure if any of these may be suitable, please contact our Clinical Team for phone advice or to arrange a free video consultation

Support and Information links 

MS Society

MS Trust

MS Research 

UK Multiple Sclerosis National Therapy Centres  (49 member centres throughout the UK, Channel Islands and Gibraltar)

 

World MS Day – 30th May 2022

On 30th May each year, the global MS community comes together to show solidarity and support. Activities run through May and into June to promote this years campaign which is Connections. Across social media follow #MSConnections .

The purpose of the campaign is to help those who feel isolated in many ways to find connections with better services, support networks, and alleviate any sense of isolation or loneliness.

To help support this campaign, you can download Tool Kits from the World MS Day website – click on the worldMSday image above to visit their site and learn more.

 

 




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