A Majority of people don’t know the nature or symptoms of some diseases; they’re content with what they hear about from friends or media. Let’s first identify multiple sclerosis in few simple words;
MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is a disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) when complicated dysfunctions occur to the breakdown of the neuron tissues and (myelin) responsible for the electrical signals carrying between cells is destroyed. This difficulty of communication results in the appearance of symptoms which worsen with the passage of time. Yet, the causes of MS are not clarified; it is either because of an abnormality of the immune system, or the inability of the cells to produce myelin.
This disease can appear between 20-50 years of age, it affects double the amount of females as it does to males. Symptoms, frequency and duration of the crisis are not the same in all patients. The most common symptom is vision problems, disturbances in gait, mental disorders and bladder disorders. However, the biggest problem faced by patients is the social isolation. This is mainly due to the lack of information in both patients and society. Patients in first stages defend themselves by concealing the illness as if it is an adhesive or a dangerous disease, they keep a secret about it, on the other side, no encouragement is shown by the society towards individuals with MS.
The role of exercise in Multiple Sclerosis has not matured yet due to the reasons mentioned before, but scientists have proved that exercise has positive effects on the muscular-skeletal and mental disorders. The recommendations do not include drugs prescription only; massage and physiotherapy come along with the everyday program of therapy. Nowadays, there are independent groups whom exercise regularly under the supervision of a special trainer.
Scientists’ trials of recent years have confirmed that aerobic and resistance exercise improves the cognitive functions of many patients with brain cells dysfunction, including MS. The combination of both types of exercises, beneficial not only in mental functions, but affect positively all collateral difficulties leading to progressive disability such as: loss of power, constant tiredness, listlessness, poor mood, depression and isolation. Groups with a moderate sclerosis who participate in special exercise programs show improvement in all those areas.
Today all individuals, whom are diagnosed with MS and continue to operate normally in most of their daily activities, should start an exercise program. Moderate exercise, such as swimming, jogging and cycling are the best to put in to a daily program. In coming posts I’ll refer to certain exercises that are suitable for people with MS, according to the official guidelines of the Canadian health system which is recommended by most of physicians.