22-28 April was MS Awareness week, and it was great to see the MS Trust using the opportunity to raise awareness of the latest research and to urge sufferers to increase their exercise levels.
In the past, those with MS were advised that they shouldn’t exercise. It was felt that since many people with MS experienced fatigue and found their symptoms worsened when hot, it was best to avoid activities that could be seen as tiring.
However, the MS Trust used MS Awareness Week to dispel this myth following new research which shows that regular, moderate exercise is now known to be an important part of maintaining good health and wellbeing for those with MS. In fact, there is evidence that gentle exercise can help reduce MS symptoms, and help shape a better quality of life for sufferers.
Neurophysiotherapist, Sara Davis, Clinical Director at Neurophysio Wales says the MS Trust advice correlates with what she sees in practice at the clinic:
“We specialise in working with clients suffering from neurological disorders like MS, and time and again we have seen clients improve with the right exercise.”Our recommendation is for MS patients to ignore advice like ‘go for the burn’, but to listen to your body and gently increase your activity levels. Doing anything to gently improve your activity levels is important, but clients will gain the best benefit from exercising under the supervision of a qualified physiotherapist or even better a neuro physiotherapist who is trained to teach exercise techniques proven to support brain health, neuroplasticity and mobility.
“The right exercises can be incredibly beneficial in reducing symptoms for MS clients, and it’s great to see the MS Trust raising the importance of exercise in managing this disease.”