What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that can cause symptoms throughout the body. It can lead to problems with vision, balance, muscle control and other basic functions of the body. Symptoms depend on what part of the central nervous system has been attacked.
What is the meaning of “Sclerosis” and what is the cause of this disease?
Multiple sclerosis is considered to be an autoimmune disease in which your immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissues in the body. Multiple sclerosis occurs when your immune system attacks fatty material called myelin. Myelin wraps around your nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve. Without the protection of myelin, your nerve fibers are prone to damage and can be destroyed. Sustained attack on the myelin sheath makes it inflamed and gradually losing its strength, leading to formation of scar tissue (sclerosis).
What are the various symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
- Trouble walking
- Feeling tired
- Muscle weakness or spasms
- Blurred or double vision
- Numbness and tingling
- Sexual problems
- Poor bladder or bowel control
- Problems focusing or remembering
How is MS diagnosed?
The diagnosis of MS can be easily missed!
Diagnosing MS early is very important, so that remedial treatment can be started early, with the objective of delaying the rapid onset of the disease.It should be noted that MS symptoms can mimic those of a number of other conditions. Symptoms can also be highly volatile, it can come and go from one day or week to the next, as well as change the intensity gradually over time. All of the above make diagnosing MS a real challenge.
What is the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis at Plexus?
The main aim of the treatment of multiple sclerosis is to improve and maintain function at home, work and community. Depending on the severity of the condition, at Plexus, we work closely with the patient to chart out a comprehensive MS carewhich comprises of the following:
Physiotherapists who work on people with MS, mainly concentrate on providing their body with strength to maintain function and movement. This is done using several type of exercises. They chart an exercise program which will prevent complications related to muscle weakness and muscle contractures due to spasticity.
Occupational Therapists work closely with people with Multiple Sclerosis, making sure their energy is conserved and their life is made easy at home, work and at other places in the community. The ultimate aim is to ensure maximum independence to the individuals with MS and to help them improve quality of their lives. They work on improving their ability to think, remember, focus, reason etc. Fatigue Management using Energy conservation and Work Simplification techniques form the crux of occupational therapy intervention in MS. Splinting is recommended and customized depending on the deficits presented by the patient, if spasticity is the concern then anti-spasticity splints are given and if muscle weakness interferes with daily functioning then functional splinting is preferred to regain lost function.
Speech and Language Therapy:
Individuals with MS have difficulty in controlling the muscles related to speech and swallowing. Various exercises of the jaw, lip and tongue are taught to strengthen the oral musculature. The aim of these exercises is to enhance ease and clarity of communication. Various swallowing exercises are taught to improve eating, chewing, drinking etc. This is to help with safe swallowing and enhancing
overall health. Articulation Therapy forms a core part of the treatment of SLPs wherein individuals with Multiple Sclerosis are shown how the mouth, teeth and tongue works to produce different sounds and words.
Apart from this the Plexus comprehensive treatment program includes a unique combination of medications and nutritive therapies that foster recovery and reduce the chances of a relapse.
Turning Setbacks Into Comebacks
About a year ago, Mr S was forced to quit his job as typing on the keyboard was fast becoming an next to impossible task. The diagnosis revealed that he was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis – a condition where nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged, resulting in severe muscle weakness, muscle spasms, and difficulty in muscle coordination.
Traditional treatment and medications used to treat Multiple Sclerosis, while modestly effective, can have side effects as well as be poorly tolerated by the patient – as was the case with Mr S. No amount of consultations with neurologists seemed to help and the weakness in his arms and legs continued to worsen. This debilitating disease was making even walking or raising arms a difficulty. On the brink of losing all hope of recovery, he was introduced to DrNa’eem, and through him to the wonders of Plexus.
After carefully evaluating his condition, the Plexus team designed an extensive program for Mr S. Our focus was on returning function, preventing relapse, and reducing the existing damage.
Mr S witnessed remarkable progress through the initial rehabilitation program. Our team ensured strict adherence to the program and proper, timely care. In just a few months, his condition had improved by 85%. His arm regained strength and he could now lift weights up to two kilograms. A quick recovery was on the cards and he soon returned to his hometown and rejoined work. Today, he is living a normal productive life, so much so that he regularly plays football. Truly an incredible recovery for someone who could not even walk a few months ago. Mr S’s story is one of triumph and a true inspiration for all Multiple Sclerosis patients facing setbacks in life.