Use Exercise to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

The benefits of exercise in people with multiple sclerosis are well documented. Exercise can improve muscle strength, breathing, balance, bone density and overall fitness. Exercise can also improve bladder and bowel function, common problems in multiple sclerosis.

A well designed exercise plan ultimately can improve overall picture and quality of life. Be realistic. Assess mobility patterns and fatigue.

Use Exercise to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Integrate exercise into customary activities. Some exercises can be done in kitchen while waiting for food to cook. Others can be done while watching television or before getting out of bed.

Begin with only one or two exercises and few repetitions. Try exercises in horizontal position. Exercise on firm mattress or carpeted floor.

Examples include knee to chest raises, buttocks raises, arm raises and pelvic tilt. Exercise in seated position. Exercise in wheelchair at kitchen table.

Place palms on dish towel. Slide it forward across table to stretch arms. Use roll of plastic or foil wrap to do wrist and arm curls.

Take deep breaths while sitting to exercise abdomen. This can improve posture, which is often weakened in multiple sclerosis. Kneel on hands and knees for additional exercise.

Extend one arm or leg. Eventually work up to extending arm and opposite leg. Exercise abdominal muscles by pulling them in while kneeling.

Perform exercises in vertical position if mobility permits. Place chair nearby to hold. Keep knee straight while raising leg forward, behind and to side. Try exercises to maintain balance without chair.

Place feet close together and stand. Repeat with one foot in front of other.

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How to Use Exercise to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

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