By Michal Sakal, a physical therapist.
As you probably know, walking difficulties are common among people with MS. Walking problems, like many other functions, can result from various MS symptoms, such as spasticity, muscle weakness, balance or sensory disturbances, and more.
An experienced physical therapist (PT) can perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the patient’s functional capabilities and recommend a program tailored to the individual’s abilities and fitness level. It can vary from wheelchair yoga to a rigorous fitness program. Moreover, physical therapists can utilize various therapeutic techniques such as hydrotherapy and more.
The treatment might include increasing muscle strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, functional training, sensory practice, etc. It might also involve prescribing assistive aids, such as a cane, Nordic sticks, or a rollator, to enable efficient, safe, and energy-conserving is walking.
It is important to remember that, like everything else with MS, everyone experiences gait problems differently. Therefore, it may take some experimentation to find a program or a specific device that works. An experienced PT who is familiar with MS might be able to assist.
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