MS and mobility

Treating MS can help to reduce flare-ups of your condition, helping you to function as normally as possible. But medication is just one part of the puzzle. There are also ways your lifestyle can affect your symptoms, so learn what you can do to maximize your ability to get around.

Treat the condition. While there is no cure for MS, there are medications that can help reduce both the severity and the number of relapses. Some types of medications (e.g., beta-interferons) are genetically engineered copies of proteins that already exist in your body, which, when injected, help regulate your immune system. They also help fight off viral infections that can take a toll on your mobility. Other medications (e.g., glatiramer, natalizumab) work by blocking attacks by the immune system.

In addition to treatments that affect your condition, there are also medications that can maximize your mobility by reducing your symptoms when MS flares up, including corticosteroids (which reduce inflammation), muscle relaxants, and medications to combat fatigue. Talk to you doctor about how these treatments can improve your ability to get around.

Exercise. Exercise is important for everyone, and all the more so for people with MS. It can improve your strength, muscle tone, and balance, all of which make it easier for you to stay mobile. If you are starting a new exercise program, just make sure to talk to your doctor first.

Get enough rest. MS can increase the amount of fatigue you feel, making the thought of going anywhere simply exhausting. Make sure you get enough sleep; that will help.

Watch the heat. Heat can increase your symptoms and cause muscle weakness - neither of which is good as far as mobility is concerned. So stay cool - especially in the summer - with air conditioning and cool baths.

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