Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation

Illustration of the body's nervous system

A rehabilitation program for people with MS is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient, depending upon the type and severity of the symptoms and the amount of impairment. Active involvement of the patient and family is vital to the success of the program.

The goal of MS rehabilitation is to help the patient return to the highest level of function and independence possible, while improving the overall quality of life - physically, emotionally, and socially.

In order to help reach these goals, MS rehabilitation programs may include the following:

  • exercises and activities to help improve motor skills, restore activities of daily living (ADLs), and help the patient reach maximum independence
  • exercises that promote muscle strength, endurance, and control
  • management of bowel or bladder control
  • use of assistive devices such as canes, braces, walkers
  • methods to improve communication skills for patients who have difficulty speaking
  • cognitive retraining
  • vocational counseling
  • adapting the home environment for ease of function, safety, accessibility, and mobility
  • patient and family education

The MS rehabilitation team:

Rehabilitation programs for patients with MS can be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Many skilled professionals are part of the rehabilitation team, including any or all of the following:

  • neurologist
  • physiatrist
  • internist and other specialists
  • rehabilitation nurse
  • dietitian
  • physical therapist
  • occupational therapist
  • speech/language therapist
  • audiologist
  • social worker
  • psychologist/psychiatrist
  • recreational therapist
  • case manager
  • chaplain
  • vocational counselor

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