May 30th is World Multiple Sclerosis day and this year the theme is ‘my invisible MS’. The aim of World MS day this year is to spread awareness of the invisible symptoms of MS and the unseen impact of MS on quality of life.

Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological disorder which currently affects 25,000 Australians (data published in February 2019). MS will cause impairments in muscle strength and subsequently affects both ability to walk and balance, thus significantly impacting the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis. But there are also other unseen, invisible impacts of MS- most commonly being severe fatigue and heat intolerance that can make it very challenging for people living with MS to live their day to day lives.

This World MS day, Active Ability are proud to share with you the story of one of our lovely clients, Greg. Greg was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2012. Prior to beginning with our Exercise Physiologist Adelle, Greg had very poor balance. His legs had been impacted by his MS, and he struggled to climb stairs even with the assistance of a handrail. Due to the impairments caused by Greg’s MS, his ability to walk was also affected, and he often used a walking frame to prevent him from falling.

After only 7 sessions with his exercise physiologist Greg has noticed changes in his muscle strength. He mentioned that before beginning his exercise therapy he had to use his hands to lift his legs when getting in to the car, but now he is able to lift his legs independently on most days. Adelle, Greg’s Exercise Physiologist, has noticed the changes too. Greg has gone from completing one set of exercises to performing 2-3 sets, and his technique has also improved! Greg’s balance has also improved greatly- in 7 weeks he was able to double the amount of time he could stand with his feet closer together (further challenging his balance). Greg’s ability to walk has been the biggest improvement – he is now able to complete 3 full laps of his courtyard where previously he could only manage 2.

Greg has been enjoying his exercise sessions and says he can definitely see the benefits. These exercises have helped Greg to increase his confidence to be able to mobilise safely within his home and  community, and in the long term will improve his overall quality of life!

“Before I started these exercises I was using my hands to assist my left leg into the car but now I can get my leg in itself on most days.”

If you would like to know more about how exercise therapy can assist in the management of Multiple Sclerosis, please get in touch!