A diagnosis of MS can be a scary moment. What does this mean? How fast will I progress? How much longer will I be able to do the things I enjoy? All of these questions are swirling through your head and overwhelming you with emotion, especially because there is no way to answer them. A period of grieving following diagnosis is normal, and believe it or not, healthy. However, dwelling on these unknowns for long periods of time doesn’t change anything. So, go through your process, grieve, and then…
Where to begin?
Living with MS can be challenging, but following a few tips can make this challenge manageable, and even slow your progression.
Quit Smoking: Not only is smoking bad for your overall health but quitting can also slow the progression of MS. This can also help improve breathing and energy conservation, which is a concern for many diagnosed with MS.
Exercise: But wait… can’t exercise cause MS relapses?! This is a myth. It is true that working out at too high an intensity can cause short-term worsening of symptoms, though these only last for a few hours after exercise and return to baseline. Exercise WILL NOT cause MS relapses. What’s not a myth is the benefits you will feel from regular exercise, including reduced fatigue, improved mood, and improved cognitive functioning. A physical therapist is a great resource to educate you on the best types of exercise for you and start you on a personalized plan.
Get enough sleep: This can be a tough one since many people with MS will report sleep disturbances. This is important to discuss with your physician, as fatigue is a common complaint of those with MS, and getting enough sleep can make all the difference.
Pay attention to your mental and emotional health: Pretending everything is fine never helped anyone, MS diagnosis or not. Find ways to relax and relieve stress, whether it be yoga, meditation, or reaching out to a mental health professional to help you work through your feelings.
Pay attention to your diet: At this time, there is no one diet that has been proven to affect the course of MS. However, people can experience more severe symptoms when their diet has lower nutritional value. Current recommendations suggest decreasing caffeine intake, increasing fish plant-based proteins, and limiting saturated fats. A dietician can be helpful in developing a plan specifically for you.
Being diagnosed with MS can be many things: overwhelming, scary, and anxiety-provoking. But it doesn’t have to be (and isn’t) the end of the world. There are many things that can be done to improve your quality of life with MS, including exercise, getting enough sleep, improving your diet, and managing your stress. The good thing is, you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to friends, and family, and build a team around you that you trust (physician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, dietician, etc.)
Looking for a physical therapist to make part of your team? Wellness 360 Physical Therapy and Massage specializes in neuro rehab and can help you improve both your fitness and function. With multiple programs including 1 on 1 session, group classes, and an online Wellness on Demand platform, we have multiple tools to help you reach your goals.
To learn more about Wellness 360, visit our website at www.wellness360fitness.com.
Why choose Wellness 360 for your Physical Therapy needs?
One to One treatment. You will have your Therapist to yourself for the entire treatment.
A therapist that specializes in Neuro-treatments
No script is needed (in most cases)
Your goals are our focus!
2 Convenient locations, Webster, and Rochester
Mobile outpatient therapy option. Treatment in your own home if needed.
and so much more!
Schedule your evaluation today by calling 585-259-0782