Exercise: A tool to manage Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Thank you to Hailey Jungerman, CSU Student and Covell Care intern for her guest blog post!

Exercise can be a great way to manage symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive disease that can cause impairments in mental and physical functioning, and ultimately daily activities of life. There are many symptoms such as decreased flexibility and mobility, cognitive impairment, muscular spasticity, and depressive mood. Exercise can help in improving some of these, while managing most others. Though it is not a cure, exercise is a great way to improve quality of life by helping to manage the symptoms. In a meta-analysis of studies, it found improvements in cardio and muscular fitness through exercising. There was also indications of balance and walking improvements as well as consistent reductions in fatigue and depressive symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis patients {1}. Another study found that there could be enhancements in muscle strength, flexibility, stability, fatigue, quality of life and respiratory function {2}.

Multiple Sclerosis can lead many to being physically inactive which itself poses a threat of more complications, such as osteoporosis. In order to help manage symptoms and prevent other complications it is important to develop a personalized exercise plan. Beginning or continuing exercise with Multiple Sclerosis requires a medical clearance by a physician and the exercise program should be supervised. This is important as to not worsen any symptoms, and just for safety in general. The program should be focused on chief concerns of the patient and be closely monitored to ensure it is working.

Great news is that Covell Care offers physical therapy, group fitness classes and personal training that can assist in providing information and exercise programs personalized to you. If you are interested in pursuing these options, contact Covell Care at (970) 204-4331.

Works Cited:

{2} Halabchi, Farzin, et al. “Exercise Prescription for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis; Potential Benefits and Practical Recommendations.” BMC Neurology, vol. 17, no. 1, 2017, doi:10.1186/s12883-017-0960-9.

{1} Motl, Robert W, et al. “Exercise in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.” The Lancet Neurology, vol. 16, no. 10, Oct. 2017, pp. 848–856., doi:10.1016/s1474-4422(17)30281-8.