Polestar Faculty Nichole Anderson, NCPT has had the pleasure of working with many clients with MS and has enjoyed the constant learning process it has provided.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society defines MS as a:
“disease that involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS) which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves”.In other words, MS involves a person’s immune system attacking their nerves. In our huge network of nerves, information has to travel quickly to allow us to act spontaneously. Many nerves are covered in myelin. This both insulates and accelerates the rate at which information travels in the nerve. When the immune system consistently attacks the myelin, it becomes damaged and forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name. As the disease progresses, the nerve fiber itself can become damaged and destroyed. What does this mean on a larger scale? When the myelin is scarred or the nerve fiber damaged or destroyed, a large number of nerve impulses from the brain and spinal cord are interrupted and/or distorted. All actions in the body and brain are triggered by some sort of nerve impulse which is why symptoms can vary from person to person.
Who Gets Multiple Sclerosis?
- Keep it cool!: A warm room can create a challenging movement experience for someone with MS and can even precipitate a flare-up.
Warm up with hand and foot stimulation and movement. Depending on ability, I either do this for clients or have them do it to themselves. This can include:
- toe pulling, tapping the bottoms of the feet with fingers
- vigorous rubbing of the feet and ankles
- interlacing fingers with toes and making circles
- active movement of the ankle such as tracing the alphabet in the air with each foot.
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