advanced Physical Therapy?

From Dan Howitt to forum. Are there kinds of physical therapy to decrease the rate of acceleration of multiple sclerosis? Advanced physical therapy?

I’m afraid not, Dan. Physiotherapy can really help with making the best possible use of what we’re left with, but, at the end of the day, physiotherapy - however intensive - is only physiotherapy: it isn’t going to alter the trajectory of the disease. Neither is any other physical therapy, and no reputable therapy would make any claims to do so. Anything that did make such claims would be a fake and a fraud, alas.


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Alison is absolutely right. Physiotherapy and other “mechanical” treatments cannot stop or reduce or cure MS.

However, there is still a place for good, professional physiotherapy and other mechanical treatments in the treatment of a patient with MS as these treatments can build strength, correct posture (thereby reducing undue strain on skeleto/muscular system) and, thereby help improve mobility and reduce pain.

I have had a number of periods of physiotherapy with experienced and very skillful neuro-physiotherapists and I also have treatment from a osteopath who helps with the back pain that is a result of the MS hug (ie the hug comes when my intercostal muscles are in spasm, this restricts/distorts all my physical movement and sends my whole skeleton into misalignment which then causes further restriction and pain.) The treatments do not remove the underlying cause of the problem which is MS but they do treat some of the knock on problems MS causes.

If you are going to have physiotherapy, I would say that you should ensure that the therapist you go to is a NEURO-PHYSIOTHERAPIST as their skill set is different to/ far more advanced than a normal “sports” physiotherapist

May I ask? Are you in the US? I only ask because you are referring to “physical therapy” which is not the usual term used on this side of the pond. If you are in the States, you might want to check up on the specialisms that are relevant there because they might be different to how the terminology is used in the UK.


When first dx’d I was given an old book published before any DMD were available entitled ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ by Professor Russell Ritchie (or Ritchie Russell)

He advocated doing 3 periods of 20 minutes of strenuous exercise each day and after exercising the person should lie down for 20 minutes with the head slightly lower than the torso. The ‘best’ exercise was press-ups.

I didn’t follow this regime ( press-ups - me - pigs might fly!) but there are people who do follow a strict regime of quite strenuous physical exercise and believe it to be beneficial.

If such a programme appeals to you there would be no harm in experimenting with say an exercise bike or a bit of swimming and see how you feel afterwards.

Most of what a neuro-physio will do is pretty much the same as Pilates - it could be written the other way around, but I think that Pilates came first.

But, if you are anywhere near an MS Therapy Centre, you should get in to talk to them - the costs of physio there are usually a whole lot lower. In fact it was an NHS neuro-physio who pushed me at the local centre, saying that they had much better equipment than she had access to.



This did make me inhale my coffee. It does make you wonder whether Prof. R.R. had ever actually met a person with MS!

As for the MSers who do all this…well, bully for them, but they would probably be feeling chipper even if they sat on the sofa eating pork scratchings all day, given that they are (by definition) already right at the ‘lucky swine’ end of the MS distribution curve! smiley