Forum

Physio

Just had bad relapse numb from waist down, feeling is back about 80% but now I can’t walk have seen ms nurse she has referred me for physio but have been told the waiting list is 16 weeks so I paid private to see a physio yesterday she said I need to build my core muscles and this will help my balance and my walking but I have been researching it a bit more today while I will be good for me to excercise these muscles I don’t think it is going to improve my walking so am I just wasting my money seeing her ? Thanks for any advice Jenny

Hi Jenny,

I DO think it will help your walking! Weakness of the core muscles is a very common problem with MS, and almost any physio who works with MSers will encourage efforts to strengthen them.

Basically, the core muscles are the ones that help you stand upright. There’s not much point telling you to go off and practice walking, if you lack the basic strength to stay standing for long.

So it may not seem like it has anything directly to do with walking, but I’d say it’s the ground work (no pun intended) on which walking is based. If your core isn’t strong enough to support your own weight, walking will be limited, at best.

It’s up to you whether you think it’s worth the money, but I think you’ll get pretty much the same advice from the NHS physio - but after the 16-week wait. If you can afford it, I’d give it one or two more goes, at least, and try practicing what she preaches, before you dismiss it as irrelevant.

Unfortunately, physio doesn’t deliver instant results, and that might mean you have to invest in a few sessions before you know if it’s helping at all. I wouldn’t give up the day after the first session, though.

Although, to be fair, when I went privately, I didn’t have to commit to repeated sessions. He presented me with a nicely bound, personalised booklet of all the exercises he’d recommended, and really, the onus on me was to get on and do them. I wasn’t as conscientious about them as I probably should have been (Is anyone, unless they were very sporty before?) But I do think they were sound advice. The rest has to come from the patient.

Tina

x

What happens when physio stops curious I wish I could exercise like I used to but not possible.

I got admmited for rehab and they did excersise which Heather and I do most days, without it I know I would just be laying here keep it up they got me back on my feet after five months in bed, Don

Hi

Just to back up what Tina said, I think it will improve your walking. When I started getting beuro physio, it was a bit weird as it meant having to cconsciously learn how to do something that I had otherwise just done my whole life without thinking about it. But as she says, your core should be the base on which good walking is built. Whenever I do my exercises my walking, standing & balance are always better.

When you get it, make sure you take lots of rest, even if you don’t feel fatugued - you’ll be using your muscles in ways they’ve not been used for a while. So they will get fatigued, even if you don’t feel tired overall. There’s been times when I’ve pushed it during a session & done a lot, but ended up feeling a bit rubbish the next day. So pace yourself (a good physio should be fine with you doing that). And make sure you do the exercises at home too, as they’ll help you improve more quickly.

Good luck, hope it foes well.

Dan

I pay for physio and credit that with keeping me on my very unsteady feet. Did the physio give you exercises to do at home? If you want me to try to describe the ones I have pm me. X

I would echo all the above advice. I did wait six months to see a neuro physio. I could still walk but with difficulty as my calf muscles were very tight so I did some yoga exercises at home which released the tightness in my calf muscles. I didn’t think there would be much she could do for me by the time I saw her but my balance was still very poor. The exercises seemed fairly basic but I was amazed at the difference they made and I am much more steady on my feet than I was and it helped with the pain too. They do really know their stuff.

If cost is a factor there are some good exercises on the MS Trust website and you can also order a DVD from them. I worked my way through some of them whilst waiting to see the physio and they were also useful.

Tracey xx

I had 6 months of physio a few years ago after a nasty relapse.

They worked on my core muscles/strength and it helped me a lot.

I am glad i went. I cant say i would have been happy if i had to pay for it though.

I had to wait to be seen but not as long as you.

If you can afford to pay privately then i would go ahead. If you struggle with the cost then i would google ‘core’ exercises and do some basic exercises at home whilst you wait for the appointment.

Teresa.x

Thanks for all your comments feel a bit more reassured now. Jenny x

Strengthening the core muscles definitely helps with walking - I have exercises set by a physio that I do at home and I am walking better than I used to. I use my walking stick much less in the office than I used to, I don’t lean on it as much as I used to when I’m out and my stamina has improved too.

I do my exercises first thing in the morning, 5 mornings a week. That way, they’re done and I don’t need to worry about finding the energy later on to do them. It’s very much up to me to put the effort in (my physio warned me of that when he first saw me), but the whole routine takes less than 15 minutes to do, so it’s manageable. I was never sporty and I always used to be rather hit-and-miss about exercising (mostly miss), but these exercises are a way of fighting back against MS - and having had noticeable results within the first 2-3 months, that made it easier to keep going.

Alysea, my physio assessed my general fitness as well as my mobility, balance etc and tailored a programme to suit my capabilities. The exercises make me breathe a bit harder than normal but I feel energised rather than exhausted after I’ve finished. I notice a difference the mornings I don’t exercise but it is apparently better for the body to have a day or two per week off from exercising. My check-ups/progress assessments with the physio feel like much harder work than the actual daily exercise programme!