Multiple Sclerosis Medical Inpatient Rehabilitation
Have you ever woken up to one of your limbs feeling "asleep" because you slept on it wrong during the night? Now imagine if you had these symptoms long-term. You would then have a slight idea of what it is like to have Multiple Sclerosis.
What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the brain and spinal cord, where the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) around the nerve fibers. This attack causes communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. Eventually, the disease can cause deterioration and even permanent damage to the nerves, leading to weakness, blindness, lack of sensation, and coordination.
Estimated 2-3 million people have been diagnosed with MS
Women are twice as likely to have MS, and it's commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20-50.
MS isn't contagious or inherited. However, having a first-degree relative with MS can be relevant.
Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which specific nerves are affected. Long periods of remission can occur as well as severe relapses of the disease without a known cause or trigger can also occur.
Unfortunately, there isn't a cure yet for MS, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society stresses that managing MS is an ongoing process.
Rehabilitation for MS
Inpatient rehabilitation can help an MS patient improve function and prevent further complications from the disease. At Shreveport Rehab Hospital, our rehab team will first understand the impact of MS on the patient's daily life and work with the patient to set goals for improvement in function. The rehab therapy team will develop an individualized plan of care for the patient and monitor the patient's progress. A specialized physical medicine rehabilitation physician will assess the patient and oversee the rehab plan of care in coordination with the therapy team. Other specialized physicians may also be involved with the medical management of the MS patient.
Physical therapy will play an integral part in the medical rehabilitation plan for the MS patient. The physical therapist (PT) will work with the patient using targeted exercises focused on improvements in balance and coordination and regaining strength.
As part of the rehab team, occupational therapists (OT) help the patient care for themselves and function in their daily life such as dressing, bathing, eating. OTs also can recommend ways to make the home and other environments such as the workplace more comfortable and easier to navigate.
Speech and voice challenges affect many people with MS; typically, patients with MS have challenges swallowing. The most common speech disability in MS is slurred speech. Speech and voice quality issues often occur during MS relapses or periods of extreme fatigue. As part of the treatment team, speech therapists use exercises to strengthen the patient's muscles in the lips, mouth, tongue, and cheeks.
Please contact us today to learn more about how our multidisciplinary rehab approach can help you cope whether you are newly diagnosed or experiencing a relapse.