Multiple Sclerosis and Occupational Therapy
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS), is a neurological condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS – nerves in the brain and spinal cord) It is where areas of the CNS develop hardening or scarring around the tissue. The cause of MS is not fully understood however the response is thought to be due to an autoimmune response, where the immune system wrongly attacks the nerves myelin sheaths. The reasons for why the body develops this response remains unknown but certain risk factors have been identified such as genetics, infection, smoking. For a diagnosis of MS you will need to be referred to a neurologist.
There are several different types of MS:
- Relapsing remitting
- Primary progressive
- Secondary progressive
To find out more about the different types of MS go to https://www.mstrust.org.uk/understanding-ms/diagnosing-ms/newly-diagnosed-multiple-sclerosis/what-ms#types
MS cannot be cured, the majority of sufferers are diagnosed in early to mid adulthood, people learn to live with the disease. Symptoms and presentations vary however early signs often present as extreme fatigue, issues with co-ordination or dropping items, tingling or numbness of the skin, issues with eyesight (mstrust.org.uk)
The British Association of Occupational Therapists website describes the role as “help[ing] people engage as independently as possible in the activities (occupations) which enhance their health and wellbeing”.
The Occupational Therapy role within the treatment of MS may involve visiting people in their own home or work place to provide advice regarding management strategies, such as managing fatigue levels to improve function or equipment to increase independence. The focus of occupational therapy is to help the person to live as independently as possible maintaining their quality of life.
At OT partners we see the main aim of occupational therapy is to help people continue to live life as fully as possible. If you would like to discuss our services further please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com