Multiple Sclerosis is an unpredictable and incurable neurological condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord. It’s a lifelong condition that sometimes causes serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild. The symptoms are as varied as the type of MS you may get, causing a wide range of potential symptoms; in particular, loss of balance, weakness and mobility degeneration. It’s a battle of the wills. Brain against the body. One says ‘go’ and the other says ‘no’. It’s like dealing with an insubordinate kid.
In many cases, it’s possible to treat MS and slow the progression down with disease modifying drugs and medication to treat symptoms. Diet and exercise are a holistic and often preferred choice of treatment when the condition is fair. However, in my personal experience of having had it for twenty four years, taking both; a Disease Modifying Drug and leading a healthy lifestyle contributes to longevity in quality of life. Generally speaking, the life expectancy of a patient with MS is slightly reduced due to complications which inhibit normal functioning of the body.
It’s most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s, although it can develop at any age. It’s about 2 to 3 times more common in women than men.
MS is one of the most common causes of disability in younger adults. If ever there is a good time to be diagnosed, it’s in recent times. The research and discovery of new treatments is broad. There is so much out there to help you on your journey. A plethora of advice, support and news for the newly diagnosed to the veterans is just a click away.
The symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person and can affect any part of the body.
The main symptoms include:
Fatigue- which I describe as that deep sleepy feeling of going under general anaesthesia.
Difficulty walking (your body says move but your brain says nope!)
Sight problems, such as blurred vision, optic neuritis, nystagmus and double vision.
Bladder problems (minimise caffeine intake- it tends to irritate the bladder).
Numbness or tingling in different parts of the body.
Muscle stiffness and spasms- you can be affected in such a way that walking like a tin soldier is standard).
Problems with balance and co-ordination.
Cognitive problems such as brain fog, short term memory loss and concentration.
Depending on the type of MS you have, your symptoms may come and go in phases or get steadily worse over time. However, you can alleviate and even reverse certain symptoms with Pilates. This beautiful technique of healing the body and mind has been a godsend to myself, personally and to many others who suffer with pain and conditions which affect them every day, in some form or another.
Pilates focuses on balance work, core stability, flexibility and proprioception (a marriage of balance and spatial awareness). For people with MS this has proven to be a manifestation of hope and positivity. The body is more responsive to movement, cognitive thinking and balance. As a result, the patient gains in confidence and mental wellbeing, creating a more optimistic outlook, which in turn leads to a healthier mind and body. I am certain that participating in regular classes of Pilates, has helped me overcome many obstacles and encouraged the confidence to try things that I never thought I’d ever do again.
Having had to take a year and a half hiatus from Pilates, it was depressing. My body was screaming for the need to recommence and it got to the point where I was experiencing low moods because I missed feeling good. I missed my classes. I missed the meticulous precision the instructors impart on our exercises.
I’m happy to report that I’m back on the mat, classes have resumed and that familiar sense of ‘this feels easy but it’s going to hurt later’ is back. For all the aching muscles I feel afterwards, it’s a great feeling and I know it’s beneficial to me.
It’s good to be back!
Take care, Eva x
A versatile writer, Eva is able to adapt her writing skills accordingly. Eva’s technique is typical of her personality; she is as comfortable writing casually with relatable humour, as she is writing in an official and sincere capacity. A professional blogger, content and article writer, Eva is also set to publish her first novel and is in the process of writing her second. Blog Site: evalauder.com