Physical Therapy and MS: One Size Does Not Fit All
Objectives: To describe a program of ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation that is targeted specifically towards MS patients and to review outcomes in 10 patients treated for 12 months.
Methods: Total Rehab and Fitness and The Elliot Lewis Center for Multiple Sclerosis Care assessed fatigue and mobility on 10 MS patients referred for therapy. Ability to adhere to the program, fatigue, fall frequency, and walking assessments, including 25ft, and 6-minute walk tests, were measured at 13 week intervals.
Results: Self-reported outcomes include improvements in fatigue and endurance, frequency of falls, and overall quality of life. Quantitative results on standard measures will be shown in table format.
Conclusions: Comprehensive, specialized rehabilitation can result in sustained improvement in fatigue and walking in MS patients with physical disability. These findings will hopefully lead to further research and an increase in the availability of comprehensive rehabilitation services for MS. Future studies should focus on other benefits of long term maintenance therapy, as well as fatigue, endurance, and quality of life in MS. Exposure, education, and training of physical therapists early in their career can make this type of essential therapy available to more patients.