A chartered physiotherapist is a trained healthcare professional specialising in physical function and movement. Physiotherapists specialise in the assessment and treatment of the mobility problems that may affect the person with MS i.e. muscle weakness, stiffness and spasms, reduced co-ordination and impaired balance.
Therapy aims to improve movement and prevent any complications that can arise. Therapy may include a stretching and strengthening programme, aerobic exercise, balance and gait rehab, a home-exercise programme, mobility skills, home visits, and the provision of aids where appropriate. Physiotherapy may be provided on an individual basis or in a group setting.
Physiotherapy is of benefit at all stages of MS, particularly where someone is recovering from an exacerbation or where their mobility status has recently changed. Physiotherapists can also offer advice and practical tips on managing fatigue and falls prevention.
The role of the physiotherapist in the multi-disciplinary team is to advise other members of the team of the physical ability of the person with MS. Regular liaison with other members of the team ensures effective and efficient management of any problems the person with MS may encounter.
Physiotherapists work in the community, in hospital and in private practice and can be accessed through a family or hospital doctor or through self-referral if attending a private practice.
Useful Links and Resources
Shift.MS have some video interviews with physiotherapists specializing in MS.
The following websites have some further useful information and resources on how physiotherapists can support people with MS and how to make the most of physiotherapy appointments:
MS Society UK: