Group Exercise Classes
Patients with neurological dysfunction resulting in abnormal posture and movement are at great risk of developing structural deformity. Treatment to control body posture and movement must be initiated at the onset of neurological disease and continued for so long as the danger of secondary complications exists. (Susan Edwards)
Traditionally the treatment of MS has been seen as being proffered when a patient has a particular problem. This, naturally, can demoralise both patient and Physiotherapist, as well as focusing the Physiotherapist’s mind on one element of the patient’s disability. It is difficult to oversee the continuing practice of general symptom-lessening exercise, long after a particular problem has been addressed.
It has often been pointed out (specifically by Carr and Shepherd) that MS patients ‘do well in a head injury unit, because of the positive environment’. Class work produces a similarly positive environment, as patients continue to come when feeling upbeat and healthy, know each other well, and support anyone in the group who is having problems.
While many Hospitals and Therapy Centres do offer group work, it is common to find that the emphasis is placed on strengthening, mobilisation and co-ordination exercises, with, one hopes, a little aerobic work thrown in. These are clearly of the utmost importance, and there is no intention here to suggestion that Patterning is of greater value, but it seems such a marvellous opportunity to involve the patients in their own continuing neurological rehabilitation, and subsequently, maintaining optimal function.
Physiotherapy is available to members following an initial consultation with Karen Middlemiss our MS Support Manager.
We believe that a physiotherapy assessment is important even for newly diagnosed patients who may not have any obvious physical problems. A physiotherapist can give good sound professional advice and any minor problems which may not always be obvious to the patient, may be picked up by the physiotherapist and corrected before they become too much of a problem.