Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that affects around 100 000 people in the UK. Physiotherapists have a key role to play in helping people to manage the specific symptoms of MS, including mobility and movement problems and fatigue. There is strong evidence that exercise within a rehabilitation programme can increase activity and improve the health and well being of people with MS.
Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week
MS awareness week is from the 28th April -4th May and as part of this we have an associated #physiotalk chat planned which is supported by the MS trust, TiMS (Therapists in MS) and ACPIN (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology)
The chat will be on Monday 28th April from 8 – 9pm (BST) using the hashtag #physiotalk
The theme of this year’s MS awareness week is linked to their celebration of 21 years since the foundation of the MS trust information service – looking back at the achievements of the past 21 years and looking forwards to the challenges that lie ahead.
Over the past 21 years the physiotherapy offered to people with MS has also changed – but how and what has driven these changes?
- Has there has been a shift in emphasis to offering physical health advice to people earlier following their MS diagnosis?
- Are services set up help people needing complex neuro-disability care in the later stages of disease progression?
- What about current approaches to spasticity management?
- Are services available that can offer person centred care throughout their disease progression?
- What are the issues if a person with MS requires physiotherapy from a non-specialist – such as going to a MSK appointment for low back pain?
The questions we are going to be asking during the hour long chat are:
- What are the core physiotherapy services that should be offered to all people with MS?
- Supplementary question: ‘Many people with MS take anti-spasticity medications. How important is it for physiotherapists to become supplementary prescribers for these drugs?’
- Many people with MS give up exercise activities soon after diagnosis. What is the most effective way of helping people with MS remain active over the long-term?
- What are the developments you want to see in your treatment approach or service? Are these patient led?
- How do we support physiotherapists, at all levels of expertise, to enhance their knowledge of MS management?
Before the chat you might like to have a look at the following pre-chat information:
- There are a number of Cochrane reviews detailing evidence in MS
- Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care NICE clinical guideline CG8 (currently being updated – more information here)
- Physiotherapy works
Post-chat information and resources
Thanks to all who took part in the chat – with special thanks to those with specific expertise on the subject and great to have a person with MS taking part to offer their invaluable insights.
Lots of links to interesting resources tweeted tonight – here they all are in one place for you to refer to