The Centre has offered exercise therapy for many years which has proved very beneficial to many people suffering with M.S. and other neurological conditions. The goal of exercise therapy is to provide the opportunity for people with neurological conditions to receive the benefit of supervised exercise to improve their fitness, balance, flexibility and confidence.
Many people with MS are unable to travel easily so attending the Centre regularly for any of the therapies or services has the advantage over traveling to different clinics. Allowing clients to have these for minimal cost encourages regular therapy.
The service is not designed to be a substitute for rehabilitation, but to supplement rehabilitation following a person’s discharge from a rehabilitation course received on an individual basis. The service should be a go-between in a person’s discharge from rehabilitation on a one-to-one basis, either within the NHS or privately, and their independent maintenance of their condition within the community.
The service is structured so that each individual is assessed on the first session. This is a comprehensive assessment, including a balance and mobility baseline. Our clients are then provided with an individual goal-based exercise program, with advice specific to their condition.
These sessions are conducted on a 1 to 1 basis.
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About Exercise Therapy
What happens after the initial assessment?
Following this, you will receive an examination appropriate to your specific problems. For people suffering with MS or other neurological conditions, this will include assessment of ability to move limbs, strength, feeling ability, how tight muscles are (your tone), how loose joints are and coordination. More detailed assessment may be needed of specific problems that may be found, for example, a painful joint. We have set up our exercise therapy to specifically improve peoples’ fitness, balance and strength. This is called the BAFTA Group (Balance And Fitness Training Activities). Many people with neurological conditions have problems with balance. If this is the case, we will use a standardised balance test called the BERG test, and possibly a walking test called the Timed Up And Go test (TUAG), to provide a baseline of your ability. These tests are used in many physio departments and are a useful way to show how much you have improved with any treatments that you receive, and are useful for annual reviews of your condition.
The BERG test involves various graded tests of your balance, and is scored out of 56.
If you are able to walk, the TUAG times you rising from a chair, walking around a mark placed 3 metres away, and returning to sit in the chair. This has proven a very sensitive way of measuring anyone’s walking ability.
What does it involve?
The first session with the Therapist will always involve a detailed assessment of your problems. You will usually be asked questions about your specific condition, your general health (including previous medical problems) and any tablets that you are taking, as these questions may influence the type of treatment you will receive. You will also be asked detailed questions on how your symptoms affect you, including the specific problems they cause you in your daily life at home, whilst you are out and about and in work, and what you feel you would like help in improving.
What can exercise do for me?
We have had significant success in helping people cope better and live with their condition.
People have found that there has been an improvement in their balance, coordination, ability to walk and fitness. We may be able to help you reduce pain caused through stiffness and contractures. If you are less mobile we can help you to stand with assistance and help you to develop better, more efficient ways of moving.
I don’t have M.S but feel I need exercise, who do you accept?
We are open to anyone with a neurological problem for assessment. If we do not feel we can offer you any help, then we will let you know after the assessment is complete. We will accept anyone with a neurological condition where their balance or mobility is affected, including those with MS, people who have suffered from a stroke, those who have Parkinson’s disease, mild dementia, and frequent fallers for any suspected neurological cause.
How long does a session last and what does it involve?
Sessions last for approximately 50 minutes and include exercises in sitting and standing (holding onto a rail if you wish) working on your balance, suppleness, strength and fitness.
Treatment may include specifically graded stretches and/or exercises for particular groups of muscles that have become too weak or too tight. Posture correction, gait re-education, strengthening exercises and assisted standing. These are very specific treatments tailored to the persons’ individual needs. Some of these techniques may be taught to carers to continue at home.
We have various equipment that we use to facilitate exercises, including specialist plinths, gym balls, wobble cushions, parallel bars, steps, an active/passive bicycle (this will allow even someone without any ability to move their legs or arms to exercise on a bike – the arm attachment allows arm exercises) and a tilt table.
We are fully kitted with a hoist for those who are unable to stand.
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