Casey: What can MSers do to help with their balance and wobbles?
Matt Justin, MS Nurse: The best way to deal with that is to speak to somebody who can potentially help. You know, initially, if someone came to me, I would almost certainly think about referring them to physiotherapy. Balance can be affected with people with MS, sometimes it’s through the centres in the brain which control their balance, sometimes it can be other symptoms that can make their balance worse. All balance can be exercised and improved, for example, if I practised walking a tightrope eventually I’d be able to do it, apparently. But if someone’s got problems with their balance related to MS, if they went to a physiotherapist they’d hopefully be able to work and improve their balance. Often it’s about improving your core strength and stability and that helps with your balance. So firstly it’s important to try and get to the point, the reason why you have got difficulty balancing, it could be vision again, or it could be related to something more fundamental that physiotherapy could certainly help with.
Casey: Okay. How would an MSer get in touch with a physiotherapist?
Matt: It depends on the area they live in. Example, where I’m from in Lothian, so we can refer or an MS nurse or a doctor or a GP can refer directly to physiotherapy, there are certain physiotherapy centres throughout Lothian that can self-refer as well. Often you need to know that, so again, talking to your MS nurse beforehand and there should always be access to physiotherapy wherever you are.
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