Multiple sclerosis (MS) is different for everyone. You can get symptoms in many parts of your body.
MS is a neurological condition. That means it affects your nerves. It's caused when your immune system isn’t working properly.
Only a neurologist can diagnose MS.
Signs and symptoms
MS has lots of different symptoms. Most people won't experience them all, certainly not at the same time.
Symptoms might include fatigue, vision problems or difficulties with walking, but MS is different for everyone.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system. In MS, the coating around nerve fibres (called myelin) is damaged, causing a range of symptoms.
More than 100,000 people in the UK have MS. Symptoms usually start in your 20s and 30s and it affects almost three times as many women as men.
Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage the condition and its symptoms.
We don't know the cause and we haven't yet found a cure, but research is progressing fast.
What happens in MS?
To understand what happens in MS, it's useful to understand how the central nervous system works.
A substance called myelin protects the nerve fibres in the central nervous system, which helps messages travel quickly and smoothly between the brain and the rest of the body.
Exposed electrical cables - similar to exposed nerves
In MS, your immune system, which normally helps to fight off infections, mistakes myelin for a foreign body and attacks it. This damages the myelin and strips it off the nerve fibres, either partially or completely, leaving scars known as lesions or plaques.
This damage disrupts messages travelling along nerve fibres – they can slow down, become distorted, or not get through at all.
As well as myelin loss, there can also sometimes be damage to the actual nerve fibres. It is this nerve damage that causes the increase in disability that can occur over time.
As the central nervous system links everything your body does, many different types of symptoms can appear in MS.
The specific symptoms that appear depend upon which part of your central nervous system is affected and the job of the damaged nerve.
At TherapyMatters we work with people who have MS and we help them to improve from their relapses in their condition - as well as to manage the functional problems that they have in their day to day lives. People with MS can present with balance and strength issues, effecting their walking, stability, reaching and grasping objects, as well as their endurance and stamina. We are a skilled team of neurological physiotherapists and occupational therapists and we will be able to assess you and work with you through a rehabilitation programme to help you reach your best potential functional activity and to then try and maintain it for as well and as long as you can. Please phone us if you want to discuss this or have any questions to ask - we are happy to chat and we are sure that we would be able to help you with your rehabilitation.