Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune condition. The body’s immune system attacks the myelin that is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. When the attack dies down, it leaves behind scarring of the myelin sheath, this is known as sclerosis. Multiple attacks can damage the underlying nerve fibre. This causes interference between the brain and parts of the body affected.
It is the most common neurological condition affecting young adults. Around 100,000 people in the UK have MS and it is twice as common in women as men.
It can be characterised by periods of relapse and remission, or it can follow a progressive pattern.
There is no one reason for someone to develop MS, but it is known to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Given the wide range of physical effects that MS can have on an individual, the initial consultation must be particularly in-depth. We need to establish a person’s goals and expectations from the treatment we can provide. During our detailed assessment we will explain the different orthotic prescription options to you, and how they can ameliorate your particular symptoms.
Orthotic treatments for MS have to manage a wide range of complex problems, including spasticity, weakness and joint instabilities. Depending on the exact symptoms presented we can offer a range of orthotic prescriptions, from Neurological Insoles to Functional Electronic Stimulation (FES) and Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses (KAFOs) to aid muscle weakness in the leg. More and more we have been prescribing the Neuro Swing Ankle system because it provides us with the means to continually fine tune our prescription to respond to changes in a patient’s symptoms.
All of our orthotics are bespoke/made-to-measure. We can also design hybrid FES orthotic systems. These combine the mechanical advantage of a plastic orthotic with the electronic stimulation which can improve function using the body’s own musculature. There is published research about the beneficial effects of FES for MS sufferers.
For support and more information on MS please visit www.mssociety.org.uk