Multiple sclerosis can cause a number of physical changes in your body, including increased mobility challenges. Physical therapy may be able to help you deal with some of the mobility issues associated with MS.
One of the most common challenges for people with MS is “foot drop”. This condition is typically caused by weakness in some of the foot muscles involved in walking. There is an inability to lift the front part of the foot. This causes the toes to drag along the ground while walking.
To compensate, people with foot drop sometimes lift their knee higher than normal or they may swing their leg out to the side in an arc. Foot drop can increase the risk of falls and decrease your ability to walk comfortably.
Physical therapy for people with MS-related foot drop typically focuses on building strength in the foot muscles and reducing stiffness through stretching exercises. The physical therapist will probably also have you do exercises, which retrain your ankle so it works correctly when you’re walking and balancing.
It’s important that you seek out a Physical Therapist with training and experience in treating MS-related issues and mobility challenges. Ask your MS team for a referral to a qualified Physical Therapist and begin strengthening your muscles.