The MS Mythbuster
When people hear MS there are many things that come to mind but they are not always true. Here is the low down on what we KNOW.
‘I have MS and there is nothing I can do’
A lot of people feel quite helpless when they are first diagnosed with MS yet there are a lot of things you can do to help manage your symptoms. There are clinical guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to help manage MS. Recommendations include exercise classes, yoga and mindfulness.
‘I am too well to use the Therapy Centre’
This is a comment we hear a lot at the Centre. Many people believe the Centre can only help those with fairly progressed MS. In fact, just like Disease Modifying Drugs, the earlier you start the better it will be in the long term.
‘Having MS means I will end up in a wheelchair’
This is one of the most common fears when people are first diagnosed with MS. The truth is no one knows. Mobility issues are some of the most prominent visual symptoms of MS yet most people will never need a wheelchair on a regular basis. If you have any concerns please talk to your GP, neurologist or one of the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre physiotherapy team.
‘No one else understands’
It is true that no-one will experience MS just like you: you are unique as is the variety and severity of symptoms you will experience. However, there are a lot of shared experiences of MS and there is no need to be alone. The Berkshire MS Therapy Centre offers a chance to meet other people in a similar situation. Alternatively there are many online support forums including Shift.ms, a social network for people with MS.
‘The news says there is a new cure’
Sometimes a new treatment hits the headlines and can be hailed as a new cure. Whilst advancements are good news, it is important to remember that not all treatments work for everyone and sometimes there are years between research and it being offered.
‘I will die early’
Despite there being no cure for MS, statistics show that most people with MS will live into their 70s. Whilst this is a few years shorter than the general population, this gap is increasingly closing. Some symptoms may lead to further complications so it is important to make sure you manage your symptoms as well as possible and to look after your general health.
‘My family will have MS too’
This is one of the most common concerns. Whilst genetics do play a part in MS, it is just one factor and MS is not classed officially as an inherited disease. There is an increased risk but it is far from being common. If one parent has MS, there is a 1 in 67 chance of a child being diagnosed compared to 1 in 330 in the general population. The ‘further away’ the family connection is, the lower the odds become.