Activity can’t prevent or delay the progress of neurological conditions but it can be very helpful in improving your quality of life. Exercise can help restore or improve movement and flexibility, and can help prevent falls.
Multiple sclerosis affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of symptoms including problems with muscle movement, balance and vision.
Physical activity does not prevent MS, however it can help improve muscle function, fitness, mobility and quality of life.
It can be hard to get started, many people with MS feel very tired and some find they get too hot. It is best to start small, with time you may notice your tiredness reduces. Swimming is good as it helps keep you cool, as can a tepid shower after you have been exercising.
There is more information on how being active helps with this condition on the Multiple Sclerosis Trust website
There is a really useful short video on pain that we recommend everyone watches. You can see it here. It’s less than 5 minutes long but might change the way you look at pain.
Physical activity is often used in the treatment and rehabilitation of many painful conditions:
- Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s own pain relievers
- It also helps distract you from your pain, thinking about something else can really help
- It helps make you feel better, helps you sleep better and reduces your stress levels, all of which help you cope with pain better
- You might find you can do more things without suffering pain.
For example people with osteoarthritis and back pain are generally advised to exercise. They will often find that as a result they can do more and have less pain.
There is more information on how being active helps with this condition on the British Pain Society website.
There is increasing evidence that pain management can help – you can read some excellent case studies here on how people with debilitating pain have recovered without surgery or drugs.
If you have back pain this is an excellent video to watch.
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which part of the brain becomes progressively damaged over many years.
The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
- tremor (involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body)
- slow movement
- stiff and inflexible muscles
People with Parkinson’s disease often avoid activity as they fear falling.
Physical activity does not prevent or affect the progress of Parkinson’s disease but it can help to maintain and improve mobility.
There is more information on how being active helps with this condition on the Parkinson’s UK website