I enjoy reading new research on balance and how to help ourselves get better. Ball catching was found to enhance balance in seniors. The article discusses anticipatory control. When you catch a ball there is a small perturbation that happens right before you catch the ball. The body needs to anticipate by stiffening the muscles in order to catch the ball without falling over. Senior and other patients with neurological issue are not able to anticipate well. This skill can be worked on to improve control.
Causes of Balance and Mobility Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune disease typically diagnosed in young adults, affecting the central nervous system causing damage to the myelin surrounding the nerves and lesions in the brain. Although the disease progresses differently in each person often gait and mobility problems are encountered. Individuals experience many different symptoms such as loss of sensation, visual or vestibular function, spasticity, weakness, central processing and motor output dysfunction. Any or all of the symptoms may contribute to a loss of balance leading to difficulty in walking.
If you experience balance problems you should see a physical therapist who is knowledgeable in treating patients with multiple sclerosis. Many people in my MS exercise class partially funded by the MSFoundation find they are able to do so much more than they thought they were capable of. When people get the diagnosis that they have a neurodegenerative disease and experience a relapse many do not rehabilitate back to where they started. With proper guidance many of them are experiencing recovery of function that they thought was unattainable.