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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

CSM 2010--Evidence Based Medicine: Multiple Sclerosis

Published February 18, 2010 5:00 PM by Elizabeth Puliti

In Tuesday's audiotaped session, "Evidence Based Medicine: Multiple Sclerosis Drugs and Exercise Implications," speaker Stephen Kanter, PT, DPT, ATC, opened by posing a question.

"How many people here work with a patient who has multiple sclerosis at least once a week?"

A majority of the audience raised their hands as Dr. Kanter went on to say that 95 percent of his home health practice patients have MS.

"But are PTs willing to treat patients with MS on a regular basis?" he asked, noting the population's unpredictability, psychological and physical challenges. His practice is having a difficult time getting occupational and speech pathologists involved, noted Dr. Kanter.

For those working in acute care, Dr. Kanter suggested the following. "If you can get patients with MS out of bed, get them out of bed!" he exclaimed. "It sounds simple, but many therapists don't want to move them for risk of them falling."

Dr. Kanter's words brought me back to a story I wrote years ago about an incredible woman who has MS. When her symptoms were at their worst, exercise helped her regain her strength and independence. Once she figured out how to help herself, she created a program called fitMS which enables people to participate regularly in a fitness program after they've graduated from rehab.

"If physical therapists don't take care of patients with MS, there isn't another health care provider who will--in terms of a physical rehab standpoint," he remarked.

posted by Elizabeth Puliti

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