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NICE puts exercise at heart of MS guidance

8 October 2014 - 3:44pm

The CSP has welcomed the focus on exercise in the latest NHS guidance on MS care as an ‘opportunity’ for physios.


People with MS should be encouraged to exercise, according to updated guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

It says patients should be advised that aerobic, balance and stretching exercises may be helpful in treating MS-related fatigue.

NICE calls for people with the condition to receive supervised exercise programmes involving moderate progressive resistance training and aerobic exercise.

And it recommends that every person with MS has a comprehensive review of their care at least once a year and that multidisciplinary teams, including physiotherapists, should oversee the care they receive.

About 100,000 people in the UK have MS, with symptoms usually appearing first in younger people.

CSP professional adviser Carley King told Frontline: ‘This is a complex client group with a variable presentation of symptoms.

‘As physiotherapists, we have an expert knowledge and unique understanding about the multifaceted nature of MS and how this may impact on an individual’s ability to exercise safely.

‘This is why we must position ourselves as the lead professionals in delivering exercise to this patient group.’

Paul Cooper, a consultant neurologist and chair of the guidance development group, said current standards of MS care vary greatly across the UK.

‘We want to ensure that throughout the country people with this distressing and disabling disease have prompt access to specialists who understand their needs and can help improve their condition,’ he said.


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