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Physio 14: Physio tells conference how to raise awareness of exercise and MS

11 October 2014 - 1:58pm

Treks in Jordan and Peru by groups of people with MS have raised awareness about the importance of exercise for people with this condition, Paul Van Asch told delegates at Physiotherapy UK.

Paul Van Asch

Paul Van Asch highlighted ‘the incredible power of physiotherapy in transforming people’s lives.’ See video below

The physiotherapist from Kontich in Belgium specialises in neurology and sport rehabilitation. He said: ‘We have to promote an active lifestyle for people with MS, with respect for the potential and limitations of individuals.’

In March this year he organised the trek to Petra in Jordan, including a four month training regime and three preparatory walking days for the group of people with MS.

Mr Van Asch said his blog about the trip was read by 1,000 people, and that it was covered in 100 journal articles, as well as on television and radio.

Video: Paul Van Asch describes his group expeditions to Peru and Jordan, highlighting the role that physiotherapy plays in helping people with MS live active healthy lives

In 2012 he organised a five-day trek up Machu Picchu in Peru for another group of people with MS. The group also followed a training programme before the expedition.

His next project is a little nearer home: a 10-mile walk for people with MS in Antwerp. It is expected to take place in spring next year.

Mr Van Asch said the benefits of exercise are well documented, but still need to be promoted to people with MS, their families, and to the healthcare professionals and fitness instructors who work with them.

Natalie Beswetherick, the CSP’s director of practice and development, said Mr Van Asch’s talk showed ‘the incredible power of physiotherapy in transforming people’s lives.’

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