When is the best time for rehabilitation? When it comes to MS, the answer is "anytime". Rehabilitation can have benefits for people at all stages of MS. The role of rehabilitation depends on how MS is affecting your ability to function.
Rehabilitation may be restorative or preventive (also called maintenance). Restorative rehabilitation aims to regain lost function. The goal of preventive rehabilitation is to help maintain a person's existing level of function. Both types can be useful for people with MS, and both may be used at the same time.
For people with mild symptoms or those without noticeable symptoms, the role of rehabilitation is preventive. At this stage, rehabilitation helps preserve your ability to function and build healthy habits that will serve you well if your symptoms worsen.
If you have more severe symptoms that decrease your ability to function, you may need both restorative and preventive rehabilitation. Restorative rehabilitation will be used to improve your function in areas that are damaged, and strengthen other less affected areas to help compensate for the damaged areas. Restorative rehabilitation may be especially useful in helping you recover after a relapse. There is also a role for preventive rehabilitation to help you maintain your current level of function and safety.
Wondering if it might be time for a rehabilitation program? Talk to your doctor or MS nurse about having a rehabilitation assessment. Your doctor will consider your individual needs and offer recommendations about which rehabilitation services may benefit you.
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