Living with Multiple Sclerosis

  • 2024-03-07
  • Reading time: 10 min.
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Living with Multiple Sclerosis

Roughly one million Americans have multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic condition that affects various areas of the body.1 As the disease progresses and flare ups become more pronounced, symptoms may make it challenging for those living with MS to manage their daily routines and maintain their self-reliance.2

Thankfully, numerous tools and resources are now available that empower individuals living with MS to lead more active and fulfilling lives. Read on to learn more about this unpredictable and potentially debilitating disease and how to create an effective MS management strategy.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.3 MS occurs when the immune system mistakenly starts to attack the protective covering of nerve fibers, the myelin sheath, disrupting essential nerve signals. The disease can target any part of the body, including the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.

MS symptoms may vary widely from person to person, depending on the location and extent of nerve damage. While there is no known cure for MS, lifestyle modifications, medications, and other treatments can be used to help slow disease progression and ease the symptoms.4

Living with Multiple Sclerosis Can Be Challenging

Often occurring with little or no advanced warning, MS flare ups, or exacerbations, can be mild or severe and cause a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, muscle weakness, balance issues, difficulty walking, numbness or tingling, cognitive impairment, and even mood changes. The unpredictable and progressive nature of MS can make life with multiple sclerosis difficult to manage, requiring some patients to rely on others to perform normal, everyday activities around the home.

Tips and Strategies for Living with MS

Fortunately, there are ways for individuals living with MS to level the playing field and take back control of their lives. Whether it’s for you or a loved one, an effective MS management strategy should include the following:

Build a Support Network

Surrounding oneself with a supportive network of family, friends, and healthcare professionals is essential, as they can provide emotional support, assist with daily tasks, and offer guidance on managing the condition.

Stay Active

Regular exercise tailored to individual abilities can help manage MS symptoms and maintain one’s health and well-being. Low-impact activities like swimming, Yoga, or Tai Chi can improve strength, flexibility, and balance.5 Be sure to consult with a healthcare professional first for guidance on suitable exercises.

Assistive Devices

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, mobility aids like canes or walkers can be used to manage mobility challenges and enhance independence. Other ms walking aids, arthritis assistive devices, equipment for stroke patients at home and aging in place products, like handrails, grab bars, and shower benches, can improve safety and accessibility at home.

Home Modifications

Adapting your living environment to accommodate changing needs is essential. Consider installing ramps, widening doorways, and eliminating trip hazards. Smart home technology can be used to simplify daily tasks and enhance convenience.

Manage Fatigue

Because fatigue is a common symptom of MS, stick to a daily routine that includes regular breaks. In addition to getting plenty of rest, plan activities during periods of higher energy and avoid excessive heat.

Stress Management Techniques

Stress can exacerbate MS symptoms, making it essential to develop healthy coping mechanisms. Relieve stress by engaging in activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and hobbies that bring joy and relaxation.

Medications

Several medications are now available that can help manage MS symptoms and slow down disease progression.6 Ask your doctor which treatment options are best for your specific condition.

Emotional Support

Living with a chronic illness like MS can take a toll on one’s mental health, making it vital to prioritize self-care and seek professional help, when needed. Therapy sessions, support groups, and counseling services can provide a safe space to share experiences and learn coping strategies.

How a VELA Chair Makes Life with Multiple Sclerosis More Manageable

At VELA, we understand the daily challenges of life with multiple sclerosis. Developed with those issues in mind, our all-in-one chair is a remarkable seating solution that can significantly enhance the lives of those living with MS. With its innovative design and intuitive controls, a VELA Chair makes a valuable addition to any effective MS management strategy.

Key features of the VELA Chair include:

Comfort and Safety
Individuals living with MS often experience muscle weakness and fatigue, making it difficult to stay comfortable and maintain a correct sitting position for more than a few minutes at a time. Ergonomically designed for optimal comfort, the VELA Chair’s foam-padded seat, armrests, and backrest provide exceptional support in all the right places, promoting proper posture and minimizing the likelihood of discomfort.

In addition to holding your body comfortably in place, you can use the sturdy armrests on the chair to rest tired arms while watching TV, conversing with friends, or reading a book. While conveniently remaining seated, a VELA Chair’s sturdy armrests prevent you from falling over, allowing you to safely and securely perform a variety of activities around the home, whether it’s preparing food with a cooking chair, working at a desk with a office chair with locking wheels, or folding clean clothes.

Mobility and Maneuverability
Individuals with MS often experience pain, balance issues, and other mobility challenges. With its sturdy base and four smooth-running wheels, a VELA Chair can be pushed or “walked” around while seated, streamlining movement as you effortlessly transition between different activities or locations.

The chair’s wheels seamlessly navigate most surfaces, including tile, wood, linoleum, and low-pile carpet, while its surprisingly narrow profile allows users to maneuver easily through doorways or around furniture – all while conserving precious energy and relieving stress off painful muscles. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, set the sturdy central handbrake to lock the wheels securely in place, restoring peace of mind knowing the chair won’t roll out from under you.


Adaptability and Versatility
A VELA chair can easily be customized to meet the specific needs and preferences of individuals with MS. Our chair has several built-in adjustment features, including a high-quality electric lift that lets you gently raise or lower the seat height at the touch of a button. In addition to providing sit-to-stand assistance, this innovative feature allows you to reach surfaces high and low with minimal effort – like the upper and lower shelves in your kitchen cabinets.

The armrests, seat, and backrest also adjust, empowering you to customize your VELA Chair your way. Need to transfer to the toilet, bed, or couch? Once you’ve locked the wheels, fold away the armrest, place your feet on the floor, adjust the chair’s height, and use the seat to support your body weight as you gently move to another surface.

Durability and Longevity
With its rugged construction and premium-quality materials, a VELA Chair is highly wear and tear resistant, ensuring long-term usability for those living with MS. Designed to last many years, the chair’s durable components and easy-to-clean surfaces simplify upkeep and maintenance – a feature notably beneficial for individuals living with multiple sclerosis who may be experiencing low energy or balance issues.

Do you want to know more specifics about how a VELA Chair can support you in living with MS? Read more here.

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