Chronic Pain

Benefits of Exercise for Multiple Sclerosis


Are you struggling with your symptoms of MS on a regular basis? Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease where the human body’s own immune system attacks the fatty myelin coating which surrounds and insulates nerve cells, a process called demyelination. Common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include fatigue, muscle spasms, walking problems, and tingling sensations and numbness.

According to various research studies, improved strength, flexibility, and mobility from participating in physical activities and exercises help decrease the risk of bone fractures and other ailments in people with MS. One research study also indicates that improper nutrition and a lack of physical activity and exercise are the most frequent risk factors for people with multiple sclerosis.

Another research study on the benefits of exercise for multiple sclerosis was printed by researchers from the University of Utah in 1996. The participants of the research study developed a more positive mindset, increased their strength, flexibility, and mobility, experienced less fatigue, improved their bowel, bladder, and cardiovascular function, and developed fewer symptoms of depression.

Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis

A fitness program ought to be designed under medical supervision and may be adjusted as MS symptoms change. Patients with MS should engage in physical activities and exercises several times each week and avoid workouts for extended periods of time. Patients with MS can still do tasks around the home. Examples of everyday tasks include cooking, gardening, and other household tasks.

Exercises that can help manage MS symptoms include:

  • Yoga. This type of physical activity/exercise features becoming aware of your breathing to help relax your body and mind. Benefits of yoga include enhancing the human body’s alignment, improving your own balance. Yoga also teaches you relaxing techniques, like meditation, which you could use during a magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI scan, or receiving an injection.
  • Tai Chi. This Chinese martial art teaches you how to breathe, relax and slow down your movements. Furthermore, Tai Chi can also help improves your balance, further helping to manage and support muscle tone, as well as help relieves stress.
  • Water exercises. Physical activities/exercises performed in water require less effort. This helps people with MS move in ways that they would otherwise not be able to perform properly. Benefits of water exercises include muscle relaxation, enhanced flexibility, better movement, improved strength, and reduced pain. These concentrate on improving aerobic resistance.

Healthcare professional used to recommend that people with MS avoid exercise entirely for fear of aggravating their symptoms. Now, evidence indicates that regular exercise not only improves quality of life for people with MS, but it might also help alleviate symptoms and decrease the risk of complications in the future. Exercise can be beneficial for anyone, even for people with multiple sclerosis.

According to many healthcare professionals, physical activity and exercise are one of the most essential elements of treatment for multiple sclerosis or MS. While many patients with MS often avoid exercise, thinking it will aggravate their symptoms, research studies have demonstrated that exercise can actually help improve symptoms. As described in the following article, physical activity can help improve strength, mobility, and flexibility. Furthermore, physical activity can have various other health benefits for MS, including improved bowel and bladder function as well as enhanced mood and decreased fatigue.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Getting Started with Exercise for MS

Kathleen Costello, a nurse practitioner and associate vice president of medical care for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, recommends seeking the support of a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor or physical therapist, to determine which physical activities or exercises would be beneficial for patients with MS. Benefits of exercise for multiple sclerosis include:

Less Fatigue

Various kinds of physical activities and exercise can improve fatigue. This is a frequent complaint among individuals with MS. A research study on yoga for people with MS discovered that yoga is as superior as other kinds of exercise in lowering fatigue. Another research study discovered that eight months of water exercise decreased fatigue and improved quality of life in women with MS.

Better Mood

Moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, dancing, or bicycling, has been shown in several research studies to enhance mood in people who are depressed. One research study discovered that the benefits also apply to adults with neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis, especially when physical activity guidelines are met. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes, or 2 hours and 30 minutes, of moderate-intensity physical activities or exercises each week, in addition to including at least two workout routines involving muscle strengthening exercises for MS.

Better Bladder Control

Among the research studies on the benefits of exercise in people with MS, one review found that 15 months of aerobic exercise helped to enhance bowel and bladder function in people with MS. A small pilot research study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2014 discovered that a yoga program also afforded better bladder control among individuals with MS.

Stronger Bones

Weight-bearing physical activities and exercise, such as walking, running, or using an elliptical machine, can help strengthen bones and may protect against osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that raises the possibility of fracturing bones. A lot of people with MS, or multiple sclerosis, are at risk of developing osteoporosis due to a combination of factors, including:

  • Low blood levels of vitamin D, the nutritional supplement that works with calcium to protect bone health
  • A history of taking corticosteroids, drugs used to treat MS flares that can lead to low calcium levels in the bloodstream
  • Mobility difficulties, which might make a person least likely to engage in different forms of exercise
  • Low body weight

At the same time, people with MS occasionally have balance conditions which make them more vulnerable to falling, a significant cause of broken bones. Finding a means to take part in exercises and physical activities which can help strengthen the bones is therefore important for preserving bone density and helping to prevent fractures, especially in people diagnosed with MS.

Weight Management

If symptoms of MS result in decreased physical activity or exercise, among one of the consequences, may include weight gain, which can make it even harder for you to get around. The use of corticosteroids can also lead to weight gain. Engaging in physical activities or exercise can help slow down or stop weight gain. Regular exercise can also benefit people who are underweight. Along with other benefits described above, physical activity or exercise may also increase appetite in people who are underweight.

For a lot of people, MS means changes in the physical activities or exercises they can perform and in how they will be able to execute them, however, it doesn’t imply that their lifestyle will come to a standstill. Work with your healthcare professional to discover the actions that suit you best and the assistive devices that could keep you moving with MS. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal health issues. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex JimenezR

Additional Topic Discussion: Acute Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.

EXTRA EXTRA | IMPORTANT TOPIC: Recommended El Paso, TX Chiropractor?


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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Benefits of Exercise for Multiple Sclerosis" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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