Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
is a disease of the Central Nervous System. The cause and cure for MS has not yet been found or fully understood, but continuing research is bringing us all closer to the cure. It does appear that MS is an auto-immune disease or a disease in which the body’s own immune systems turns on itself and causes damage.
If you can imagine the cord on a lamp. There is a wire or two running through that rubbery feeling cord. In your body, you have nerves (think of them as wires) that connect your brain to all the other parts of your body. Instead of having a rubbery coating though, your nerves are coated by MYELIN. This myelin protects the nerve and keeps all the energy that is flowing in your nerve, moving in the right direction. With MS, something “nibbles" on that myelin and exposes the nerve and the energy. That’s when problems begin.
Let’s say you tell your foot to kick. Your brain starts the signal to do that and sends it down the foot nerve. If there is a part of the myelin missing, the foot might not get the message! There is nothing wrong with your foot and there is nothing wrong with your brain…there IS something wrong with the nerve.
The nerve can “heal" in many people and eventually your brain will be able to talk to your foot again. However, in some people, that damage may not be fully repaired and there may be some problems with that foot for a very long time. Your brain is an amazing thing though and sometimes, it is able to “re-wire” a new route to the foot. That is why going to physical therapy is SO important! Occupational therapists can also teach you new ways to use your body and the tools you have! They are both great people to have on your team!