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I am not my diagnosis, I am just myelin challenged! Truths and misconceptions about Relapsing-Remitt

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

Let’s break down some facts and barriers around MS and exercise. People with MS will experience a variety of symptoms and levels of disability, and may find starting an exercise program too scary or overwhelming. In fact, fewer than 20% of people diagnosed with MS are training to levels of moderate to vigorous activity exercise recommended (Motl, 2014).

People with MS (PWMS) also need to think about all the other secondary diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, arthritis, and cardio-vascular disease. You can’t reverse the MS disease process but you can reverse the impairments from deconditioning (Halabchi, Alizadeh, Sahraian, & Abolhasani, 2017). Limiting physical activity can also result in increased fatigue, weakness, reduced mobility.

Now the upside to this is there is plenty of research that demonstrates aerobic fitness, muscle strength, walking, balance, and fatigue can improve with exercise (Halabchi et al., 2017). Regular exercise can also have a positive impact on day to day activities such as getting out of a chair, climbing the stairs, and improving quality of life and mood (Doring, Pfueller, Paul & Dörr, 2012). Exercise also can impact depression, anger, and overall quality of life (Halabchi et al., 2017).

Better still, there is also limited but promising research that exercise may have a positive impact on our immune system and brain tissue health! (Prakash, Snook, Motl, & Kramer, 2010). So, don’t fear exercise, embrace it. Do it for your brain!

It is possible to overcome these statistics and exercise in a safe way that can improve your health without triggering a relapse or flare-up. Our RRMS Wellness group class or Personalized Exercise approach will give you the solutions and tools to support an active life with MS. These programs are designed to improve your mobility, strength, flexibility and balance. You will learn a tailored exercise program that will address your personal goals, and provide you with strategies to monitor how hard you are working.

This program is appropriate for an individual who has been diagnosed with mild to moderate relapsing-remitting MS, with no recent flare-ups or medication changes (within the last three months). If your body and mind are ready to start a new exercise journey, give us a call at 519-840-0784 or email me directly at

By Michelle Tyler, PT


Döring, A., Pfueller, C. F., Paul, F., & Dörr, J. (2012). Exercise in multiple sclerosis -- an integral component of disease management. The EPMA Journal, 3(1), 2.

Halabchi, F., Alizadeh, Z., Sahraian, M. A., & Abolhasani, M. (2017). Exercise prescription for patients with multiple sclerosis; potential benefits and practical recommendations. BMC Neurology, 17, 185.

Motl, R. (2014). Lifestyle physical activity in persons with Multiple Sclerosis the new kid on the MS block. Multiple Sclerosis Journal. Vol 20 (8), 1025- 1029

Prakash, R. S., Snook, E. M., Motl, R. W., & Kramer, A. F. (2010). Aerobic Fitness is Associated with Gray Matter Volume and White Matter Integrity in Multiple Sclerosis. Brain Research, 1341C, 41–51.

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