Introduction to MS treatment types

Introduction to MS treatment types

Every person with multiple sclerosis experiences the condition differently and what you want to get from your treatment is likely to be different. There are many things that you might be considering including the type of MS you have, the symptoms you experience as well as how severe they are and how often you experience them. What you’re looking for in a treatment may also be affected by your lifestyle and your personal goals. If your MRI tests are showing that MS is continuing to cause damage to your central nervous system (CNS) your doctor or MS nurse may also suggest that you try another treatment. 

Quick facts

Even though your MS treatment goals will reflect your own experiences, most people living with MS want control over their condition and want to do everything they can to lead active and fulfilling lives. 
These goals can be broken down into:

  1. Protecting your future – you might want to think of this as your longer-term goal, as treatment probably won’t make you feel better straight away.  But treating the underlying disease of MS now, might protect your brain against future damage, reduce relapses, and help you stay able for a longer time
  2. Managing symptoms – this goal means managing MS day to day or when you’re experiencing a relapse. Treatment for symptoms doesn’t prevent further damage or change how your MS will develop over time. 
Slowing down the damage MS is causing in your brain

Usually longer-term treatment goals will include trying to stop or slow down the worsening of MS symptoms and disability. 

This can be done in a number of ways:

  • Preventing relapses
  • Reducing how long your relapses last 
  • Improving how well you recover after a relapse
  • Limiting the damage MS is causing to your central nervous system

These long-term goals are particularly important early on in the condition, when it’s still possible to prevent damage to the central nervous system and worsening disability. 

Managing symptoms

You’ll know better than anyone, that MS symptoms can have a huge impact on your day-to-day life. Which is why it’s so important that these are well controlled. There are treatments available that may help to do exactly that. These can include treatments or other types of therapy. For instance, certain treatments can be used to help control bladder problems, while physiotherapy may be used to improve balance problems. 

You can learn more about the different ways to manage your MS symptoms here.

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