Multiple SclerosisDr. Howard Liss treats disorders that cause pain and disability by providing consultative services and soft tissue and joint injections when needed. When medically appropriate, he makes specific referrals for diagnostic testing (lab work, imaging, electrodiagnosis), physical and occupational therapy, interventional procedures (epidurals and facet joint injections), and surgery.
Often unpredictable, multiple sclerosis or MS, is classified as a potentially disabling autoimmune disease involving the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). In essence, the myelin (protective covering for nerve fibers) is attacked by an individual’s immune system, resulting in the disruption of communication between the brain and body. This obviously damages the nerves and determines the severity of symptoms associated with each particular case of MS. While some lose their ability to walk without assistance, others are able to successfully manage multiple sclerosis. Common symptoms experienced with MS include:
- Numbness and weakness in one or more limbs (usually one side is affected at a time)
- Loss of vision (partial or complete, usually in one eye at a time)
- Double vision
- Tingling pain throughout the body
- Sensations resembling a mild electric shock (occurs with specific neck movements, such as bending the neck forward)
- Loss of coordination or stability
- Slurred speech
- Fatigue and dizziness
- Impaired bowel or bladder function
While the above-mentioned symptoms are most commonly associated with multiple sclerosis, other complications include muscle spasms and stiffness, paralysis, mental and emotional changes and epilepsy.
Treatment and Management of Multiple Sclerosis
While there’s no cure for multiple sclerosis, there are selective treatment protocols designed to speed up one’s recovery from flare-ups, slow the progression of the disease and manage symptoms. With expertise across multiple disciplines, physiatrists remain in a unique position to identify and oversee treatment for MS.
Depending on whether multiple sclerosis is primary-progressive or relapsing-remitting, modified drug therapies are advised to slow the progression of disability. Yet, other factors must be considered as these medications are risky for those with preexisting health conditions and those with advanced stages of MS. Thus, to help in performing daily tasks, selective physical therapy (often with the use of an assistive device) recharges weakened leg muscles, while enhancing coordination and gait. In conjunction with physical therapy, muscle relaxers may be prescribed to combat the effects of muscle rigidity and tension.
Due to the wide spectrum of manifestations produced by multiple sclerosis, patients benefit from a comprehensive treatment regimen. This regimen not only considers conditions that exacerbate their symptoms but also equips them physically, mentally and emotionally for occasional relapses.
At the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute, patients can rely on Dr. Liss to put together the right treatment, therapy and rehabilitation plan to ensure the most optimal outcome. Dr. Liss works closely with other specialists required to rehabilitate patients suffering from chronic pain or serious injuries, and Dr. Liss will refer patients as needed to ensure appropriate treatment. With extensive education and exposure to a variety of conditions that affect the cervical and lumbar spine, bones, nerves, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, brain, and spinal cord, Dr. Liss is uniquely positioned to help patients manage their pain and maximize their functioning.
If you are living with MS and are seeking treatment to manage pain and improve functioning, contact the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute today.