Lifestyle Redesign® for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that has the potential to cause a variety of symptoms including fatigue, pain, weakness, cognitive changes, depression, heat sensitivity, vision changes, and bowel and bladder difficulties. These symptoms can disrupt your ability to participate in meaningful roles, activities, and routines, which can have a profound impact on your sense of independence, interpersonal connection, well-being, and quality of life. Since your experiences and symptoms of MS are completely unique to you, it is essential to have an individualized, comprehensive, and multidisciplinary approach to healthcare that supports you in managing your MS.
Through a Lifestyle Redesign approach, our occupational therapists work with you to develop a healthy, productive, and meaningful lifestyle that is personalized to meet your needs and goals. Whether you have been newly diagnosed, have been living with MS for decades, or are somewhere in between, our occupational therapists can help you learn techniques to manage your specific symptoms, establish healthier lifestyle choices, and participate in the activities that bring meaning to your life.
We can help you to:
- Learn strategies to stay cool, pace activities, and optimize energy to manage your fatigue
- Utilize self-regulation strategies to address stress, anxiety, and depression
- Create a restorative sleep routine to improve your sleep quality and energy
- Implement behavioral and lifestyle strategies to manage your bowel and bladder symptoms
- Learn strategies and techniques to manage difficulties with memory, concentration, and organization
- Practice assertive communication and self-advocacy skills in home, workplace and/or school, and healthcare contexts
- Analyze your home and community spaces and use equipment in order to minimize the risk of falling
- Develop sustainable routines around physical activity, eating, and fluids
- Learn strategies to cope with and better manage chronic pain
- Increase participation in your social, leisure, and community activities
View/download the Lifestyle Redesign for Multiple Sclerosis brochure.
Optimal Living with Multiple Sclerosis
Our Faculty Practice offers Optimal Living with Multiple Sclerosis, a twelve-week program focused on improving functioning through customized, multidisciplinary approaches to health and wellness. Operated in partnership with the National MS Society and provided by the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, this program aims to enhance the quality of life for participants with mild to moderate MS and beginning levels of functional changes in mobility and balance. The twelve-week group occurs twice per year concurrent with the university’s fall and spring semesters. Participants are led by occupational and physical therapy faculty and students in the Lifestyle Redesign process, in combination with group and 1:1 exercise led by Physical Therapy, all of which is enhanced with the social support of the group format. For more information about the program, please visit the Southern California Chapter of the National MS Society.
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