What activities might occupational therapy for multiple sclerosis include?

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are faced with numerous challenges that may affect the things they want and need to do. Often, limitations impede the ability to take care of basic needs at home, at work and within the community. Simple everyday tasks can turn into daily frustration. One of the best approaches to help alleviate these challenges and minimize the frustration is through the intervention of occupational therapy (OT). OT is a healthcare profession that focuses on an individual's ability to perform the broad range of everyday life activities. OT promotes independence by improving the skills required to perform these activities and/or teaching alternative ways to accomplish them.

The broad range of activities that may be addressed with your occupational therapist are categorized as activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), education, work, play, leisure and social participation.

Activities associated with basic self-care needs are ADLs. They include eating, personal hygiene/grooming, dressing, bathing/showering, bladder management, toilet hygiene, functional mobility, personal care, sexual activity and sleep/rest.

Activities that involve environmental, domestic or community interaction are IADLs. These include tasks like cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, driving, shopping, parenting, caring for other people or pets, use of communication devices, community mobility, financial management and other domestic tasks.

Your therapy will include purposeful (or goal-directed) activities designed to create, restore, improve and/or maintain your skills and abilities. Purposeful activities can enhance function in various areas including, but not limited to:

  • Strength
  • Proprioception (the sense of your body in space)
  • Endurance
  • Motor Planning
  • Motor Skills
  • Sensory Integration
  • Coordination
  • Cognition
  • Sensation
  • Visual Impairment / Low Vision
  • Range of Motion
  • Visual Perceptual Skills
  • Balance

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.