Although there has been an explosion of health and fitness clubs, which might be thought to help people with mobility or other similar difficulties, very few of them have staff who will be aware of Multiple Sclerosis and its effects on movement. So it’s a good idea to seek the help of members of the key profession dealing with mobility and movement problems, and that is physiotherapy. Normally you will be referred for a consultation with a physiotherapist by your neurologist or GP. Check, either with your referring doctor or with the physiotherapist, that they have had experience of managing people with Multiple Sclerosis.
A physiotherapist will normally undertake a number of assessments of your movement ability. These would include generally:

• evaluating your general posture and body movements;
• taking account not only of what you can do in the clinic, surgery or hospital, but also what problems you may have in and around the home and work;
• measuring the strength of various muscles, as well as assessing how flexible your joints, tendons and muscles are;
• testing the sensations that you may have in or around your muscles, as well as your ability to sense cold and heat.

Some physiotherapists, particularly in leading hospitals, may undertake what is called ‘gait analysis’, i.e. a formal assessment of how you move, particularly how you walk, investigating things like speed, rhythm of movement, stride and step length. This analysis helps to determine exactly where your movement problems lie in order to help correct them. Physiotherapists increasingly like to know about your own history and your worries about your movement problems, and to try and work with them, as well as with those problems that they have detected themselves.