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Open: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Call us on 020 8805 2020 to speak to a trained advisor
or email info@fortunamobility.com

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

What is MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms. Although it can develop at any age, it's most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s and is one of the most common causes of disability in young adults. Although it can occur in both sexes it is about 2 to 3 times as common in women.

MS arises when something goes wrong with the persons own immune system, which then attacks the myelin sheath which surrounds and protects the nerves in the brain or spinal cord. The signals travelling along the nerves are disrupted and this results in loss of normal function.


Symptoms of MS

It is characteristic of MS that the symptoms can affect any part of the body and may change with time. Each person is likely to have a different pattern of symptoms over the course of their illness, however common symptoms include:

  • Problems with vision.
  • Numbness or tingling.
  • Muscle stiffness and spasms.
  • Difficulty with walking.
  • Problems with balance and co-ordination.
  • Problems with bladder control.
  • Tiredness.
  • Problems with thinking, learning and planning.

Over time symptoms tend to occur in one of two patterns:

1.Relapsing remitting MS

This is by far the more common form. Recurring relapses (i.e. episodes of new or worsening symptoms) are followed by periods between attacks known as remissions, which can last for years.

Typical relapses worsen over a few days, and untreated can last for several weeks or months. The symptoms then slowly improve over a similar period of time. Sometimes some symptoms often persist whilst on other occasions they will disappear altogether, even without treatment.

Around half of people with relapsing remitting MS will develop secondary progressive MS within 15 to 20 years, however not everyone with relapsing remitting MS will go on to develop progressive symptoms.

2. Primary progressive MS

Just over 10% of people with MS start with a gradual worsening of symptoms, known as primary progressive MS, symptoms gradually worsen and accumulate over several years, and there are no periods of remission, although people often have periods where their condition appears to stabilise.


Treatments for MS

A number of treatments can help control the MS, although there is currently no cure. Treatment options may include:

  • treating relapses with short courses of steroids or plasmapheresis to accelerate remission
  • therapies for individual MS symptoms; just as there are many types of symptoms there are correspondingly many treatment options available, examples include physiotherapy or muscle relaxant drugs
  • treatment to slow progression of the condition. An increasing number of  ‘disease-modifying drug therapies’ are becoming available. For more information please refer to your medical team.

Treatment options will depend on a number of factors including the specific symptoms and resulting disabilities that might follow; however, treatment choices should always be made in discussion with medical professionals (including, amongst others, doctors, CNSs (clinical nurse specialist), physiotherapists and OTs).

Research continues to improve the treatment of MS.


Outlook

MS is a lifelong condition that can occasionally be mild, but can sometimes cause serious disability. Fortunately, in many cases, it's possible to treat symptoms and in recent years new therapies have considerably improved the quality of life of people with MS.

MS itself is rarely fatal, but complications may arise from severe MS, such as chest or bladder infections, or swallowing difficulties.  Compared to the average life expectancy of those without the disease, that of MS sufferers is around 5 to 10 years lower, and this gap appears to be getting smaller all the time.


How can we help?

Healthcare professionals (such as Doctors, Specialist Nurses, OTs and Physiotherapists) will always be of primary importance in the management of MS. However, at Fortuna Mobility we are able to offer practical solutions which may help with some of the worst symptoms. We have over 1000 products available in the showroom with many more readily available by special order. Our experienced staff can help advise on products which may help you with particular problems. Every customer is different with their own particular needs, but examples of equipment that might be useful in MS include:

On the Move

  • Walking aids including Walking Sticks, Walking Frames and Rollators. In particular see our Topro Troja Neuro rollator  and U-Step rollator which have been specifically designed for people with walking difficulties caused by neurological problems.
  • Wheelchairs - from the simplest, such as transit wheelchair, to the most sophisticated (Tilt in Space or Powerchair) according to your needs.
  • Scooters.
  • Stairlifts.
  • Exercise – it is important to keep moving and one option, for those with greater mobility problems, is Happylegs, our seated walking machine, which can be used even when sitting down.
  • Miscellaneous – we stock a variety of daily living aids which can help with specific problems such as dressing or even turning a tap.
  • Zero gravity dynamic arm supports – these highly specialised Armon products can be life changing, by effectively eliminating the weight of the arm. This can make a difference in two types of situation: 
    • a)  someone with mild weakness can once more use their arms for controlled fine movement, whether for work or leisure.
    • b)  If the arms have become very weak, even basic functions such as eating a meal without help can be lost. The dynamic arm can, potentially, restore such functions and hence the independence and dignity of the user.

Topro Troja Neuro Rollator

Tilt  in Space Wheelchair

Ucello Kettle

Portachair

At Home

Rental

The variable symptoms of MS mean that extra equipment items may sometimes only be needed for a few weeks and therefore rental may be particularly useful option in MS, allowing equipment to be returned when it is no longer required to keep costs down for the user.

Although most people will rent for a few weeks or months, rentals can be as short as 2 days or can go on for years, if you find it easier to let us look after your long-term equipment needs.

However, even if you don’t feel that you need equipment at the moment, feel free to make an appointment to have a look around and chat with one of our advisors so you can get a feel of what’s available for people with MS, should it be needed.


Scenarios

To help our customers understand some of the issues involved in choosing the right equipment we’ve created a number of hypothetical Scenarios, based on our knowledge and experience. The following example is relevant to some people with MS: Would a Perching Stool help a lady with Multiple Sclerosis?


FAQs

Q. What if I’m not sure how long I’ll need the equipment for?

A. Because MS is very unpredictable and symptoms may come and go, an sensible option might be to consider renting equipment, at least in the first instance. We stock a large variety of equipment for rent so read our rental page or call us for more information.

Q. Do I need to pay VAT?

A. If you have a long-term medical condition you do not need to pay VAT on most products that we sell. We can advise you this and help you with the simple paperwork.

Q. How can I buy this from you?

A. Our showroom is open to the public Monday’s to Fridays 8.30am to 5.30pm. The best way to buy something is to come in and see the product and take advice, to make sure you make the right choice. If you need something very specific that is not held in stock, we can order it for you. If you have any questions at all just contact us 020 8805 2020 or info@fortunamobility.com


Useful Links:

MS Society - www.mssociety.org.uk
A national MS charity providing advice and support

MS Trust - http://www.mstrust.org.uk/
A national MS charity providing advice and support

shift.ms - https://shift.ms/
An online community forum of younger people with MS

Neurological Alliance - www.neural.org.uk/
Campaigning to improve the situation for people with neurological conditions

Age UK Enfield - www.ageuk.org.uk/enfield/

NHS Website – MS  -  www.nhs.uk/conditions/multiple-sclerosis
For more information about MS

MS disease (Wikipedia)  - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_sclerosis
For more information about MS

Visit our Showroom & Training Centre

We stock a wide range of products, with over 1000 lines available in the showroom.
Come and TRY out the products to see what suits your needs.
Our friendly highly-trained staff will help you make a choice which is right for you.

  • We're located just off the A10,
    less than 10 minutes from the North Circular or M25
  • 5-minute walk from Southbury Road Station
  • Level access showroom & Accessible toilets
  • Free local delivery available
  • Home assessments and delivery can be arranged
  • FREE PARKING in our large car park

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Call us on 020 8805 2020 to speak to a trained advisor
or email info@fortunamobility.com

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