Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a nervous system disorder in which the immune system attacks the protective coating (myelin sheath) of nerve fibers in the spinal cord and brain. When this happens, the nerves cannot communicate effectively — or at all. Doctors are not able to reverse damage to the nervous system once it occurs.
Treatment strategies focus on slowing progression of the disease, restoring physical function, and providing other types of support. Effective MS treatment requires comprehensive care from a coordinated health care team.
At Dignity Health, our board-certified neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, and neurological rehabilitation specialists work together closely to provide exceptional multiple sclerosis treatment in Arizona. Learn more about our state-of-the art locations:
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Multiple Sclerosis Treatment at Dignity Health
Each person experiences MS differently. Your doctor will work with you to design a plan that addresses your current symptoms and any problems that may develop in the future.
Your treatment plan may include:
- Medications, including oral, injected, or infused drugs that work on the immune system to reduce inflammation associated with MS. Some of these medications, called disease-modifying drugs, may disrupt the course of the disease and provide long-term symptom relief.
- Medications to treat related conditions, including bladder dysfunction, pain, fatigue, or emotional changes
- Physical therapy to maintain muscle tone and function
- Occupational therapy to improve such abilities as swallowing and performing everyday activities while minimizing fatigue
- Vocational therapy, including job re-training or modification for individuals with disability from MS
- Cognitive therapy with a neuropsychologist to improve problem-solving and reasoning
- Speech therapy for issues with speaking
- Social support to promote independence and a high quality of life
- Assistive devices, including canes, walkers, or wheelchairs
- Braces or orthotics to manage conditions such as foot drop
Before beginning medication therapy, your doctor will explain the goals and potential risks of your medication and how to minimize risks and manage side effects. Sticking to your MS treatment plan is crucial for avoiding MS attacks or flare-ups — a sudden flare or worsening of symptoms.
If you need financial assistance to afford your MS medication, contact the drug manufacturer and ask if it offers a patient assistance program. Discuss your financial concerns with your doctor and with local representatives of the National MS Society. Take an active part in your treatment to help achieve the highest possible quality of life with MS.
Dignity Health provides complete, coordinated multiple sclerosis treatment in Arizona.