Tips on Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be disabling. There is no cure for MS and its “causes” are equally vexing.   Our current understanding is that MS is an autoimmune disorder that distorts the normal activity of nerve impulses. And while MS affects many people (approximately 400,000 in the United States and about 2 1/2 worldwide) it may surprise you to learn that disability claims based upon MS are frequently denied at the initial and reconsideration levels of the Social Security disability evaluation process. These tips on Multiple Sclerosis are offered to help you better communicate with the Social Security Administration.

So why are so many good faith claims for Social Security disability benefits, based upon MS, denied? Usually it has to do with the fact that many sufferers were formerly high functioning individuals with strong work backgrounds who don’t tend to develop symptoms and get diagnosed until a little later in life (usually in their late 20s through early 50s) and the Social Security Administration’s own rules make it difficult to find that people in their 20s through their 50s can’t return to their past relevant work or other work. In most cases it comes down to a question of sufficient medical evidence, like many other medical conditions, multiple sclerosis manifest itself on a spectrum (levels of severity and persistence). As such, a clear and continual portrait of ones’ symptoms and response to prescribed treatment is essential. MS is generally understood to be either: ”progressive; relapsing-remitting; secondary progressive; primary progressive and benign”.

The bottom line is “how well is the nature, frequency and severity of the symptoms documented in the treating neurologist’s records?”

Depending on the form of your MS you may experience some degree of pain, tingling, burning, visual disturbances or balance and dizziness issues. In more severe cases, one can suffer with muscle weakness, problems walking, tremor, morning stiffness and severe fatigue of your muscles (lassitude). It is also common for people with MS to experience bladder and bowel incontinence. Not surprisingly, depression and anxiety can set in. Many sufferers also report problems with thinking and concentrating.

Your neurologist will formulate a treatment plan and work with you to find the right combination of medications and therapies to best help manage your symptoms. Some amount of trial and error is to be expected in the “disease modifying treatment” process so do not be surprised if you require prescription adjustments and changes over time. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy are valuable pieces of an overall treatment plan.

The important thing is to maintain an open dialogue with your neurologist.

If you found these tips on Multiple Sclerosis  helpful, check out our blog on Tips on Personality Disorders

For additional resources related to MS visit,

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