Occupational therapy (OT) can help people with multiple
sclerosis stay relatively active in their daily lives. By improving your skills,
making recommendations, and providing training using adaptive equipment,
occupational therapy might help you perform everyday, functional activities with
greater ease, satisfaction, and independence. An occupational therapist can also
help individuals who are having difficulty with memory, concentration,
organization, or other cognitive issues.
Why should I have occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy can be very beneficial when symptoms of
multiple sclerosis make it difficult for you to perform:
- Activities of daily living —Self-feeding, dressing, bathing, grooming,
- Home management tasks — Meal prep/cooking, cleaning, laundry
- Work-related tasks — Due to cognitive issues, fatigue, or physical
impairment, such as decreased hand function
How can occupational therapy help me?
The skills offered by an OT may include strengthening and
stretching exercises for the upper body, activities designed to improve
coordination, and many other skills specifically tailored to your level of
Occupational therapy at the Mellen Center provides assessment, treatment, and recommendations in the following areas:
- Fatigue management
- Cognitive rehabilitation
- Upper body/lower body weakness
- Home modification
- Cooking and homemaking
- Self-feeding with adaptive utensils
- Workplace adaptations
- Computer modifications
- Bathroom equipment use
- Dressing and grooming aids
- Leisure/hobby skill development
How can occupational therapy help with fatigue?
An important step in fatigue management is to find out what
makes your fatigue worse and what can help to reduce it. An occupational
therapist can help you find ways to conserve your energy through strategies to
change your household and/or workplace, which can help you maximize your
potential without feeling completely exhausted by the end of the day.
What is cognitive rehabilitation?
A cognitive rehabilitation program can help you in establishing
realistic goals and teach you ways to compensate for issues related to memory,
concentration and organization, thereby helping you to function more efficiently
at work and/or home. While cognitive function cannot be restored, an
occupational therapist can help you develop ways to compensate for cognitive
deficits at home and work.
The occupational therapist at the Mellen Center may be able to
help you if you are having difficulty with:
- Memory — Misplacing keys/glasses, forgetting names, missing appointments
- Attention — Trouble concentrating on reading, work; losing track in
conversation; can only perform one task at a time, etc.
- Prioritizing/organizing — Unable to plan/carry out activities, deciding
what task to do first, etc
- Problem solving/reasoning — Money management, balancing checkbook,
"figuring things out"
Occupational therapy is an important part of treating a person
with MS. Occupational therapists focus on ways to enhance your performance of
daily activities at home and at work, including energy management and cognitive
If you are experiencing any issues with fatigue, self-care,
memory, or concentration, talk with your doctor about an occupational therapy
© Copyright 1995-2009 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved.
Can't find the health information you’re looking for?
This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 5/14/2008…#4440