Online Resources Can Do Library

At Can Do MS, we know that the power of knowledge can transform lives and expand beliefs about what is possible.

These articles are written by our nationwide team of program consultants - renowned healthcare professionals dedicated to educating people living with MS and their support partners.  You will find valuable information and approaches covering our Six Dimensions of Wellness- Emotional Well-Being, Cognitive Well-Being; Home & Work; Diet, Exercise & Healthy Behaviors;  Relationships; and Spirituality.

These articles are provided as general educational resources and should not be interpreted as diagnoses, prognoses, or treatment suggestions.  Information and perspectives represent the views of the individual author(s); Can Do Multiple Sclerosis is not responsible for the accuracy or currency of the responses.  Readers should consult with their healthcare team.

filtered by: Diet, Exercise & Healthy Behaviors (remove)
Progressive MS Health & Wellness Resource Guide

By: Denise Bruen, Roz Kalb, and Mandy Rohrig

Gather information about how progressive MS is diagnosed and managed and the important role of overall health and wellness through a variety of articles, booklets, webpages, and videos from Can Do Multiple Sclerosis and the National MS Society.

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Are We There Yet?

By: Ben Thrower, MD

A cure for multiple sclerosis.  That is what we all want, correct?  While we have not reached the cure yet, we are getting closer.  When we think about a cure for multiple sclerosis, that term may mean different things to different people.  To those who are newly diagnosed, a cure might mean a completely effective therapy that would completely eliminate any risk of relapses, new lesions on MRI, or progression of disability.  For those who have been dealing with multiple sclerosis for a while and may have accumulated some disability, the cure would mean stopping any further progression and erasing any disability.  Admittedly, we have come a long way since 1992 when there were no FDA approved treatment options for multiple sclerosis.  So where are we right now with current research in multiple sclerosis?

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Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman: Women’s Health Issues in MS

By: Meghan Beier, PhD & Cheryl Blaschuk, RN, FNP, MSN

Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) presents a unique challenge for women. Until relatively recently, most of the medical and rehabilitation research focused on either males exclusively, or mixed populations without examining differences in gender. As an example, prior to 1990, there was only one publication that examined the unique demographics of women with functional or cognitive challenges. New lines of research produced a better understanding of the prevalence of MS among women, as well as unique considerations needed for assessment and treatment in this gender.

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The Ups and Downs of Fall Prevention

By: Michelle H. Cameron, MD, PT and Stephanie Nolan, OTR/L

Do you have MS? Do you fall? Do you wonder if you fall more than other people without MS? Do you want to know what to do to prevent falling? This article summarizes what we know about how many people with MS fall, the many possible causes of falls in people with MS, and provides tips and suggestions for things you can do to reduce the risk of falling.

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Exercise and Cognition: Research Updates

By: Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT

The positive effects of exercise on our bodies are widely known - improved muscular strength, weight management, balance, cardiovascular health, and reduced risk for some cancers and type 2 diabetes, just to name a few.  These measurable physical changes are often the focus of goals and intended outcomes for exercise.  An often overlooked advantage to exercise is the benefit that exercise may have on our minds - the most magnificent “muscle” of all.

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Realistic Resolutions: Changing Resolutions into Habits

By: Peggy Crawford, PhD; Stephanie Buxhoeveden, MSCN, MSN, FNP-BC; Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT, MSCS

New Year’s resolutions often involve aspirations to improve wellness.  While wellness is frequently thought to include just diet and exercise, it includes many more dimensions.  Can Do MS and the National MS Society recognize six dimensions of wellness:  1) Diet, Exercise, and Healthy Behaviors, 2) Relationships, 3) Work and Home, 4) Emotional Wellbeing, 5) Spirituality, and 6) Cognitive Well Being.  Learning about what is included under each dimension of wellness, thinking about them on your own and with others, including your support partner, can help you to prioritize your wellness needs and then select the wellness dimension that you wish to improve.

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Tangible and Non-Tangible Aspects of Exercise

By: Sue Kushner, PT, MS - Physical Therapist and Can Do MS Programs Consultant

All exercise is not created equal. A well-balanced fitness program needs a number of components - some tangible, some not so tangible. Individual exercise recommendations can be broken down into four tangible categories: Strengthening, stretching, balance and coordination, and cardiovascular activities. Your exercise goals should encompass each of these categories. "Non-cardio" exercises can also offer benefits in each of these categories.

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Don’t Weight for Wellness: What You Lose Can Help You Gain

By: Mona Bostick RDN, CSO, LDN – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT – Physical Therapist

Through aspects of our everyday life that we CAN control- particularly diet choices and physical activity- we can positively change and improve obesity and obesity-related comorbid health conditions. Exercise may influence body functions such as mood and cognition, mobility, and bowel and bladder functions. Exercise and physical activity may also have positive effects on the neuroplasticity of the brain, as well as enhancing the neuroprotective environment and minimizing inflammation. Similarly, what you eat can greatly affect your overall health and well-being.

Change is always difficult and there are really no shortcuts; you have to actually make sustainable changes to get results. BUT the payoff for your hard work is promising! Losing excess weight can make you feel better both physically and emotionally.

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GPS For Your MS: Initiating Your Wellness Journey

By: Stephanie Buxhoeveden, MSCN, MSN, FNP-BC & Peggy Crawford, PhD

Following the diagnosis of MS and during periods of change in your MS, it is not unusual to feel your personal GPS is out of whack and not working as well as it had in the past - or not as well as you were hoping it would. This is true whether you are the person with MS or someone who cares about you. You may feel lost, without direction, and overwhelmed with multiple choices and decisions. You may feel that little is under your control. On the other hand, MS often becomes the motivation - the “kick in the butt” so to speak - that people have needed to pursue effective wellness and healthy lifestyle strategies.

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Diet and Multiple Sclerosis

By: Dr. Pavan Bhargava

The Paleolithic Diet. The Mediterranean Diet. The McDougall Diet. The Swank Diet. With so many diets being promoted, it is hard to fully understand each of their nutritional benefits, possible deficiencies, and effects on multiple sclerosis. In addition to explaining the impacts that our diet has on MS and offering evidence around some popular dietary strategies, Dr. Bhargava will answer your questions and guide you to make healthy eating choices that will benefit you and your MS!

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These programs are possible thanks to the generous support of the following sponsors:

EMD Serono
Sanofi Genzyme
Genentech
Novartis
Celgene
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals