Text Size: a  |   a 

Special Fitness Program for MS Patients Continues to Grow

March 3, 2016

The Lynn DeSantis Therapy Program has done some great things for MS patients already, and it is now set to receive a huge grant. Patients who are a part of this program get two one-hour workout sessions a week, a monthly therapeutic massage and a yearly checkup with a licensed physical therapist.

A recent $368,228 grant from the Desert Healthcare District means the therapy program is prepared for an expansion. This program originated in 2000 after the implementation of the nonprofit ACT for multiple sclerosis.

The hour-long workouts aim to improve muscle strength, flexibility and balance. Loyal patient Ken Thompson, 65, has improved gradually, “I just couldn’t hold some of the poses that required balance,” he said after a recent session. “Now it’s getting better so thank God for that.”

Exercise is known as a great way to slow the progression of MS, as symptoms that show up in most patients such as muscle tightness, fatigue and sensitivity to temperatures are tough to reverse. The program was named after a patient named Lynn DeSantis, who was the programs first patient. After her passing in 2012, her husband said that this program extended her life by what could be 5 years.

A physical therapist evaluates participants when they start the program and continues with annual visits to chart their progress. While this type of PT is not covered by insurance, patients in the program long-term report better strength and flexibility and lower pain, according to an evaluation conducted by HARC, Health Assessment and Research for Communities.

Learn more about this cutting edge program here.