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Dance With Your MS

August 7th, 2015

Has being diagnosed with MS forced you to stop dancing? Many MS patients are not letting multiple sclerosis get in the way of enjoying these activities or trying new ones. Even if you aren’t particularly a fan of ballroom dance, don’t be afraid to give it a try if you deem yourself physically able.

Already proven to have positively affected patients that have Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, a small study shows that ballroom-style dancing can do the same for patients with MS. The recent study says that structured dance and salsa lessons could improve not only physical activity, but gait and balance in cases of MS.

The most recent study paired MS patients with partners that did not have MS. They took part in dances such as the rumba, fox-trot, waltz, swing, American tango, push-pull and salsa. The patients that were recruited for the program were those that could make their way around with minimal to moderate aid and were physically able to participate, which is obviously best for patients that pursue the activity.

Taking part in the engaging activity also has potential to improve motor performance, endurance and cognition for patients. There has also been evidence found that MS-related fatigue has the potential to decrease during this due to the increased cardiovascular activity that would occur. 

Immersing yourself and your body into a new activity involving balance and rhythm is especially important for MS patients since these things also involve memory. This ultimately can have the ability to help the brain create new neurological pathways. This has to do with the neuroplasticity mechanism, where brains can ‘rewire’ themselves in order to maneuver around damage.

The activity can be extremely beneficial for social reasons as well, as one can meet many other MS patients as well as non-MS patients and be involved in a great community. 

Dance With Your MS - Fri August 07, 2015 3:37 PM