Here at the Centre, we have over 150 members with MS. It’s one of the most well known neurological conditions, and over 130,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with a form of MS. 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition which causes damage to nerves in the brain and spinal cord. It’s referred to as an autoimmune disease, because it’s a result of the body’s own immune system mistakenly targeting and attacking healthy tissue. 

‘Sclerosis’ refers to the scarring or damage caused to the nerves by MS. It’s called ‘multiple’ because this damage often happens in more than one place in the body. MS attacks the nerves themselves, damaging the myelin sheath which carries messages around the nervous system. 

 There are various types of MS – these are the three main ones:

  • Relapsing Remitting
  • Secondary Progressive
  • Primary Progressive 

Managing symptoms 

If you’ve had a diagnosis of MS, you’ll know how hard it is for medical practitioners to give a definite answer to the question of ‘what’s wrong with me?’ The range of symptoms associated with MS is wide, that’s why it’s often so difficult to diagnose, as lots of other conditions have to be ruled out first. 

Symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • numbness and tingling
  • loss of balance and dizziness
  • stiffness or spasms
  • tremor
  • pain
  • bladder and bowel problems
  • vision problems
  • problems with memory and thinking

This isn't an exhaustive list - some people have other symptoms as well, and it's hard to determine what's a symptom of MS and what might be a separate condition. Always talk to your medical team about any new symptoms you have, or any symptoms that concern you. Sometimes MS affects our most basic bodily functions – your medical team will have dealt with many people with the same experiences, they’re there to help you, and will give you the best advice possible. We have a Continence Nurse who visits the Centre every few weeks, do check the newsletter or the board in the cafe to find out when she's next in.  

Causes of MS

There’s a lot of research going on into the causes of MS, and of course, it’s complex, and a combination of factors can cause the condition to develop. MS isn’t hereditary but there is a genetic tendency within families. There’s a theory that it’s caused by a virus, but no particular one has been identified. 

There’s evidence that smoking is linked with MS, so it’s a good idea never to start, and it’s definitely a no-no if you’ve been diagnosed. If you do have MS and you still smoke, talk to your GP or medical team about support to help you stop.

There’s no one easy cause to identify, there may be one or it could be a combination of factors.    


There are various medical treatments for MS, and your medical team will recommend the most appropriate one for you, bearing in mind the type of MS you have and the symptoms you’re experiencing. If you’re thinking of an alternative treatment, make sure it doesn’t conflict with any of the medication you’re taking – you should have an Advice Line number from your medical team to ring with questions, so always check before trying anything new. 


This is where the Neuro Therapy Centre comes in – our therapy team is qualified and experienced in providing physical therapies for people with all types of MS, helping you maximise your potential for movement and mobility. 

Exercise is brilliant for MS – not just the physical side, but those mood-boosting endorphins are great! Physical therapy can help with so many symptoms, not just the obvious ones.  

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Maintenance of muscle strength
  • A positive impact on bladder and bowel function
  • Help combat MS-related fatigue
  • Better mood and mental well-being
  • May enhance cognitive abilities
  • Maintain bone health and prevent osteoporosis
  • Flexibility exercises maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness

One-to-one sessions with a physio are great for targeting the areas you want to improve, but don’t forget the group sessions, such as Pilates or Seated Exercise, which will help you maintain your overall physical condition as well as being a great way to spend time with other people and have a laugh. We offer these virtually as well as at the Centre, giving you the opportunity to access sessions from the comfort of your home without the need to travel.

Mental Health Support

Having MS can have a big effect on your mental health – being diagnosed with the condition can have a negative impact, and the symptoms can make you feel low. We’ve got people you can talk to, whether that’s in one-to-one counselling sessions, a support group for people with MS, or our Listening Service, when you can just let off steam or have a chat with someone about how you’re feeling. It’s important to emphasise that Carers can access our mental health support services too, as we understand the challenges that living with MS can cause. Have a look at our mental health support to see the options available. 

Caring for someone with MS 

We understand that caring for someone with MS can be as challenging as it is rewarding, so we are here to support you too.  As well as the mental health support you can get at the Centre, you can access our physical therapy groups for a bit of exercise, or just ensure you get some time to yourself. While the person you care for has their physical therapy and a cuppa and a snack afterwards, you can take some ‘me’ time to do a bit of shopping, meet up with friends, or whatever you’d like to do. You can relax, knowing that your cared for person is in a safe and friendly environment. Here’s a link to our ‘Support for Carers’ page, which gives you information about how we can support you, along with links to other organisations that support Carers.   


Our information point in the Café has a wide range of literature from the MS Society and MS Trust as well as other supporting organisations, dealing with many aspects of the condition.   

Here are some links to websites, full of information that you might find useful.   

Don’t forget, if you have any questions or need advice about anything, don’t hesitate to ask.  If we don’t know the answer, we’ll find someone who does!