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Friday, February 12, 2016
Life on the Go With MS
By Kara Mayer Robinson WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD
You've got things to do and places to go, and no time for MS to slow you down. Check out these ideas to get comfortable and stay on the move.
The right shoes can make walking a lot easier. They can help you manage symptoms like muscle stiffness, numbness, and balance problems.
"While there are plentiful options of shoes in the market, it is important to choose comfort and efficiency over style," says Nora Wagner, a physical therapist at Loyola University Health System.
Light weight. Lighter shoes are easier on your legs and help you save energy. You'll also clear the ground more easily, which makes it less likely that you'll trip and fall.
Velcro fasteners. They're better than laces because they make it easier to put your shoes on and take them off. Adjust them for a secure, custom fit.
Wide, low heels. They make it easier for you to keep your balance. Choose one that's 1.5 inches tall or less.
Also, the bottom of your heels should be solid, not soft. Avoid flimsy shoes like flip-flops and sling-backs.
Good tread. It can help you navigate uneven surfaces like grass and gravel if you have numbness or balance problems, says Loyola University physical therapist Prem Batchu-Green.
Avoid shoes with heavy tread, which creates extra friction and can make your foot drag.
Proper fit. If your shoes are too big, it's harder to balance, Wagner says. If they’re too small, you may get swelling and a heavy feeling in your feet. The ideal size is about a half inch longer than your longest toe.
Special equipment you install in your car can make driving easier and keep you behind the wheel longer. They include:
Hand controls. You can accelerate and apply the brake with your hands instead of your feet.
Digital driving rings, joysticks, or other devices. These high-tech gadgets make it easier to control the gas and brake.
Spinner knob. It's attached to the steering wheel to make it easier to turn.
Extra mirrors. Wide-angle rearview mirrors and larger side mirrors can help you see better. That helps if you have trouble turning your head.