Exercise in MS
Exercise in MS is so important. For people with MS, physical symptoms such as neurological fatigue, balance problems, dizziness and muscle spasticity can make traditional bike riding seem difficult or impossible and unsafe.
People with MS can be sensitive to overheating because the protective sheath on nerves, myelin, has been attacked by the immune system.
Elevated core temperature can cause a short-circuiting of brain signals because of the compromised myelin. This leads to many different unpleasant symptoms. But with cycling, even as your body heats up from the exercise, the speedier you ride, the faster the cooling breeze flows over your body.
Many people with MS have difficulty walking, running or any ambulation dependent on the feet and gait patterns; they exhibit foot drop either continuously, or upon overheating.
With cycling, a person using lower extremities apply force to the pedals, and there are continuous revolutions of the pedals in a circle.
People who experience foot drop will not have foot drop on the bike; the pedalling motion is different to walking. So instead of being slowed down by gait difficulties, a person can enjoy a challenging workout.
Aerobic exercise has been included as a recommendation in the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) gudelines for people suffering from motor weakness or reduced cardiovascular fitness as a result of MS.