Get Ready to Talk the Walk
Talking about your walking is important
It isn’t always easy to talk to doctors about walking, but these are common concerns for many people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Even if talking about it makes you uncomfortable, it is important to speak with your healthcare team. There may be options available to help improve your walking.
Suggestions to help you talk about walking with your healthcare team:
- DO make a point to discuss walking at every doctor visit
- DO mention changes in your walking, even if they seem minor or don't happen all the time
- DO tell your doctor how you walk each day while at work, caring for your family, exercising or running errands or if difficulties arise during any other daily routines
Things to keep in mind — tell your doctor if you:
- Have started to avoid activities that require walking
- Walk less outside your home
- Lean on walls or furniture to help you get around your home
- Become tired due to the effort needed to walk
- Take longer to complete routine trips throughout your day (grocery shopping, getting the mail)
You can also print the above checklists to bring with you to your next appointment.
The Talking to Your Doctor Discussion Guide can help
Another easy way to prepare for appointments is to write down your questions and concerns ahead of time. This will help you establish a dialogue. It will also make sure you don't forget anything important.
Using our Talking to Your Doctor Discussion Guide — a free, printable checklist that you create — you can go to each appointment ready to talk about your walking.
Part of the Guide is a simple assessment of your walking. You can discuss the results with your healthcare team to help them come up with the best treatment plan for you.
Watch a one-on-one interview with a leading MS specialist as he discusses when you should talk about walking with your doctor.
AMPYRA is indicated as a treatment to improve walking in patients with MS. AMPYRA improved walking in significantly more people with MS than placebo (sugar pill) in two clinical trials (34.8% vs. 8.3% and 42.9% vs. 9.3%). This was demonstrated by an increase in walking speed.
Not everyone responds to AMPYRA. Individual results may vary.
When should people talk with their doctor about walking?Dr. Thrower:
I think any symptom from multiple sclerosis that affects the person's quality of life or their ability to function the way they want to at home or in the workplace needs to be discussed as early as possible.
Many of the uh.. interventions that we have for multiple sclerosis may be more effective, for instance, if we start uh.. early, and we may be able to prevent complications of- of some symptoms by intervening uh.. sooner, rather than later.