Liz Betts, the physiotherapist who wrote this book describes how it came about
A few years ago, a client with MS showed me an exercise video he was using. I didn't feel it was altogether appropriate for his needs and said so. He, however, challenged me and asked what else I had got to offer? He was right, of course; I hadn't an alternative. I went home and decided that I would write down the advice I give people with MS on exercise and coping with the disease. Much of the information came from people with MS, other physios and a host of others including my singing teacher! My son also drew cartoons to illustrate the original text.
It was difficult to know quite what to do with it at this stage. Fortunately, I was asked to speak at an MS Trust study day, so I approached them. They were very enthusiastic and supportive and the project to get the book published was up and running!
Once we had a draft copy, we sent it to outside readers - specialist physios, a specialist nurse and to people with MS to try out the exercises. When designing the diagrams, the staff at the Trust got quite used to me lying on the floor in the office, demonstrating how an exercise should be done! The final draft was sent to CHIQ - the Centre for Health Information Quality - and we were really pleased to be awarded their triangle mark.
I hope people will be able to use the book in different ways. It is possible to dip into it and use it to correct posture and remind oneself how to move effectively. It can also be used as a 'keep fit' programme, where you can select a group of exercises to do and build up the number of repetitions to improve strength and general fitness. There is something in the book for everyone, whether newly or long time diagnosed. If you are in any doubt you may want to seek advice from your local physio.
We will be reviewing the book in the future so would be grateful for any feedback.
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