4.1 Understanding Multiple Sclerosis for Exercise Professionals


Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most common neurological diseases and affects many of its victims much earlier int heir lives than other Neurological conditions like Stroke and Parkinsons.

As a result of this - clients with MS will often need a much more long term exercise programme which can change with them as they age than for other conditions.

Having said this no people with MS are the same and so the instructor needs to be adaptable and able to create a specific programme to meet the needs of the indicidual rather than an off the peg workout for 'People with MS'

This course brings you the knowledge that you need to be able to converse with clients with MS and to understand their needs and so combine what you hear with your skills and the exercises offered on follow up workshops to build suitable and effective programmes.

The most important thing to remember with this often-confusing neurological condition is to treat each client as an individual and to understand that the client's ability to do an exercise might change from session to session :  But why is this :   




By the end of this workshop you will :

  • Understand the difference between wehite and grey matter in the brain and which affect MS more
  • Be able to understand the effects of Demyelination and why this is believed to occur
  • Understand the correct working of the nervous system and how a demyelinating disease alters this.
  • Understand the term 'Sclerosis' and identify plaques and lesions in an affected persons MRI scans
  • Understand the parts of the Nervous system that MS targets 
  • Recognise MS statistics and differentiate facts from myths relating to MS
  • Identify different types of MS 
  • Understand common and less common symptoms of MS
  • Explore the concept of Neurological pathways and understand how you might helpclients to develop new pathways.
  • Understand the value and contraindications of exercise for clients with MS
  • Recognise the reason for choosing Pilates methodology when working with this population
  • Look at Demographics and understand why there are geographical and gender differences in the distribution of MS worldwide.
  • Understand some of the causes of MS
  • Understand common treatments for MS (traditional and complimentary or alternative)
  • Recognise that Environmental issues like temperature intolerance, sensitivity to touch, numbness, fatique, mood etc. can affect the client when working-out and develop plans to work around this.
  • Understand about Neurological Pain
  • Recognise cognitive issues relating to MS and adapt the way you teach accordingly
  • Understand the term 'Spasticity' and how Spasticity affects a client with MS 
  • Understand the term 'Clonus' and how 'clonus' affects a client with MS
  • Identify compensatory Patterns resulting from Muscle weakness
  • Understand the term 'Foot Drop' and how 'foot drop' affects a client with MS
  • Understand the affects of MS on Balance
  • Understand the affects of MS on Gait
  • Understand the term 'Ataxia' and how 'Ataxia' affects a client with MS
  • Recognise that clients with MS may complain of vertigo or dizziness and identify why this is
  • Understand the affects of MS on Proprioception
  • Understand the connection between MS and Bowel and Bladder symptoms
  • Gain confidence and tips in working to guidelines in  designing a Program for a client with MS
  • Understand Workout basics for most clients with this condition
  • Develop SMART goals for each client





This course is appropriate for all movement or exercise professionals who are working with clients or family members with MS.

Whilst it is not necessary to be a Pilates Instructor in the least and this part of the course is mostly theoretical - the programming and many of the exercises chosen for this population require an empathy for the fundamentals of Pilates and there may be an assumption on the part of the tutor that you understand the basics of the Pilates movement system.  


This is a full day course

Further Details

This 'Understanding' MS course is not a qualification in its own right - it needs to be combined with 'Exercises for Neurological conditions' one day course to deliver a qualification as an MS exercise specialist.  

Pilates comprehensively trained or studio trained instructors can choose to also take a second day of Pialtes exercises for Neurological conditions which is geared towards Pialtes Apparatus (Cadillac, Reformer, Chair, barrels) in order to upgrade their qualification from MS Exercise specialist to MS Pilates specialist.

The two exercise days (Exercise for Neurological conditions and Pialtes exercises for Neurological conditions) are common to other Neurological conditions and can be combined with other one day courses to provide qualifications focussed on these Neurological conditions

  • Understanding Parkinsons Disease for Exercise Professionals
  • Understanding Stroke for Exercise Professionals


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Typical course price: £280.00
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