Online Resources Can Do Library

At Can Do MS, we know that the power of knowledge can transform lives and expand beliefs about what is possible.

These articles are written by our nationwide team of program consultants - renowned healthcare professionals dedicated to educating people living with MS and their support partners.  You will find valuable information and approaches covering our Six Dimensions of Wellness- Emotional Well-Being, Cognitive Well-Being; Home & Work; Diet, Exercise & Healthy Behaviors;  Relationships; and Spirituality.

These articles are provided as general educational resources and should not be interpreted as diagnoses, prognoses, or treatment suggestions.  Information and perspectives represent the views of the individual author(s); Can Do Multiple Sclerosis is not responsible for the accuracy or currency of the responses.  Readers should consult with their healthcare team.

Realistic Resolutions: Changing Resolutions into Habits

By: Peggy Crawford, PhD; Stephanie Buxhoeveden, MSCN, MSN, FNP-BC; Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT, MSCS

New Year’s resolutions often involve aspirations to improve wellness.  While wellness is frequently thought to include just diet and exercise, it includes many more dimensions.  Can Do MS and the National MS Society recognize six dimensions of wellness:  1) Diet, Exercise, and Healthy Behaviors, 2) Relationships, 3) Work and Home, 4) Emotional Wellbeing, 5) Spirituality, and 6) Cognitive Well Being.  Learning about what is included under each dimension of wellness, thinking about them on your own and with others, including your support partner, can help you to prioritize your wellness needs and then select the wellness dimension that you wish to improve.

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Cognitive Rehabilitation in MS: Research Update

By: Abbey J. Hughes, PhD & Pamela H. Miller, MA, CCC-SLP

Cognitive changes are common among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), affecting 40-60% of the MS population. Much like physical MS symptoms, cognitive changes vary widely from person to person. Whereas many individuals with MS experience slowed processing speed as their predominate cognitive difficulty, others may experiences problems across a number of cognitive areas including learning, memory, problem-solving, and word-finding. Given the wide range of cognitive difficulties, treatments for cognitive impairment in MS are not a one-size-fits-all approach.

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Tips for the “Sandwich Generation”: Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others

By: Peggy Crawford, PhD & Rosalind Kalb, PhD

Over 2.2 million Americans are in the “sandwich generation” – simultaneously providing support to aging parents/in-laws and at least one child under age 18. As life expectancy increases, the “sandwich generation” will continue to grow rapidly. Providing support has significant positive effects (enhancing relationships, creating sense of gratification/empathy/responsibility), but also poses financial, emotional, psychological, social, and marital burdens.


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Words (and thoughts) CAN Hurt You: Biopsychosocial Factors in Pain Management

By: Chris Nesbitt, MPT

Pain can be amplified by what others say to you and affect your emotions.  A fearful understanding of how pain may result from daily life choices can, in fact, prohibit you from making those life choices and falsely inhibit your understanding of what you actually can do.  However, a healthy understanding of your pain may lead you to believe that you are not in danger of falling apart or under a real physical threat.  Your understanding of your pain can more you feel confident and safe.  You can do something about your pain psychology by learning and managing your "biopsychosocial factors"

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Common Health Insurance Problems in Multiple Sclerosis: Solutions, Resources and Strategies

By: Emily Williamson, BSW and Kim Calder, MPS

While no one plans to get sick or hurt, health insurance protects you from unexpected medical costs and offers other benefits like preventative care.  We have taken some common questions and offered strategies and solutions to help to navigate this sometimes overwhelming world of health insurance.

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Managing Complex Care Needs Whenever They Occur: A Team Approach

By: Stephanie Buxhoeveden, MSCN, MSN, FNP-BC; Roz Kalb, Ph.D.; and Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT

You and your healthcare team work together to manage your multiple sclerosis (MS). Each of the team members shown here can help you recognize and address the many kinds of challenges that may occur over the course of the disease. People with MS and their families may interact with many of these providers depending on the medical, psychological or social problems that arise over time.

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Learning to be Resilient in the World of MS

By: Barbara B. Appelbaum, PCC, MBA, MAT & Dawn Ehde, PhD,

When life feels like it is at its worst, you have the opportunity to be at your best. Receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) represents one of these junctures. You are blindsided by a betrayal of your body that feels like it will never stop. Your knee-jerk reaction is to run or hide under the covers; although neither of those are useful options. What is helpful is recognizing you can shift your mindset and respond with positivity; decreasing your stress and increasing your overall wellness.

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Assessing Your Home Accessibility Needs

By: Stephanie Nolan, OTR/L – Occupational Therapist & Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT – Physical Therapist

MS can present ongoing changes to the person with MS and support partners. Changes to strength, balance, coordination, dexterity, and other physical abilities are not uncommon (as well as cognitive, occupational, and mood-related changes). What doesn’t change, however, is our innate need for independence, especially in our homes. Therefore, making intelligent changes to your home to improve environmental accessibility is important to compensate for these changes, while promoting as much independence as possible and, most importantly, ensuring the safety of the person with MS, as well as the whole family.

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Strategies to Improve Functional Vision Performance in Multiple Sclerosis

By: Fay Jobe Tripp, MS, OTR/L, CDRS

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is commonly known to affect a person’s overall physical functioning with limitations in movement coordination, strength, endurance, and sensation with numbness. To maximize function, independence and safety, it is important to successfully incorporate compensatory strategies into purposeful occupations and functional daily activities in the home, in leisure skills, at work, and in the community.

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Tangible and Non-Tangible Aspects of Exercise

By: Sue Kushner, PT, MS - Physical Therapist and Can Do MS Programs Consultant

All exercise is not created equal. A well-balanced fitness program needs a number of components - some tangible, some not so tangible. Individual exercise recommendations can be broken down into four tangible categories: Strengthening, stretching, balance and coordination, and cardiovascular activities. Your exercise goals should encompass each of these categories. "Non-cardio" exercises can also offer benefits in each of these categories.

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Sanofi Genzyme
Genentech