Online Resources Can Do Library

At Can Do MS, we know that the power of knowledge can transform lives. We’ve created this library to serve as a valuable resource in helping people living with multiple sclerosis and their support partners live their best lives. From articles on health, wellness and lifestyle enhancements that focus on specific topics pertaining to the six dimensions of wellness, which include the physical, emotional, social, occupational, spiritual and intellectual aspects of living with MS, to useful links and resources, use this resource to build your knowledge and expand your beliefs about what is possible.

These educational articles are authored by our interdiscplinary team of health care professionals, who are also our programs consultants.

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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Don’t Weight for Wellness: What You Lose Can Help You Gain

By: Mona Bostick RDN, CSO, LDN – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT – Physical Therapist

Through aspects of our everyday life that we CAN control- particularly diet choices and physical activity- we can positively change and improve obesity and obesity-related comorbid health conditions. Exercise may influence body functions such as mood and cognition, mobility, and bowel and bladder functions. Exercise and physical activity may also have positive effects on the neuroplasticity of the brain, as well as enhancing the neuroprotective environment and minimizing inflammation. Similarly, what you eat can greatly affect your overall health and well-being.

Change is always difficult and there are really no shortcuts; you have to actually make sustainable changes to get results. BUT the payoff for your hard work is promising! Losing excess weight can make you feel better both physically and emotionally.

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Requesting Accommodations in the Workplace: Working with MS

By: Nina Martinez

When trying to determine whether and under what conditions you can work with multiple sclerosis, it is key that you understand the laws that govern accommodations in the workplace. This article serves as a brief introduction to the law and discusses strategies for making accommodation requests.

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GPS For Your MS: Initiating Your Wellness Journey

By: Stephanie Buxhoeveden, MSCN, MSN, FNP-BC & Peggy Crawford, PhD

Following the diagnosis of MS and during periods of change in your MS, it is not unusual to feel your personal GPS is out of whack and not working as well as it had in the past - or not as well as you were hoping it would. This is true whether you are the person with MS or someone who cares about you. You may feel lost, without direction, and overwhelmed with multiple choices and decisions. You may feel that little is under your control. On the other hand, MS often becomes the motivation - the “kick in the butt” so to speak - that people have needed to pursue effective wellness and healthy lifestyle strategies.

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Sleep and MS: Strategies for Improving Your Zzz's

By: Stephanie Buxhoeveden, MSCN, MSN, FNP-BC & Abbey J. Hughes, PhD

Sleep is a surprisingly complex process that is essential to maintaining health and wellness. Unfortunately, problems with sleep quantity and quality and the negative impact of poor sleep on daily functioning are particularly common among people with MS, affecting 50% of the population.

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Diet and Multiple Sclerosis

By: Dr. Pavan Bhargava

The Paleolithic Diet. The Mediterranean Diet. The McDougall Diet. The Swank Diet. With so many diets being promoted, it is hard to fully understand each of their nutritional benefits, possible deficiencies, and effects on multiple sclerosis. In addition to explaining the impacts that our diet has on MS and offering evidence around some popular dietary strategies, Dr. Bhargava will answer your questions and guide you to make healthy eating choices that will benefit you and your MS!

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These programs are possible thanks to the generous support of the following sponsors:

Genentech, Inc.
Novartis
Teva Pharmaceuticals
Acorda Therapeutics
Mallinckdrodt Pharmaceuticals