Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Emily Henneman


Multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disease, muscles spasms in thoracic spine, balance deficits


Background and Purpose. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive that affects the central nervous system. This case study discusses the clinical decision making and the effectiveness of treatment of physical therapy for a patient with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Case Description. This case study describes an 8-week outpatient physical therapy episode of care for a 52-year-old patient with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. The patient presented to physical therapy secondary to balance deficits and muscles spasms in her thoracic spine. Physical therapy interventions included resistive, balance, endurance, and gait exercises.

Outcomes. Following 8 weeks of physical therapy the patient's balance, endurance, gait, and strength improved. She had no recent fails or muscle spasms since starting physical therapy. Outcomes were measured with manual muscle testing, 30-second chair test, single leg stance, and ambulating around a track.

Discussion. This study aligns with current evidence that physical therapy can positively affect patients with multiple sclerosis. A limitation of this study is the absence of standardized tests and measures. Fatigue and quality of life should be measured through a self-report questionnaire.