MS Multiple sclerosis: physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatment

Despite intensive research efforts and the development of high-performance devices in deciphering the disease, MS still remains a complex and mysterious disease. A causal therapy is therefore not possible.

MS is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease. Because of its different courses and symptoms, it is known as the “disease of 1000 faces”. Drug treatment is constantly improving. However, it cannot possibly treat all the symptoms of MS on its own. This is why physiotherapy and occupational therapy are very important.


Therapy for MS requires special knowledge and experience and must therefore be carried out by specialized therapists.

Physiotherapy at the USZ offers:

  • An individual training focused on the main problems of the patient with the instruction of an individual home program (if appropriate)
  • Targeted strength training
  • Control of spasticity or measures to influence the tone in the arms and legs
  • The promotion of selective and economical movements and the reduction of overloads and misalignments
  • The treatment of impaired perceptual qualities
  • Balance training for unsteady standing and/or unsteady walking
  • Compensatory/functional training depending on the severity of the illness
  • Clarification of aids and orthoses to maintain mobility
  • Recommendations for everyday life
  • Measures for dealing with fatigue in collaboration with occupational therapy
  • Also brief clarifications to initiate outpatient follow-up care if continuing physiotherapy is indicated

Occupational therapy at the USZ offers:

In occupational therapy, patients’ everyday activities are assessed. The overriding goal is to regain the greatest possible independence, e.g. in personal hygiene, dressing and eating. From the very first day, targeted support is offered for the implementation of these activities. Possible sub-goals:

  • Increasing independence in self-care (washing/dressing/eating)
  • Optimization of posture, body movement and coordination in collaboration with physiotherapy
  • Promoting cognitive skills such as attention, memory and planning as a prerequisite for independent action
  • Optimization of the functions of the affected hand through functional training and the provision of aids. Assistive devices are also used to protect unstable joints or to make everyday activities easier
  • Measures for dealing with fatigue: information, advice and behavioral adjustment through energy management training (EMS)/self-management
  • Positive influence on reduced or altered body awareness through targeted sensitivity training with various everyday materials. This is a prerequisite for coordinated and efficient movement sequences such as button fastening

Additional offer of swallowing assessment and therapy:

  • During the inpatient stay, possible swallowing problems are assessed in detail by the FOT (Facio Oral Tract) therapists.
  • Those affected are advised on possible diet and consistency adjustments
  • Possible assistance (posture, use of aids, etc.) and compensation techniques with regard to swallowing are offered and trained

For patients

The therapy services are primarily available to patients of the USZ. The prescription for the therapy is issued and sent by your doctor. As a patient, you cannot register directly for a consultation/therapy.

For referrer

Easily assign your patient online.


University Hospital Zurich
Physiotherapy Occupational Therapy
Gloriastrasse 25
8091 Zurich

Assign online

Related diseases