Explore as a Forum Guest

People are afraid of commitment, I get that. (That’s one reason I don’t have a tattoo. I mean, what if I had gotten a Nickelback lyric on my forearm. Imagine the fallout, ostracization, and horror years later.) Fortunately, unlike most social media platforms that require registering to view anything, our forums are open to all. If you just want to browse and poke around (aka, lurk), hoovering up valuable MS information, have at it. Indeed, many prefer that route. So if you prefer to get your feet wet this way, I’m cool with that.

Register as a Forum Member

Membership has its privileges…. Forum members can post, add images (this is a big benefit!), private message other members, and much more. That requires a simple registration process. First, you’ll be asked for your USER NAME. Choose something clever that fits you and your personality (e.g., MSdancer). I recommend NOT using your real name in full (e.g., use KrisTheRunner instead of Kris Smith) and avoid using your email address as a username. Then you’ll be asked to create a password and confirm your email address. And that’s pretty much it (other than answering a question to prevent spammers).

Prepare Your Profile

All of this is optional. But here’s where you can get creative. On the upper right of the page you’ll see your username and a drop-down menu. Click “My Profile.” If you feel so inspired, upload a photo or graphic for your avatar (the image that will appear next to every post of yours). The upload limit is 2MB, so you may need to downsize or crop an existing photo to avoid going over that limit. And note that that little “cropping” square that pops up can be resized, just drag a corner, so you can get exactly the portion of pic you want. Then click on “User Settings” and add whatever info you’d like to share with other members (or not). Leave it all blank if you prefer. You can always add details later.

Post Away!

If you’ve never posted in a forum, that first post can be a bit a scary, like jumping off the high dive. You don’t want to splay out and belly flop. But here’s the thing, you won’t. If you want to respond to an existing topic, click “Post Reply,” or just start typing at the bottom of the thread. If you want to start a new thread, click “New Topic.” Type in a subject, and then add what you’d like to say. If you want to add an image, click the camera icon, select upload and then follow instructions. Worried your post won’t turn out alright? Click on “preview” before you do it for reals.

Ack, So You Messed Up!?

You can edit your posts at any time. So if you say something that wasn’t quite worded correctly or the autocorrect changed “you are so dear to me” to “you are so dead to me” (argh!), you can remedy it. (If you need to edit the Title though, after five minutes it gets locked, so you’ll need to write me.) It’s all fixable. Likewise, if you want to do something a bit more complicated—change your username, remove a post entirely, or whatever—again, just email me personally: dave@activemsers.org.

Customize Out the Wazoo

There are a bunch of things you can do customize your fun, so play around, you won’t break anything. You can start in Edit Settings. In Account you can change basic settings, like time zone. In Notifications, you can tweak a bit more, like automatically subscribing to posts, getting e-mail notifications and more. And then if you go back to your main profile under your avatar, you’ll see Customize My Style. Change colors, text size, buttons, everything! Recommendation: change one thing at a time to see how you like it. And maybe don’t change the text color to white if you have a white background because then everything will, uh, vanish.

Community Best Practices

This isn’t Facebook or Twitter. Be nice. Be respectful. Don’t spread false information. Keep it chronic illness related; this isn’t a space for politics or a platform for causes outside of health. Promoting your own site, Facebook page or blog willy nilly is frowned upon unless you are an established member. And advertising is forbidden. Basically, use common sense. If you cross a line, I’ll let you know. If you see a spam post that I haven’t removed yet, write me and let me know: dave@activemsers.org. I try to delete them and ban the offender promptly, but sometimes they work too darn quickly for me catch them!

More Tips

Those little blue arrows on posts? Click them and they’ll jump to the latest post in that thread. See where it says “Posts” or “Latest Activity” directly under “Forums”? The former shows all posts, while the latter shows you just the new posts you’ve missed. And if you are excited about a certain thread and want to stay up to date on the latest, click +Subscribe. Now you’ll see a new “My Subscriptions” tab next to Forums and Latest Activity. Click that and your favorite threads are tucked in there! And in your profile there are more settings you can change. In your settings you can even set up e-mail alerts when someone comments on a post you are following.

Tagging and the Tag Cloud

One way to dig deeper into specific topics is to look at specific “tags” users put on some posts. For instance, you can find pretty much every exercise study posted in the forum by clicking on “Exercise Study” in the tag cloud. Researching AFOs or diet? Click on those tags. Registered users can add tags to any existing post, even those from years ago. When I have six months of free time, that’ll be a fun job to dive into! But if that never happens, I encourage you to add tags yourself when you feel so inspired.

Searching Topics

The search function really shows the power of the forums. At the upper right of every page is a search box. Use it. Interested in researching Rituxan as a treatment? Type in “Rituxan” and every post that has that term is displayed. You may need to try variations of the treatment name to get complete results, such as Rituximab, Ocrevus, and ocrelizumab. Likewise, if you are interested in researching a particular diet, type in your diet of choice, e.g., Wahls, Swank, etc. Bingo, presto! Everything ever posted on that topic dating back to 2008 will appear. Note, you can just search in titles, or you can click on “Advanced Search” and really get specific, from date ranges to members to the type of post.

Thank you for being a part of our community and please enjoy our forums here at ActiveMSers!


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STUDY: Does the Wii video game help with balance?

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  • STUDY: Does the Wii video game help with balance?

    This one from 2012 says not really, but a new one published in 2020 says yes. Read on! -D

    Balance exercise for persons with multiple sclerosis using Wii games: a randomised, controlled multi-centre study

    Ylva E Nilsagård1,4
    Anette S Forsberg2
    Lena von Koch3
    1Centre for Health Care Sciences, Örebro County Council, Sweden
    2Family Medicine Research Centre, Örebro County Council, Sweden.
    3Division of Neurology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    4School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
    Ylva Nilsagård, Centre for Health Care Sciences, Örebro County Council, P.O. Box 1324, SE- 701 13 Örebro, Sweden.


    Background: The use of interactive video games is expanding within rehabilitation. The evidence base is, however, limited.
    Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the effects of a Nintendo Wii Fit® balance exercise programme on balance function and walking ability in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

    Methods: A multi-centre, randomised, controlled single-blinded trial with random allocation to exercise or no exercise. The exercise group participated in a programme of 12 supervised 30-min sessions of balance exercises using Wii games, twice a week for 6–7 weeks. Primary outcome was the Timed Up and Go test (TUG). In total, 84 participants were enrolled; four were lost to follow-up.

    Results: After the intervention, there were no statistically significant differences between groups but effect sizes for the TUG, TUGcognitive and, the Dynamic Gait Index (DGI) were moderate and small for all other measures. Statistically significant improvements within the exercise group were present for all measures (large to moderate effect sizes) except in walking speed and balance confidence. The non-exercise group showed statistically significant improvements for the Four Square Step Test and the DGI.

    Conclusion: In comparison with no intervention, a programme of supervised balance exercise using Nintendo Wii Fit® did not render statistically significant differences, but presented moderate effect sizes for several measures of balance performance.
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    I have not tried Wii games yet, As I have come to know in this forum that these games which compels someone to dance while playing will obviously help MS, so i am greatly interested and wanna start playing. Thanks for sharing.


    • #3
      Hey all, I love Wii. I Do use balance board and "sports" games that require arm movements. I play with my kids occassionally. Unfortunately wii was discontinued. (I would expect a real gamer to know this - so I throw it out there for all you non-gamers. Also, as far as cool factor, Wii is well not ) But Good news is that if interested in awesome balance board technigy, you can still find used wii games/ consoles pretty cheap at local Gameshop or on Ebay. Look for balance board and games or wii fitness games that use it. The controllers and nunchucks will encourage range of motion and movement. I've picked up quite a few fitness wii games at local charity thrift. My local charity usually has 1 or 2 wii consoles available for sale.


      • #4
        This newest Wii study found notable benefit. -D

        Objective evaluation of Nintendo Wii Fit Plus balance program training on postural stability in Multiple Sclerosis patients: a pilot study

        Cimino, Vincenzoa; Chisari, Clara Graziab; Raciti, Gianfrancob; Russo, Annab; Veca, Donatab; Zagari, Francescob; Calabrò, Rocco Salvatorea; Patti, Francescob

        International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: May 2, 2020


        The use of the Nintendo Wii system has become a common tool for balance rehabilitation in patients with multiple sclerosis, but few studies verified the effectiveness of such an approach using quantitative measures of postural control. We aimed to evaluate the impact of rehabilitation treatment using the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus balance program on objective stabilometric parameters in multiple sclerosis patients.

        We enrolled 36 multiple sclerosis patients, with mild-moderate disability, referring to the multiple sclerosis Centre of the University of Catania from September 2013 to June 2014. Twenty participants underwent 20 individual sessions of balance exercise using the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus. They were assessed at baseline (T0) and at the end of rehabilitation program (T1) by Neurocom Balance Manager. Functional independence measure, Barthel index, and Berg balance scale were also administered.

        At T1, we found a significant improvement in total path length-open eyes, sway area-open eyes, and mean sway velocity-open eyes. Patients showed significant improvement in functional independence measure motor score, Barthel index, and in Berg balance scale. No significant differences between T0 and T1 in closed eyes trials were found. A significant correlation between delta values between T0 and T1 of sway area-open eyes and the Berg balance scale (r = −0.76; P < 0.0001) was found.

        This study confirmed that balance rehabilitation training performed using the Nintendo Wii with balance board significantly reduced some postural sway parameters in multiple sclerosis patients. It could be a good support to standard rehabilitation program in multiple sclerosis patients.
        Dave Bexfield


        • #5
          I still have my older Wii Fit board, hand controls (including archery triggers), and I still find it an absolute blast! I still fall over in any balance scenarios, but I have fun, anyway!
          There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate gear and clothing.