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National MS Society Holding ‘Free From Falls’ At Henry Mayo Hospital


National Multiple Sclerosis Society officials from the Southern California and Nevada chapter are holding “Free from Falls” at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital on May 31 for individuals with MS.

Walking, balancing and coordination problems are common among people with MS, and limitations in mobility can lead to injuries and have a negative impact on quality of life, so officials designed “Free from Falls” to help, according to a National MS Society news release.

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“One of the most common symptoms that we hear about from people with MS is balance and coordination issues, so that’s why we’re bringing in an MS specialty physical therapist” said Christine Grontkowski, community development manager for the Southern California and Nevada chapter of the National MS Society.

Physical therapist Kathy SanMartino, a neurological clinical specialist and MS certified specialist at the Casa Colina MS Center in Pomona, will talk about strategies to reduce the risk of falls, teach exercises to improve balance and coordination and talk about what to do in the event of a fall, she said.

Related Article: Family Affected By Multiple Sclerosis To Hold Fundraiser For National MS Society

The exercises are designed to improve postural alignment, balance, endurance and mobility, and attendees will have the chance to participate in a discussion focused on awareness of issues related to falls.

“Falls can be a scary thing,” Grontkowski said. “It’s about quality of life.”

This is the first time “Free from Falls” will be hosted in Santa Clarita, she said, and it’s designed for people with MS who are able to walk alone or with a cane, crutch or walker, but who may be at risk for falling.

The registration fee for the event is $10 and includes exercise handouts and a light lunch.

“Free from Falls” is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 31 at Henry Mayo Hospital. For more information or to sign up, contact Grontkowski by calling 661-321-9512 ext. 66401 or emailing

About Multiple Sclerosis

MS affects 2.3 million people worldwide, and is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body, National MS Society officials said.

“It’s a disease that attacks the central nervous system,” Grontkowski said in an earlier interview. “A person’s own immune system attacks anywhere from the brain down the spinal cord and you get multiple lesions in different areas of your central nervous system.”

Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment have been made, officials said.

The National MS Society’s mission is to mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS.

The society funds research and advocacy efforts, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families.

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Article: National MS Society Holding ‘Free From Falls’ At Henry Mayo Hospital
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Melissa Lampert