High Altitude Trekking: A Natural Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurological condition that affects the central nervous system. This can lead to impaired nerve condition and manifest various symptoms such as fatigue, numbness, tingling, muscle stiffness, muscle weakness, and cognitive impairment. It happens when the immune system attacks the protective covering of the nerve cells, called myelin, and causes damage to the nerve fibers[1].

Although there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, there are various therapies and lifestyle changes that can help manage the condition and improve quality of life. High altitude hiking is one such activity that has shown potential benefits for people with multiple sclerosis. Hiking at high altitude can improve fatigue, increase oxygen delivery to the body’s tissues, and provide a sense of accomplishment and improved mental well-being.

In this article, we will explore some of the benefits of high altitude hiking for people with multiple sclerosis as well as inspirational stories of patients with multiple sclerosis.

Can people with Multiple Sclerosis do high altitude trekking?

Persons with multiple sclerosis are less physically active than non-diseased persons and often report low self-efficacy levels. In the context of an awareness project to promote physical activity and participation in multiple sclerosis, a study was conducted to investigate the impact of training for and participation in a unique expedition[2]

The study followed nine participants for six months before and up to four months afterwards. The participants completed the training, expedition, and observational study. Validated patient-reported outcome measures were used to assess fatigue, self-efficacy in exercising, walking abilities, and illness perception. Minor events, relapses, and/or neurological worsening were reported in six participants. Whereas, the three participants with mild disability and no cardiovascular risk factors or comorbidities were free of medical and neurological events.

Glimpse of Team Stephan Galon and his fundraiser "Climbing to Beat Multiple Sclerosis"
Glimpse of Team Stephan Galon and his fundraiser “Climbing to Beat Multiple Sclerosis”. More of his experience in the section below.

The study found a significant reduction of motor fatigue at last when compared with the first assessment. The reduction tended to be more evident in participants with mild disability. Cognitive fatigue, self-efficacy, and self-reported walking abilities did not change significantly. Illness perceptions tended to be reduced over time in the domains of consequences, identity, and concerns. Overall, no major adverse events occurred.

In summary, the study concluded that training for and participating in a unique expedition can help people with multiple sclerosis be more active. This highlights the potential for high altitude trekking to not only improve physical endurance but also mental and emotional well-being in people with multiple sclerosis. Lastly, it can be concluded that individuals with multiple sclerosis can participate in high altitude trekking.

Does high altitude trekking benefit the patient of Multiple Sclerosis in any way?

People with multiple sclerosis often complain of poor exercise tolerance and exertion fatigue that limit their daily living activities. As a result, people with multiple sclerosis often struggle with fatigue, reduced physical activity, and limited mobility. However, recent research has suggested that high altitude trekking is a potential way to improve physical fitness and reduce fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis patients.

A recent study[2] compared the effects of an 8-week Aerobics Training program with neurological rehabilitation on exercise capacity, fatigue, and health-related quality of life in multiple sclerosis patients. The findings demonstrated that 8 weeks of Aerobic Training may be more effective than neurological rehabilitation in improving maximum exercise tolerance and walking capacity in patients with multiple sclerosis and mild to moderate disability, leading to some positive effects on health-related quality of life.

The findings of this study shed light on the potential benefits of high altitude trekking for multiple sclerosis patients and offer insights into the role of physical activity in managing the symptoms of this condition.

Team Stephan Galon returning from the Mera Peak Top
Team Stephan Galon returning from the Mera Peak Top

Benefits of High altitude trekking for Multiple Sclerosis

High altitude trekking can offer several benefits for people with multiple sclerosis. It  has the potential to improve mental and emotional well-being in people with multiple sclerosis. Let’s look at some of the benefits of high altitude trekking for people with multiple sclerosis.

1. Improves cardiovascular health

High altitude trekking can improve cardiovascular health in people with multiple sclerosis by increasing the blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain and muscles. This can help lower blood pressure and heart rate, and overall health and well-being in people with multiple sclerosis.

2. Boosts mood and self-esteem

High altitude trekking can boost mood and self-esteem in people with multiple sclerosis. It releases endorphins and serotonin, natural painkillers and mood enhancers which also provides a sense of achievement and adventure improving social interaction and support. This can help improve overall mental and emotional well-being in people with multiple sclerosis.

3. Enhances cognitive function

High altitude trekking can enhance cognitive function in people with multiple sclerosis. It stimulates neurogenesis and synaptogenesis, the growth of new brain cells and connections, improves memory, attention, and problem-solving skills, and protects against cognitive decline and dementia. This can help improve overall cognitive function in people with multiple sclerosis.

4. Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress

High altitude trekking can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in people with multiple sclerosis. It activates anti-inflammatory pathways and antioxidants in the body, reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines and free radicals that damage the myelin and nerve fibers, and prevents or delays neurodegeneration and disability. This can help improve overall health and well-being in people with multiple sclerosis.

Stephan Galon’s venture: Climbing to beat multiple sclerosis

Stephan Galon is a Belgium National in his 50s and a patient with Multiple Sclerosis. He is not only a  musician but also an Ambassador of Belgian National Multiple Sclerosis League which is an association that provides information and support to people with multiple sclerosis and their families.

Despite being a patient with Multiple Sclerosis, Stephan Galon has attempted both Mera Peak Climbing and Island Peak Summit in November of 2022. Although he didn’t make it to the top, he still achieved record heights of 6,025m/19767ft on Mera Peak Climbing and 5,900m/19356ft on Island Peak Summit, which is still an achievement in itself. He is a living example of courage and determination for people with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities. To learn more about him, his music and his expedition stories, be sure to check out his amazing contents on his youtube channel, DjulesFMJ.

Stephan Galon at base camp of Chukkung Ri
Stephan Galon at base camp of Chukkung Ri

When we first received an inquiry from him, we were delighted to assist Stephan. As Galon’s adventure travel partner, we understood that his quest would be challenging, but we did our best to support him. Himalayan Glacier provided him with the necessary guidance, equipment, and expertise to make his dream a reality. Our team of experienced guides and porters were with him every step of the way, providing support and encouragement as he climbed to some of the highest peaks in the world. Galon also shared with us that trekking to high altitudes helped him overcome the physical and mental challenges of Multiple Sclerosis.

Himalayan Glacier: Making a Difference Through Adventure Travel

Himalayan Glacier is more than just a travel partner. We are a leading adventure and travel company that cares about making a positive impact on the world. We have organized many fund-raising treks for people with various challenges and disabilities to reach some of the most amazing destinations in the world.

We believe that everyone deserves to experience the beauty and wonder of nature, regardless of their abilities or limitations. We help to create a safe, comfortable and memorable journey and inspire people to travel with a purpose and to make a difference in the world. So, remember us as your travel partner for any health-related fundraising events and other events that suppose a good cause and create a positive impact on society.


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-203
  2. https://academic.oup.com/ptj/article/87/5/545/2742184

2 Responses
  1. Terrica Wisner
    Terrica Wisner

    I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was 52 years old 4 years ago. The Bafiertam did very little to help me. The medical team did even less. My decline was rapid and devastating. It was muscle weakness at first, then my hands and tremors. Last year, a family friend told us about Natural Herbs Centre and their successful MS Ayurveda TREATMENT, we visited their website natural herbs centre and ordered their Multiple Sclerosis Ayurveda protocol, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed my Multiple Sclerosis, most of my symptoms stopped, I’m able to walk and my writing is becoming great, sleep well and exercise regularly. I’m active now, I can personally vouch for these remedy but you would probably need to decide what works best for you🧡.

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