ACTRESS Alison Peebles has spoken of a huge improvement in her multiple sclerosis after a revolutionary new treatment.

She had been expecting the primary progressive multiple sclerosis that has blighted her life to quickly leave her dependent on the use of a wheelchair.

However, the leading Scottish actress, whose TV credits include BBC's River City and Shetland, believes a new physiotherapy has greatly improved the quality of her life – and delayed the need for a chair.

Peebles, from Wester Hailes, has been receiving treatment from the Korean Physiotherapy Clinic In Edinburgh, where therapist Chongsu Lee uses a technique that involves gentle manipulation of the spine and surrounding soft tissue to release tension.

It is claimed that as tension around the spine gradually eases off, blood and lymph circulation and nerve function improve.

"The benefits of the treatment have been quite dramatic," said Peebles, who has starred as Lady Macbeth on stage. "I was collapsing all the time as I had poor balance and strength. I was mentally and physically exhausted.

"Now, after 18 weeks of treatment, my walking, balance and vision are hugely improved and my body is much more flexible. I still use a crutch, but if I continue like this, I feel optimistic that I can keep on my feet and delay the imminent need for a wheelchair."

Peebles, 53, a co-founder of the Communicado Theatre Company, has suffered from primary progressive MS, which is characterised by a worsening of symptoms, since 2001.

She wrote and performed the 2012 theatre play My Shrinking Life as a response to her disability, and as a reflection on what it means to play a part in which she was unwillingly cast.

The actress and director continues to work. She will direct the play Bite The Bullet , by Sandy Nelson and Keith Warwick, at the Edinburgh Fringe in August. "I am more supple," I am standing straighter, and I have more energy," she added.

Scientists recently reported they may be a step closer to repairing the damage caused by MS.

Researchers at Edinburgh and Cambridge universities have pinpointed a process that helps to produce more myelin – the sheath surrounding the central nervous system.

Scotland has the highest prevalence of MS in the world, with about 10,500 people affected.