Massage Therapy & Multiple Sclerosis
Research on the benefits of massage therapy for various types of pain continues to grow. This includes conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a disease of the nervous system in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves. This chronic condition is rare and requires a medical diagnosis by a physician.
Symptoms include numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, partial or complete loss of vision, prolonged double-vision, tingling or pain,tremor, slurred speech, fatigue, dizziness, and problems with bowel or bladder function. The type and severity of symptoms varies by the level of damage to the nerves.
There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis.
Various studies have shown that regular massage therapy can reduce pain, fatigue and spasticity in patients with MS. It is reported that as many as one third of people with the disease seek massage therapy as an adjunct to their conventional treatments.
Massage therapy can be used as a non-pharmacologic approach to pain relief. While massage would typically not be advisable during a flare-up, the symptoms of MS may be managed with massage as part of a patient’s care plan.
Patients should consult their primary care physician and licensed massage therapist regarding treatment options.