The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Massage Therapy Can Help Ease The Pain Associated With MS
Patients with multiple sclerosis have problems with their immune systems attacking their nerves, resulting in nerve damage. While the treatment for multiple sclerosis often involves medication to control symptoms, some patients may opt to include massage therapy as part of their treatment program.
In an article published on livestrong.com entitled “Benefits of Massage Therapy on Multiple Sclerosis”, author George Krucik, MD, MBA writes that many multiple sclerosis patients experience pain when the disorder affects their sensory nerves, but massage therapy can help reduce this pain.
“When performing the massage, the masseuse puts pressure on the areas where the pain occurs. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs suggests that multiple sclerosis patients consider massage therapy and other physical treatments, like physical therapy, when they start experiencing pain,” he writes.
While Massage Can Be Helpful In Relieving Stress And Inducing Relaxation, It Has No Effect On The Course Of MS
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society put out a study in 1998, which investigated the effect of massage in people with MS on:
- relief of anxiety and depression
- improvement in mood, self-esteem and body image
- increased ambulation and improved physical and social functioning.
The study used self-reports by the participants and found that, at the end of a five-week period, physical and social activity had improved in the people receiving massage. Those in the massage group also reported a decrease in depression. There was, however, no improvement in grip strength and only marginal improvement in ambulation.
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