Typically a person with multiple sclerosis can suffer from various pain, muscle aches, foot drop, and other assorted ailments caused by nerve damage where the myelin sheath has been compromised and/or a lesion has developed.
One type of complementary approach used in the UK that may help alleviate multiple sclerosis symptoms is called physiotherapy. According to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, “Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. By means of an integrative approach, namely looking at the whole person and not just the disease, this science-based methodology is done through movement, exercise, manual therapy and education. When it comes to MS, physiotherapy can help with physical strength and flexibility thereby reducing the effects MS can have on your general health and quality of life.”
According to an Edinburgh startup company that was given a grant to develop an automated physiotherapy aid which would help people suffering from MS through manipulation of the spine. This aid is speculated to be another alternative to treating the effects of MS.
The technique of physiotherapy in the UK is similar to that of chiropractic care in the US. Also looking at the whole person and not just the disease, chiropractic focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and how they affect a person’s general health. Although much of chiropractic treatment is hands-on therapeutic manipulation of the spine and adjoining muscles and soft tissue, it also can include lifestyle support with regard to nutrition and exercise.
According to the American Chiropractic Society, “The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as ‘spinal manipulation,’ also called ‘chiropractic adjustment.’ The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury…that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.”
Chiropractic care is not something to be used in place of traditional medical care; only as a complement to it. As the MS Society discovered when polling patients for their Wellness Initiative, people with MS regularly seek alternative therapies in addition to their medication in order to do all they can so as to remain as well as possible. In some patients, chiropractic care can decrease inflammation, help with flexibility, decrease muscle or joint discomfort, and lessen chronic pain; all helpful in managing one’s MS.
According to Everyday Health, in February 2014 Complementary Therapies in Medicine published a study showing that 119 people with MS used alternative therapies and concluded that those who used it early in the disease had less impermanent than people who did not.
As a person who has sought out chiropractic care for years due to having degenerative disc disease in addition to MS, I find that for me it helps to alleviate or minimize my back and neck pain thereby affording me the ability to exercise more, which in turn, improves my overall strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and mood. Once in a while, treatment can cause soreness or fatigue, but that is rare and often only lasts a day or two after treatment. I often remark to my chiropractor that my regular adjustments play a vital role in keeping me in the game of life.
If you choose to seek out a chiropractor as a component of your MS care team, be sure to consult your neurologist first as well as share all medical records. Be sure to find a reputable chiropractor by seeking referrals from physicians, family, friends, and/or the National MS Society. Keep in mind that MS is a neurologic disease and chiropractic care will not and cannot heal MS. It can, however, help to alleviate or minimize some of its side effects thereby increasing your quality of life.
Have you tried physiotherapy or chiropractic care?
Barbara inspires hope through mindful health and a meaningful life. By combining healthy living, spirituality, and neuroscience principles, she helps people understand how to be proactive in their health care versus reactionary in their sick care so they can feel great in their body and in their life. Her greatest wish is to never hear a person say, “I should be taking better care of myself.” To learn more and receive her FREE guide, visit Appelbaum Wellness.