Massage Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis is a condition where the myelin tissue covering the nerves becomes inflamed. This inflammation can fluctuate; it may worsen and then gradually subside. After the inflammatory response, scar tissue may form, hindering the patient’s neurological functions. The spinal cord, brain stem and cranial nerves are commonly affected.
Patients suffering from MS most commonly deal with muscle and joint stiffness that limits their ability to move and function. By receiving massage therapy, blood flow is stimulated to these parts of the body, which helps facilitate the healing process and increase flexibility. Massage therapy also helps in stopping the disease from progressing so quickly, improving prognosis. Weakened muscles can cause atrophy, which leads to further deterioration in serious cases. In such cases, massage therapy helps to increase the blood flow and oxygen to affected muscles, aiding in restoration of health and energy.
The intensity and type of massage therapy recommended for MS patients depends upon what stage the disease is at. Massage therapy should be avoided in acute stages as it would aggravate the pain and discomfort.