Multiple Sclerosis is an inflammatory condition of the myelin tissue, surrounding the nerves. This inflammation may exacerbate and then gradually pass off. Following inflammatory response, scar tissue is formed which hampers the neurological function and commonly affects the spinal cord, brain stem and cranial nerves.
Massage therapy has been considered to be beneficial to patients with multiple sclerosis. Firstly, massage therapy helps fight stress and secondly it works towards alleviating some of the symptoms including pain and functional loss suffered by MS patients
Massage Therapy Benefits For Multiple Sclerosis
The biggest problem with patients with MS is stiffness of the muscles and joints which restricts their mobility and functionality.
Massage therapy stimulates blood flow to these parts of the body which in turn hastens healing and improves flexibility. Massage therapy also aids in halting the onslaught of the disease and improving prognosis.
In serious conditions, muscular weakness may result in atrophy which in turn further deteriorates the patient’s condition. In such situation, massage therapy improves blood flow and oxygenation of the affected muscles and helps regain health and vitality.
Deep Tissue Massage For Multiple Sclerosis
The massage therapy advocated in MS patients would depend upon the severity and the phase of the disease. Massage therapy needs to be avoided during acute exacerbation phase, as it may aggravate pain and discomfort.
Deep tissue massage has been considered to be highly beneficial in releasing knotted muscles and helps reduce pain. Trigger point therapy is also considered effective. However Swedish massage therapy (which involves gentle massage) is recommended in initial phases, when even slightest pressure can stimulate a painful response.