MS patients often include massage therapy as part of their treatment program for help with a number of problems.
Many people with Multiple Sclerosis experience pain when the disorder affects their sensory nerves. MedlinePlus notes that patients can have facial pain or a burning sensation in their limbs.
The pain from Multiple Sclerosis may impact other functions. For example, if a Multiple Sclerosis patient has pain in her legs, she may have difficulty walking. 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 patients with Multiple Sclerosis should consider massage therapy and other physical treatments, like physical therapy, when they start experiencing pain.
Patients with Multiple Sclerosis can have problems with movement. MedlinePlus notes that patients can have many muscle problems, such as muscle spasms, problems walking and loss of balance and coordination. Multiple Sclerosis patients may have problems moving their arms and doing fine motor movements, such as picking up small objects with their fingers. Weakness and tremors can also occur in patients' arms and legs.
The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that massage therapy can help patients with these muscle problems. For example, massaging the legs can help reduce spasticity, in which the muscles contract and become tight. In addition, massage therapy helps with flexibility, which improves patients' mobility.
As part of Multiple Sclerosis treatment, patients need to keep their stress levels low. MedlinePlus explains that with Multiple Sclerosis, stress can worsen the symptoms or trigger them. For example, if a patient has a remission, in which he does not currently have symptoms, but becomes very stressed, his MS symptoms can start up again.
Massage therapy can reduce the amount of stress people with MS have, and can help keep them calm. Besides the physical calming of a massage, the environment during a massage session can reduce stress. For example, if a massage therapy session uses calming music, the patient may feel more relaxed.
The University of Maryland Medical Center adds that massage therapy improves patients' well-being.