Healthy Living

Multiple Sclerosis: Is Therapy Right for Me?

Multiple Sclerosis: Is Therapy Right for Me?

Key Takeaways

  • Physical therapies and certain medications have been established to be effective in managing MS. 
  • Physical therapies keep the body and mind at ease and tension-free. 
  • A physical therapy can also enable the release of endorphins for a better state of mind.

The different therapies and medications available may not work in the same way in different patients. Hence, it is very advisable that you consult your doctor so you can take the medicine that is right for you. Prescribed medications can help you control and manage the symptoms of the disease, and will enable you to live a more fulfilling life as the quality of your life is being improved.

Treatment is done in the entire course of the disease. Physical therapies and certain medications have been established to be effective in managing MS. Recent times have witnessed the development of new drugs that prevent the disease from becoming worse and make relapses less severe.

Treating Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

In this category, we have physical therapy, which is done by physical therapists who engage in exercises that promote muscle stretching, body flexibility, and strength. Physical therapists can give you a guideline on what exercises are to be done to achieve such goals. They also give directions on the use of devices that will help you manage your daily tasks. Leg weakness can be managed with aid from mobility devices.

Baclofen and tizanidine, which are also known as Lioresal and Zanaflex respectively, are muscle relaxants that help in cases where the patient suffers pain in the muscles. The pain comes about as a result of the muscles becoming rigid and stiff to the point they cannot be controlled, especially the legs. Other medications have also been developed to deal with other specific symptoms of MS such as fatigue reduction, sexual dysfunction, pain, depression, and problems that are associated with bowel and bladder control.

Although used to treat sleep disorders, narcolepsy drugs prove to be effective in controlling and managing fatigue coming as a result of MS. Steroids and other medications have also been used to help correct blurred and disturbed visions. Dietary changes, continence aids, special exercises, and medications have been used to treat patients who have problems with bladder control. Counselors and certain medications can treat depression problems. Neuropsychologists are to be consulted in cases that involve complex mental disorders, which are needed to be managed and kept under control.

Alternative Therapies and Medicine for MS

Other alternative treatments that complement the established medications have been widely applied to MS patients for the better management of the symptoms. The alternative treatment methods include yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques. Maintaining a healthy diet is also recommended. These treatments can help improve a person's overall physical fitness and mental health, hence, keeping MS symptoms under control. Oral cannabis has been recommended according to the guidelines given by the American Academy of Neurology to combat pain, spasticity, and stiffness in the muscles.

  • Acupuncture - is a traditional Chinese treatment method. It is carried out by the insertion of thin needles into specific points of the skin, which will help balance one's Qi energy. Science has not yet shown or explained how this method works, but various studies have shown its potential to treat different conditions. It may help in alleviating or reducing pain from MS and make muscle spasms less severe.
  • Massage - a massage soothes the skin, and tense muscles are relaxed in the process. That is why if it is done regularly, muscle pain can be easily managed.
  • Meditation - has been observed to relax the whole nervous system and proves compelling in therapies for stress management.
  • Supplements - some supplements such as primrose and fish oil have been shown by some studies to decrease the length and intensity of MS attacks. They, however, do not affect the number of times that the attacks occur.
  • Yoga - offers meditation when specific poses are in rhythm with breathing. For this reason, yoga is a good way to get rid of stress and depression. Participants also undertake stretches that are gentle, which reduce the stiffness and rigidity of their muscles as well as improving their flexibility.

Dealing with the Right Therapy

Just as you would never know the symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, you would also never know what therapy is right for you unless you consult your treating doctor or physician. You doctor will normally recommend some types of therapy or other treatment methods in order to get you fit and moving. Optimizing therapies would mean optimizing the benefits to improve your condition. The patient must gain a clear understanding of the generic and regular therapies that are generally beneficial for those with multiple sclerosis.  

Physical therapies, as the name suggests, are therapies that involve movements of the body in the form of physical exercises. They may not be very intense, but even the simplest ones can guide you to a better path of health. Always check with the hospital or clinic where you are receiving treatment if they have physical therapists that specialize in cases of multiple sclerosis. If yes, it becomes very easy and convenient for the patient to receive guidance, proper instructions, and training per say. They incorporate different modes of movement involving the legs, arms, lower body, core, and upper body. Each session comprises two or more sets of exercises that work well in synchronization with the other. They generally begin with stretches and then progress to warm-ups in order to prevent the tearing of tissues and sudden jolts to the body. A complete involvement of the muscles helps to impart core strength, regeneration of the tissues, and muscle building in the body. Physical therapies also keep the body and mind at ease and tension-free. They can also enable the release of endorphins for a better state of mind.

Therapies are not limited to physical alone. They could also be on an emotional front in the form of support for the patient, which includes counseling sessions, discussions, and follow-ups. All these can help people with MS cope with their daily routine and to the society where they live. Immense support, patience, and courage are needed in part of the patient as well as his or her loved ones. While it is a known fact that no specific therapy can heal people with multiple sclerosis, a good way to go about it is to try all possible therapies in moderation. Take one step at a time and learn how to lead a positive normal life.