Multiple Sclerosis, also known as MS, is a disabling autoimmune disease where the immune system begins to destroy the tissue that surrounds and protects the nerves in the spinal cord and brain. These nerves are eventually destroyed resulting in debilitating complications such as muscle spasms, paralysis, blindness, changes in brain function such as memory loss and mood swings, problems with reproductive systems, and more. Symptoms can range from mild to more severe and vary from patient to patient.
There is no current cure for MS, only management of the symptoms. It is often treated with medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes such as daily exercise, managing stress levels, and dietary changes that can help patients mitigate existing symptoms.
Chiropractic care cannot treat MS or its symptoms, but it may be able to relieve pain and discomfort related to MS. Chiropractic is a form of complementary medicine that helps to manage the musculoskeletal system which may help to treat patients with MS.
Practitioners of chiropractic believe that if a vertebra is not in alignment, it can apply pressure to nearby nerves causing pain and dysfunction within organs, muscles, and systems that are connected to those nerves. By making adjustments manually or with specialized tools and techniques to the joints, chiropractors help to reduce inflammation and restore function to joints and their supporting systems.
Though there is little research that shows chiropractic treatment eliminating symptoms or treating MS, it can provide relief to conditions or medical problems associated with MS. For instance, if MS causes foot drop and an abnormality in a person’s gait, it can lead to back and hip pain. Chiropractic care can treat the pain and swelling caused by the foot drop while your other doctors work to find the best treatment for your foot drop.
How can chiropractic help
Inflammation is an ongoing problem for those who live with MS, along with pain and swelling. The mobility of the legs, arms, fingers, and toes can also become compromised. Nerves around joints may begin to spasm making it difficult for patients to have control of certain parts of the body.
It can be challenging to find pharmaceutical options for relief, and even then patients may be unwilling to take more medication as an overload of medicine can quickly place strain on the liver and kidneys. Many patients seek complementary medicine or practices such as chiropractic care for symptom relief.
Patients with MS who do receive chiropractic care often report positive effects after adjustments such as a rise in energy levels, an increase in mobility, less fatigue, more endurance, better muscle control, and less pain. Being able to diminish the pain can provide patients with a boost in confidence and outlook, which can be important when managing a disease, especially a chronic illness such as MS.
Is it right for everybody?
While chiropractic care won’t cure MS, it can provide relief. Consult with your MS specialist and health care provider before deciding to receive chiropractic care as it depends on patient needs and conditions.
Although chiropractic care cannot treat Multiple Sclerosis, it can help treat some of the physical aspects and improve the quality of life for many patients by reducing inflammation and improving the function of the nervous system. If you struggle with MS, please discuss with your doctor if chiropractic treatment is right for you.
For more information on how chiropractic care can help with MS, contact LifeQuest Physical Medicine and Rehab today.