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Massages as a therapy for multiple sclerosis

Massage was already used in ancient Greece as a treatment for sports and wounds of war. Currently, it is still the most frequent manual therapy and is used primarily to relax muscles, relieve muscle tension and reduce stress. Massages can be beneficial to treat some symptoms that suffer from people with multiple sclerosis. In what cases is this manual therapy recommended and what improvements can it entail?

Being one of the most common body treatments in the world, there is a great variety of types of massages. The most common is Swedish massage, which combines traditional manual techniques such as fast movements, deep, circular, compressing, etc. On the other hand, the therapeutic bath with hot water is not recommended for people with MS since it may aggravate some symptoms, such as the feeling of fatigue or the weakness of the legs. In contrast, the bathrooms with cold water are indicated to reduce the spasticity. Given all this, what kind of massages are advisable in each case?

Massages have no effect on the development of MS, but they can help reduce stress, induce relaxation and improve some specific symptoms.

A study conducted in 1998 observed the impact of massages on people with MS and concluded that this therapy meant three main improvements:

Reduction of anxiety and depression.
Improvement of mood and self-esteem and, at the same time, social functioning.
Improvement of the ambulation and physical functioning.

In this sense, it has been observed that massages have an impact on the prevention and relief of the following symptoms of MS:

Spasticity Massages can be useful for relaxing the muscles and improving the range of patient movement exercises.
Pain Massages can reduce inflammation and improve the mobility of the tissues, which diminishes the pain. At the same time, they can make the affected one relax and, therefore, also feel less pain.
Circulation If a person with MS suffers from poor circulation, massage can increase blood flow and thus improve this symptom.
Pressure ulcers Massages can help prevent the onset of pressure ulcers, but should not be performed if ulcers or areas overgrown by inflammation.

Although improvements have been detected in these symptoms, the physician or physiotherapist must always consult before being subjected to a massage, since each patient has very different characteristics and the massages can be dangerous and negative in some cases:

Edema Depending on the cause of edema, a gentle massage may be useful, for example, if it is due to immobility. In the case of edemas, the technique of lymphatic drainage is used.
Osteoporosis Massages can be dangerous in the case of people who suffer from osteoporosis and, therefore, have brittle bones and are more susceptible to fractures. In the case of anti-stress or decontractant massages, they should be very ill-acted to be in danger of fracture.
Patients with ulcers or enlargement of the liver or spleen.
People who have recently suffered or have been diagnosed with cancer, arthritis or heart disease.
In the case of pregnant women. In particular, massages are contraindicated during the first three months of pregnancy. The following months can be done, but sitting position to avoid abdominal compressions on the bunk.
In the case of hematomas in the massage area, due mainly to the frequent falls that people with MS can suffer.

When doing a massage it is very important to find a good qualified professional in the techniques that will be perfor ...

News Release: Massages as a therapy for multiple sclerosis
Submitted on: January 29, 2019 01:09:33 PM
Submitted by: Amrita Singh
On behalf of: