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Posted on: March 8, 2019

Ease MS Pain and Fatigue with Massage Therapy

A small pilot study, “Impact of Massage Therapy on Fatigue, Pain, and Spasticity in People with Multiple Sclerosis,” published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, gives encouragement to those with MS Multiple Sclerosis. The study reports the benefits that a licensed massage therapist can utilize in treating the symptoms of MS and how that therapy can also help to improve a patient's quality of life. 

The above-mentioned study was conducted in a long-term nonprofit care facility. Enrolled were 28 MS patients, 24 of whom completed all the massage sessions and assessments. Physical and mental health perceptions, both of which are measures of life quality, were assessed through detailed questionnaires. 

A safe and beneficial standardized massage therapy routine was given to the patients once a week for six weeks. At the end of the study, there was a significant improvement in pain and fatigue, in spasticity, in the patients' perceptions of physical and mental health status, and in their overall health. 

The massages also helped to ease spasticity and have also proven to be an aid for various other kinds of pain. With regards to MS, spasticity refers to muscle stiffness with a tightness of a muscle that makes it hard to move and/or uncontrollable muscle spasms usually in the arms and legs, which can be extremely annoying and even painful. The spasms vary from person to person and to the levels and number of times when they occur, often appearing out of nowhere. The spasms cause a patient to lose concentration, drop things, tend to fall, have trouble sleeping, being unable to complete tasks, and have trouble being comfortable. 

Massage therapy can be used for the reduction or relief of pain and fatigue as a non-pharmacologic approach. Specific spa treatments at a day spa can also provide welcome results. About one-third of MS patients appear to use massage as a supplement to conventional MS medicines.

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