Adding chiropractic care to your course of multiple sclerosis treatment can help ease the pain associated with the condition. Multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, is a chronic health condition. This means that it will never entirely go away and lasts a lifetime. Still, you can effectively manage the symptoms and side effects of MS. Whether you already have a clinical diagnosis or are exhibiting the trademark signs and symptoms of MS, seeking medical care to evaluate your pain as soon as possible is crucial.
At ChiroCare of Florida, we use many natural treatments to manage chronic pain for our patients. Chiropractic care is holistic and non-invasive, which makes it an appealing option to those looking to ease the side effects of MS. Schedule an appointment today to see how our therapies can help improve your quality of life.
Keep reading to learn more about the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, causes, symptoms, and treatments for the disease, and how chiropractic care can be beneficial in treating the condition.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. These are the body parts responsible for controlling your entire central nervous system. The central nervous system is responsible for many bodily functions. These include all aspects of movement, speech, sight, hearing, tasting, smelling, and more. Think of your central nervous system as the command and processing center for every other part of your body and mind. MS can also negatively affect your thinking and emotional well-being.
Though the cause of MS is unknown, doctors know that in those with the diagnosis, the immune system begins to attack the central nervous system from the inside. It causes damage to nerve fibers, interrupting communication to and from the brain with the rest of the body.
MS overwhelmingly affects women, who account for 76% of those with the condition. The most common age range of diagnosis ranges from age 20 to 50 and is more common in African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics/Latinos. For reasons unknown, the disease is more common in people who live farther from the Earth's equator. More than one million people in the United States currently live with multiple sclerosis, and more receive a diagnosis yearly.
Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of MS
The exact cause of multiple sclerosis remains unknown, though the first documentation of the disease dates back to the late 1800s in both Britain and the United States. Similar cases were reported earlier in both countries, though not officially identified as MS until later.
Signs and symptoms of MS include:
- Problems with mobility
- Numbness and tingling in various parts of the body
- Excessive fatigue and tiredness
- Vision problems
- Difficulty thinking, learning, and planning
- Muscle spasms, soreness, and stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
- Bladder and bowel control problems
- Difficulty with speech and swallowing
- Pain that is not a result of a prior injury or condition
- Dizziness and vertigo
- And more
Most patients experience some, but not all, of these symptoms. Additionally, the signs and symptoms of MS may worsen over time. Or, they may come and go. The pain associated with MS can be neuropathic pain, which results from damage to the nerves. Or it can be muscular-skeletal pain, which affects the back, neck, and joints. Common areas of muscular-skeletal pain include the lumbar spine and hips, particularly in those who experience limited mobility. However, pain can occur virtually anywhere in the body, including the extremities and torso.
The severity of symptoms can vary from patient to patient. Some people are able to go about their daily lives with mild to moderate pain, while others may find it so debilitating that they require a wheelchair. For some, the condition may begin with mild symptoms yet significantly worsen over time.
Treatment for MS
Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, though it is possible to effectively manage the symptoms for a higher quality of life. Common symptom management options include medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, steroids, and sometimes chemotherapy. Multiple sclerosis treatment medications target the immune system, slowing its attack on the central nervous system and minimizing the progression of the disease.
Additionally, many people turn to alternate and ancillary treatment methods too. These can include physical therapy to help with mobility and range of motion, as well as the reduction of pain. Physical therapists often recommend a course of light exercise for patients to complete at home between sessions to maintain treatment progress. Holistic treatment options such as acupuncture may also help patients find relief.
Doctors often recommend that individuals with multiple sclerosis seek care for their mental health. Coping with a progressive, chronic disease can be debilitating and overwhelming, causing feelings of depression and anxiety. Many patients seek therapy with a licensed counselor or join support groups comprised of other people that also have the disease. This provides emotional support and understanding and can help patients maintain self-care and overall wellness through ongoing medical treatment.
What Does Chiropractic Care Do For MS?
Chiropractic care can help treat the side effects of MS for many patients. Since several of the key signs and symptoms of MS impact the muscular-skeletal system, visiting a chiropractor with experience treating the disorder can be beneficial. With the right course of treatment and combination of therapies, many patients report an improvement in their symptoms.
If you have multiple sclerosis, seeing a chiropractor can help improve your mobility and range of motion in affected areas. It can help decrease muscle stiffness and spasms, strengthen joints, and relieve back, neck, and hip pain. Patients often report improved energy levels and better overall mood after seeking chiropractic care for MS. While chiropractic care does not treat the underlying cause of multiple sclerosis, it's an excellent option for symptom management.
Many chiropractic offices, such as ChiroCare of Florida, offer additional services along with traditional manual adjustments. You'll find acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy, and more options at our locations. Additionally, we employ instrument-assisted techniques targeting muscles and soft tissue to help alleviate pain.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you or a loved one are looking into multiple sclerosis treatment, adding chiropractic care to your therapy options may be an excellent route. At ChiroCare of Florida, we have providers on staff with experience in treating the condition and enabling patients to minimize pain in their daily lives.
With the proper spine and joint alignment, you may see an improvement in your mobility. Not only does this benefit your physical health, but it can also help improve your mental health. To begin treating the signs and symptoms of MS with chiropractic care, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Call (877) 388-2165. We have nine convenient offices throughout South Florida, extended evening hours, and weekend appointments available upon request.