Can chiropractic make life easier for people with multiple sclerosis?
By Martha Michael
The backbone of a project, business or society is usually the feature that is of central importance to the whole. The human body, where the metaphor comes from, effectively confirms the concept. Although the source of pain is always important, a serious condition involving the spine, such as multiple sclerosis, is essential to the functioning of your body and is debilitating and incurable. This is why it is important to understand the link between chiropractic and multiple sclerosis and the possibility offered to patients to make life a little easier despite their condition.
According to an article from the Mayo Clinic, a person with MS suffers from an immune disorder in which the body’s system attacks the myelin sheath that covers nerve fibers. The deterioration of the nerves causes permanent damage because it severs the communication between the brain and the spine. The amount of damage dictates the rate at which a patient loses the ability to act independently.
There is a wide range of symptoms which sometimes disappear for long periods as patients regain their ability to walk and move freely. The most common symptoms of MS are:
Sensations resembling electric shock waves
Lack of coordination
Numbness or weakness of the limbs or trunk
Vision problems – loss, double or blurry
Pain throughout your body
Lack of sexual, bowel and bladder function
Most at risk
The more resources devoted to research, the more experts can predict who gets MS and why. Symptoms of MS typically occur between the ages of 20 and 59, although young children and older adults have also been diagnosed with the disease, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In general, there are more cases of MS in the regions furthest north and south of the equator and there are three times more women with the disease than men. Researchers believe it may be influenced by hormones.
Individuals from almost all ethnic groups are susceptible to MS, although rates vary. Research shows it is most prevalent among Caucasians of Northern European ancestry. African-American women have a higher number of cases than previously recorded, according to recent findings.
Although the number of MS patients is increasing, medical experts have no evidence that MS is more prevalent today than in the past. Improved diagnostic methods and greater awareness may contribute to higher numbers of cases.
Long-term effects of MS
Because the most common form of MS has a cyclical pattern of symptoms, it is not only painful and debilitating, it can also be confusing for patients. Damage to nerve cells causes flare-ups, which means that the main symptoms of the disease such as lack of coordination and dizziness are repeated. As heavy as these persistent symptoms are, there is also a category called secondary symptoms which result from the body’s struggle with the primary symptoms, says an article on VeryWellHealth.com.
These physical problems include:
Recurrent UTIs caused by bladder dysfunction
Decline in muscle tone resulting from mobility issues
Increased risk of bone fractures due to decreased bone density
Bedsores developing due to immobility
There are various experiences associated with MS, but as an incurable disease, almost all patients must develop an acceptance of the long-lasting nature of the disease. They must continually recalibrate how to handle long-term challenges.
Mobility – It is normal for a person with MS to experience a gradual reduction in mobility. About 33% of patients lose the ability to walk unaided. They sometimes manage to get around with a cane, crutches or a wheelchair.
Cognitive dysfunction – To function at the highest levels, including memory, information processing and problem solving, you need a fully functioning nervous system. More than half of people with MS experience a decline in their cognitive abilities.
Problems with the bladder and intestines – Many conditions, including age, cause problems with bladder control; in MS, about half of patients have difficulty controlling both the bladder and the bowels.
Treat the symptoms
Because it is an incurable disease, helping MS patients involves comfort care and treatment aimed at managing symptoms. The fact that chronic disease affects so many parts of the body means that a holistic approach is most effective in slowing deterioration and maintaining mobility.
As experts in spinal function, chiropractors have a tremendous number of treatment options for patients with symptoms of multiple sclerosis. “Our goal is to treat patients’ symptoms and reduce nerve interference through spinal subluxations,” says Dr. Kevin Lees of The Joint Chiropractic in Scottsdale, Arizona. “We are not treating the actual disease of multiple sclerosis, but these patients may experience joint stiffness and pain more often than most. Some MS patients are limited to the use of a wheelchair, others have impaired gait or spasticity, which can affect joint and back pain. Chiropractic adjustments can help relieve their joint pain symptoms and reduce stress.”
Since each MS patient presents with a different set of symptoms and emotional strength, a tailored treatment method is most effective. Chiropractic care provides more than just comfort; A chiropractor’s attention to healthy spinal function means you get treatment that focuses on the core of the problem, which is the best way to ensure as much comfort as possible.
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