Multiple Therapies Effective for MS Symptoms
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune system disorder in which the body attacks healthy tissue of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve. While the disease is progressive and has no cure, treatment can have a positive impact on symptoms. Some people have very mild symptoms while others are more deeply affected. Types of symptoms also vary dramatically from one person to the next, and may include problems with mobility, vision issues, cognitive difficulties, and mood changes. Read on to learn more about how various MS symptoms are treated.
A variety of drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to slow the progression of the disease and eliminate some symptoms. Other types of symptoms are treated directly; common MS symptoms treated with prescription drugs include bladder and bowel issues and incontinence, infection, depression and mood changes, dizziness, chronic pain, fatigue, tremors and other movement issues, trouble walking, and sexual dysfunction.
Physical, occupational, and cognitive therapy can all be beneficial for people with MS depending on the specific symptoms they’re experiencing. Physical therapy addresses movement issues, mobility, pain, fatigue, and balance, using modalities such as targeted exercise plans and use of assistive devices such as walkers and wheelchairs when needed. Occupational therapy is designed to help people adapt to the challenges of their disease both at home and in the world, including addressing memory issues. For those who are experiencing depression and other mood changes, cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective tool in helping to resolve these symptoms.
Alternative Medicine and Self Care
Lifestyle modifications and certain types of alternative treatments can help minimize some symptoms of MS. Eating a healthy low fat, high fiber diet can be beneficial, as is exercising regularly if your doctor says it’s safe for you to do so. If your symptoms seem to be worsened by stress, consider stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, Pilates, and massage. Some people with MS find that acupuncture helps resolve certain symptoms.
If you have MS, talk with your doctor about finding the specific multiple sclerosis treatment options that are right for you.