What are MS Treatments?
While there is no cure for MS, there are many MS treatments that can be helpful, including certain FDA approved medications that delay the progress of disability caused by the disease.
Across the board, what you eat affects all areas of your body. It is important to start an anti-inflammatory diet that allows your brain to heal, this can be done by removing refined sugar, corn syrup, and any grains that can be fermented or distilled. Added Omega 3 from wild sockeye salmon and tuna is also beneficial, and vegetables rich in antioxidants will help improve your memory. Coconut, olive oil, and avocado are good sources of fats that help the brain heal and enhance its capabilities. Drinking water also helps the brain, and it is crucial that you get restorative sleep. Martha Lindsay is a nutrition educator and a member of our .
With the memory issues caused by MS, working with a Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP) can help you learn new methods of storing and recalling information. Amy Karas is on our team of Brain Health Experts, she specializes in brain injury and is trained in helping with cognitive and memory issues related to MS.
There are many therapies can help to overcome motor issues and chronic pain. For instance, hysical therapy helps with balance, motor coordination, muscle movement, tone, spasm, and strength. PT can also address general inflammation and muscle pain. For more in depth rehabilitation, you may need to see a Physiatrist, a medical doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehab. Cranial Sacral methods, done by Physical Therapist are effective in working with PCS muscle problems.
Many types of massage therapy such as Repetitive Use Injury Therapy (RUIT), structural and integrative massage are also very helpful. If you have any form of paralysis, the Taub Method, invented by Dr. Edward Taub, is a revolutionary and successful approach to physical therapy. His method uses restrictive therapy, which is restraining the limbs that work so that the body/brain is forced to reconnect to the paralyzed limbs.
Biofeedback & Neurofeedback
Biofeedback is a treatment that you can find through rehab hospital programs for people with MS. Biofeedback can be helpful in many situations. For example, Thermal and EMG Biofeedback boosts muscle response and coordination, as well as controls discomfort. Neurofeedback balances electrical activity in the motor areas of the brain, which improves reflexes. All of these methods, however, can be a challenge for people with attention issues. Dr. Diane® has successfully worked with many patients with MS using Neurofeedback.
Indirect Physical Therapy
Many types of indirect physical therapy treatments are designed to heal and strengthen muscles and improve balance, coordination, and flexibility. One of these, the Burdenko Method, involves water- and land-based movement exercises. The water part is done in a vertical position using flotation devices to allow gravity to gently separate the vertebrae (traction). Land exercises are the same movements, but out of water. Dr. Burdenkois a member of our Brain Health Experts Team.
Another form of indirect physical therapy, the Feldenkrais Method, is a series of subtle exercises designed to retrain your body’s movement patterns for pain control and more efficient motor function. A practitioner teaches you different ways of moving to replace patterns that may aggravate your injury. Therapeutic horseback riding also helps to improve balance, coordination, and physical stability.
Movement and dance therapy are forms of dynamic therapy that force the brain to adapt to injury by using different body parts to help with motor movement. This helps the brain to form new nerve connections and replace those affected by injury. Music and dance therapy combine movements and sensory input, and are offered through many colleges, special-education services, and dance studios.
Occupational Therapy is helpful if you need to deal with small motor impairments, or learn new ways to handle tough tasks at home or work. On the other hand, you may choose to try Cognitive Retraining, which can also help you learn new ways of doing difficult tasks. Vocational therapy can help you learn skills that will prepare you to seek a different type of job.
Acupuncture helps the energy system relax spastic muscles. William Mogan, Tom Tam and Yvonne Tam are acupuncturists on the Brain Health Team of Experts. Chiropractic adjustments can help to realign vertebrae in the neck, thus improving blood flow and nerve-impulse to muscles. This approach also allows for more free movement and creates added space between the joints. Many chiropractors also do myofascial (muscle) release methods that are helpful. Lastly, light therapy can help release muscle spasms. Dr. Paul Schoonman is the Chiropractor on our Brain Health Team of Experts.
Polarity therapy, which boosts the flow of internal energy and moves the body to heal itself, may be helpful with muscle and movement problems. Some believe that reorganizing the body’s energy and internal flow can help improve balance and coordination.
To help with balance, muscle tone, and strength, Natrum sulphuricum, Bungaris, and Carbo vegetabilis may be helpful. Before trying any over-the-counter herbal or homeopathic remedy, it is best to talk with an Herbalist or Homeopathic Practitioner who knows your specific problems and needs. Susan Keefe is a Homeopathic Practitioner and is on our Brain Health Team of Experts.
FDA-approved MS treatments
There are two types of FDA-approved MS treatments: Disease-Modifying Agents and Symptomatic Therapy Treatments. Disease-Modifying Agents are designed to control the immune response and the inflammation caused by the disease.
- ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic hormone)
- Intravenous corticosteroids
- Immunomodulating agents
- Immunosuppressive agents
Symptomatic Therapy Treatments
- Physical and emotional rest
- Amantadine or Modafinil for fatigue
- Baclofen or Tizanidine, alone or combined, or Neurontin for spasticity
- Carbamazepine for paroxysmal dystonia or other paroxysmal manifestations
- Intermittent catheterization for urinary retention
- Anticholinergics for controlling nocturia