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Focus on Health: Multiple Sclerosis and the Benefits of Chiropractic Care!

By: Dr. Schoer

May is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month and with this, we would like to take the time to explore this neurological disease and how chiropractic care can benefit those diagnosed with this disease.


MS Facts – Did you know?


Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with an estimated 90,000 Canadians living with the disease. On average, 12 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day. 60% of adults diagnosed with MS are between the ages of 20 and 49 years old. Women are three times more likely to be diagnosed with MS than men, with 75% of people in Canada living with MS being women. Currently, there is no cure for this disease.


What is MS?


MS is a neurological disease wherein the body’s immune system attacks the nerve fibers of the central nervous system which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic (eye) nerves.


The disease specifically attacks myelin, a fatty substance around our nerve fibers that helps to protect our nerves. This causes inflammation and damage to the myelin, allowing scar tissue to form. When scar tissue forms, this prevents normal communication between our central nervous system and other parts of the body. If damage to the myelin is slight, nerve impulses travel with minor interruptions; however, if damage is substantial, nerve impulses may be completely disrupted, and the nerve fibres themselves can be damaged.


Symptoms of MS


The symptoms and severity of MS vary from one person to the other. However, the most common symptom of MS is fatigue, which affects about 80% of individuals diagnosed. Other symptoms include lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment, and mood changes. Its effects are not only physical, but emotional and financial as well.


Managing MS


As there is no current cure for MS, the goal of treatment is to manage symptoms. This is often done through disease-modifying medications, physical therapy (i.e., chiropractic, massage, etc.), and lifestyle changes such as daily exercise, managing stress levels, and dietary changes.


How Can Chiropractic Care Help?


Although chiropractic care cannot directly treat MS, it may be able to help relieve pain and discomfort in the musculoskeletal system that is associated to MS and improve overall quality of life while navigating this disease.


Chiropractic care is a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that many Canadians use to help manage MS and improve their overall wellness. Chiropractic care aims to relieve nerve pressure and restore normal function through the use of spinal manipulation, allowing messages to be passed from the central nervous system to the body more freely, and vice versa. Chiropractic care also aims to reduce inflammation and improve joint function throughout the body, resulting in pain relief and increased mobility.

Additionally, many drug therapies used to treat MS have side effects that affect the musculoskeletal system, leading to pain and discomfort in the muscles and joints of the body. People with MS who have received chiropractic care have also reported elevated energy levels, less fatigue, better endurance, increased muscle control, and improved levels of confidence and overall outlook on life.


Although chiropractic care cannot treat MS, it can help treat some of the musculoskeletal-related symptoms of MS and improve quality of life for many patients. If you have been diagnosed with MS and are curious about receiving chiropractic care, we encourage you to consult with your MS specialist before seeking care, as every individual and nature of their diagnosis is different.

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