Making #MSConnections this Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that impacts millions of people globally, including nearly 1 million in the United States alone. It is neurological condition which primarily affects the brain and spinal cord. Every March, take a few minutes to honor Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month and those living with the diagnosis. If you or someone you know is impacted, chiropractic treatment can be a helpful tool in maintaining mobility and range of motion.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic describe MS as when “the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves.”
Researchers from Healthline explain that “Multiple sclerosis is the most widespread disabling neurological condition of young adults around the world. You can develop MS at any age, but most people receive diagnoses between the ages of 20 and 50…The good news is that many people living with MS don’t develop severe disabilities. Most have a normal or near-normal lifespan.”
While there is no cure, treatment helps symptomatic patients retain the ability to walk independently. Many can enjoy long remission periods with zero new symptoms or worsening of ongoing symptoms, depending on the degree and location of nerve damage. Symptoms can impact movement and present as tremor, unsteadiness, numbness or weakness, the sensation of an electric-shock feeling, and vision issues.
With this in mind, chiropractic care may help provide relief. The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation says that exercise, stretching, and physical therapies can help with such issues as impaired coordination, tremors, and spasticity which is when “opposing groups of muscles contract and relax at the same time.”
The Foundation explains that “some individuals may experience many symptoms associated with the disease, others only a few. And the severity of symptoms varies from person to person as well, ranging from mildly bothersome to life-altering.” They recommend sticking to prescribed medication schedules; prioritizing sleep, exercise, and diet; and being open with doctors and your social support team of friends and family. “These common sense steps have been shown time and again to improve outcomes, either by decreasing your chance of relapses and new symptoms, or by giving you the resilience to recover or adapt.”
Chiropractor Dr. Chani Henderson “believes in treating the whole patient, not just covering up symptoms. The better you know your body, the healthier you can be.” She encourages patients to ask questions, share their history and hopes, and discuss the best ways to reach desired goals. Whether alleviating pain, strengthening muscles, or working to maintain balance and range of motion, she’s a tremendous asset to your dedicated care team.
Studies show that many MS patients experience spinal-area pain. Chiropractic treatment offers tremendous promise in keeping pain levels down without added medication, always an added bonus. Another study shows how chiropractic benefits help combat MS fatigue while improving balance and overall quality of life.
Within March’s Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month are several other key dates. MS Awareness Week is an annual spotlight by the National MS Society (NMSS). During this time, they focus “on the individual stories of those living with the condition…using the hashtag #MSConnections.” World MS Day typically falls on May 30 and shares the goal of connection. Organizers call it “an opportunity to advocate for better services, celebrate support networks and champion self-care; a day to celebrate global solidarity and hope for the future.”
As a way to raise awareness and funds for research, many MS organizations celebrate through Walk MS. You can find a walk near you or participate in a Virtual Walk MS courtesy of the MS Society. The group has raised more than $1 billion through walks like these towards research, legislation, education, and support.
Science still can’t predict who will be diagnosed with MS or how severely it will impact their health. But if you or someone you love has MS, there are ways to potentially slow or minimize its impact and retain an active daily life. Reach out to an MS Navigator for information, educational material, emotional support resources, wellness strategies, and help navigating healthcare and financial challenges.
Then reach out to Dr. Henderson by calling 360.254.0400 for an appointment today. She can work with you along the way to keep pain under control and physical mobility maximized. Her one-on-one approach is tailored to your needs and abilities and can handle setbacks, flare-ups, or remissions as they arise. You’re not alone on the journey thanks to #MSConnections.