Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Multiple Sclerosis Health Center

Select An Article

Alternative and Complementary Therapies for MS

Font Size

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), there are many medical treatments you can use to treat your disease, like medications or physical therapy. But many people look for other ways to feel better, such as acupuncture, yoga, relaxation, herbal remedies, and massage. They’re called alternative and complementary therapies.

These therapies won’t cure your disease. But there’s evidence that some of them are helpful when you use them along with your regular treatment. For others, the science isn’t as clear. When you’re deciding if you want to try something new, it’s important to know what might help you and what could be harmful.

Recommended Related to Multiple Sclerosis

Progressive Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

If you have progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis (PRMS), you’ll have distinct attacks of symptoms, called relapses. You may or may not fully recover after these flares. Between relapses, the disease continues to get worse slowly. PRMS is the least common type of multiple sclerosis. It affects about 5% of people with the condition. You may not be able to reverse the disease, but there are treatments that can ease your symptoms and make your relapses less severe and happen less often.

Read the Progressive Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis article > >

Your best bet is to stick with your treatment plan and to talk with your doctor before you start any new therapy. Together you can decide what will help you feel your best.

Alternative Therapies Recommended for Multiple Sclerosis

Positive Attitude. A positive outlook cannot cure your condition, but it can ease your stress and help you feel better.

Exercise. Some types, such as tai chi and yoga, can lower stress, help you relax, and increase your energy, balance, and flexibility. As with any fitness program, check with your doctor before you start.

Diet. It’s important for people with MS to eat the right amounts of nutritious foods. Ask your doctor what kind of diet is right for you.

Other Alternative/Complementary Options

Massage. Many people with MS get regular massage therapy to help them relax and reduce stress and depression. There is no evidence that massage changes the course of the disease. It’s usually safe for people with MS to have a massage, but you should tell your therapist if you have osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor first.

Acupuncture . Some people report that acupuncture, a practice that places needles at specific points in the body, relieves symptoms like pain, muscle spasms, or bladder control problems. But scientific studies haven’t found for sure that it works for people with MS.

Evening primrose oil (linoleic acid). You can find linoleic acid in sunflower seeds and safflower oil. There is some evidence that taking it as a supplement may slightly improve MS symptoms.

Marijuana . Some people with MS say that smoking or ingesting it helps relieve muscle spasms and other MS-related symptoms. But scientists aren’t clear on how it works and who should use it. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, check with your doctor.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
woman applying lotion
Ideas on how to boost your mood and self-esteem.
woman pondering
Get personalized treatment options.
man with hand over eye
Be on the lookout for these symptoms.
brain scan
worried woman
neural fiber
white blood cells
sunlight in hands
marijuana plant
muscle spasm