Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - Other Treatment
No complementary therapies have been proved
effective in the treatment of MS. But some people have reported that
complementary therapies have worked for them. This may be in part due to the
placebo effect, which is common in people who are
being treated for MS. This also may be due to the fact that some complementary
therapies, while not treating the disease itself, may affect a person's overall
sense of well-being and help the person feel better and healthier. And, in some
cases, symptoms may improve on their own.
If you have MS and are
thinking about trying a complementary treatment, get the facts first. Consider
these questions with your doctor:
- Is it safe? Talk with
your doctor about the safety and potential side effects of the treatment. This
is especially important if you are on drug therapy for MS, because some
complementary treatments in combination with drug therapy can be quite
dangerous. A treatment that could be harmful to you and may or may not improve
your symptoms is not worth the risk.
- Does it work? Because MS symptoms can come and go, you may find it hard to
judge whether a particular treatment is really working. Keep in mind that if
you get better after using a certain treatment, the treatment is not always the
reason for the improvement. MS may often improve on its own (spontaneous
- How much does it cost? An
expensive, unproven treatment that may or may not help you may not be worth its
cost. Beware of therapy providers or products that require a large financial
investment at the beginning of a series of treatments.
- Will it improve my general health? Even if they are not
effective in treating MS, some complementary practices (such as acupuncture,
massage, or yoga) may be safe and may lead to healthy habits that improve your
overall well-being. These might be worth trying.
With a hard-to-treat disease like MS, it can be tempting
to jump at the promise of an effective treatment. Be cautious about trying