- Multiple Sclerosis Slideshow Pictures
- Medical Illustrations of the MS Image Collection
- Take the MS Quiz
- Alternative treatment (CAM) for MS facts
- What is complementary or alternative treatment or CAM?
- What is of multiple sclerosis (MS)?
- What are the symptoms of MS?
- What alternative treatments can be used for MS symptoms?
- What about medical marijuana (cannabis) for MS symptoms?
- Who is eligible to pursue treatment with CAM?
- How much does CAM cost?
- What are the potential risks and side effects of CAM?
- What different types of CAM were studied in the National Health Interview Survey?
What alternative treatments can be used for MS symptoms?
Fatigue and spasticity
Fatigue and spasticity seem to respond best to CAM.
Therapies that have been shown to be of some benefit for fatigue have included:
- exercise, for example, yoga, ,swimming, walking, and other types of regular exercise;
- magnet therapy; and
- gingko biloba supplements.
Spasticity has reportedly been reduced with the use of acupuncture and massage therapy. A sense of tingling (paresthesias) have been reportedly improved with reflexology.
Alternative treatments for other MS symptoms
Symptoms including depression, memory loss, urinary incontinence, and progression of MS itself (including relapses, disease extent as measured on MRI), and disability have had limited improvement when treated with CAM.
Therapies tested in an effort to improve these symptoms have included:
- a low-fat diet,
- bee venom,
- multiple different amino acids,
- alpha lipoic acid, and
- hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
None of these treatments led to any significant benefit in the studied symptoms.