Benefits of Massage Therapy – Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis 


MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Since that includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve, MS can affect vision, memory, balance and mobility. It is considered an episodic disability meaning that the severity and duration of illness and disability can vary and are often followed by periods of wellness. It can also be progressive with many people getting worse over time.1 


The cause of MS is unknown. However, it seems to affect people of Caucasian ancestry and people living in northern climates more frequently. There also seems to be a genetic component. 

Symptoms / physical effects: 

The most common symptoms are fatigue, muscle weakness, feeling unsteady during walking, decreased coordination and blurred vision.2 

How MT can help: 

Studies have shown that massage therapy can help reduce both the fatigue and pain that people with MS experience. The decrease in pain and fatigue also resulted in study participants reporting an improved quality of life.3 Massage therapy techniques such as assisted range of motion and exercise have also been shown to be helpful maintain mobility.4  


  2. Damjanov, I. (2017). Pathology for the Health Professionals 5th ed. Elsevier Inc. P.481.
  3. Backus D, Manella C, Bender A, Sweatman M. Impact of Massage Therapy on Fatigue, Pain, and Spasticity in People with Multiple Sclerosis: a Pilot Study. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2016 Dec 9;9(4):4-13. doi: 10.3822/ijtmb.v9i4.327. PMID: 27974947; PMCID: PMC5142712.
  4. Baird, J., Sandroff, B. & Motl, R. Therapies for mobility disability in persons with multiple sclerosis. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. 2018 Mar 12:18(6)494-502. Retrieved from
Skip to content