Multiple sclerosis patients often experience pain which inhibits their ability to function. The general observation has been, and continues to be, the pain is from a neuropathic origin. That observation needs qualification since it appears often the source of the pain can be corrected if it is a structural pain, rather than neuropathic. Most MS patients are able to perform functional restoration therapy programs and overcome the pain before, during and after treatment.
A MS patient may have tender points which are small areas of intense pain that exist and become worse upon palpation/touch. Loss of mobility becomes worse over time when stretching, exercising, and mobility is not done, or restricted, due to the presence of pain. The answer to pain reduction and greater mobility may be overcome by examination of the complaint of pain and looking for a structural reason such as hypermobility, joint movement restriction, inflammation and other types of pain causations that are observed daily in non MS patients.
The goal of a functional restoration program would be to regain movement and increase activity levels by eliminating pain and correcting the structural problem that originates the pain.
A functional restorationist, often a physical therapist, athletic trainer, or Naprapath doctor helps the patient learn correct body movement and reduces stress to other body parts by increasing the strength of the muscles involved in exercise and movement. Most functional restoration clinicians have some degree of expertise in physical medicine and are trained to observe structural deficiencies.
During the sessions the MS patient is treated with electro stimulation (estim) to overcome the immediate pain and continues the estim throughout the processes. Correct movement is taught, pain is contained, and function is restored.
In most cases the pain ceases to exist during therapy and the estim provides what is called "carryover" pain relief following the functional restoration session. The functional therapy can be completed in a clinical setting or can be done via Skype or other visual monitoring devices in the comfort of the MS patient's home.
The essence of functional restoration is to strengthen weak muscles so correct movement is restored and weight bearing stress to the joints is properly dispersed. The clinician is able to monitor the MS patients susceptibility to specific points of pain and, with the use of electrical stimulation, actually treats the multiple pain points during and after the treatment sessions. Advanced functional restorationist clinicians often supplement post treatment with auricular stimulation if deemed necessary.
If pain for the multiple sclerosis patient is properly diagnosed for cause the MS patient can assume a healthier life style devoid of unnecessary pain. To fail to do so subjects the MS patient to complicating treatment issues involving adding "chronic pain" as a secondary diagnosis rather than treating it for cause, not symptoms.