Motor Neurone Disease

Motor Neurone Disease

WHAT IS MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE (MND)?

MND is a progressive, degenerative disorder that affects nerves. Nerves are likened to the electricals and are responsible for making us move, breathe, swallow, eat and talk. These nerves are affected by MND. Depending on where the disease lies, will influence the signs and symptoms. Disease in the upper neurone i.e. the electricals between brain and spinal cord will have different effects to those in the lower i.e. between the spinal cord and the muscles.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

These can include muscle twitching, wasting, pain, cramp and stiffness, swelling, fatigue, depression, insomnia, cold hands and feet, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech (due to throat muscles being affected) excess saliva, difficulty swallowing saliva, coughing after swallowing or a feeling of choking, breathlessness (if chest muscles are affected). Weakness in hands makes picking things up difficult and sometimes muscles become floppy.

The sensory nervous system is less likely to be affected e.g. sight, bladder control.

Diagnosis is a case of eliminating other causes of these signs and symptoms e.g. stroke. There are medications available which may help some symptoms, but as with most diseases, no cure.

We advise trying Massage as it is non-invasive and may well help not only the sufferer of MND but also their family members who can learn simple massage techniques to help. Carers of MND sufferers will also benefit from massage.

REMEMBER: WE ALL NEED MASSAGE!

HOW CAN MASSAGE THERAPY HELP?

In the same way as it helps all people to be healthy in body, mind and spirit by treating THE WHOLE PERSON. Massage Therapy helps to support YOU and your carers. There are specific considerations for people with MND and we hope you will consider using Massage Therapy as it has a vital role in helping those coping with diseases of any kind.

Muscle twitching, spasm, cramps, pain and stiff joints are all common in MND and massage is very effective in relieving them. Massage causes the release of the body's own painkiller and anti-inflammatory chemicals - yes, the body has its own pharmacy.

Massage around the joints causing the most pain will help with their movement as well as easing tightness. Treatment is aimed at getting the best out of affected areas by improving their mobility. Associated joints and tissues will also require treatment so they can take the extra strain and compensate for the damaged areas so maintaining overall mobility and health.

Circulation and cold extremities can be helped as can fluid build-up causing swelling in feet and hands.

Massage helps improve circulation and create warmth especially if you are becoming more immobile. Waste products are moved into the system allowing oxygen and nutrition rich blood in to the areas that need it, assisting healing.

DRINKING ENOUGH WATER IS ESSENTIAL AS HEALING CANNOT OCCUR IN A DEHYDRATED BODY.

Fatigue and sleep problems are common in MND, which make other signs and symptoms feel worse. You may feel unrested despite sleeping more. You may not be able to sleep as your muscles ache or feel stiff or if breathing is difficult. You may feel like pushing everyone away and lose interest not only in yourself but also in others and life as you lack energy. Anxiety makes the whole situation worse.

Massage can improve the quality of sleep as well as encouraging you to fall asleep. This will help boost energy levels. The self-awareness helps too.

Massage helps by activating that part of the nervous system responsible for repair and relaxation by reducing muscle tension and toxins in the muscles. It also helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

Mood swings, anxiety and depression can be helped with Massage as the chemicals responsible for the 'feel good' factor are released (dopamine and serotonin). Adrenaline and cortisol are reduced and this helps too.

Regular Massage usually improves how you feel on a day to day basis thus improving your quality of life - so important.

Breathlessness/shortness of breath can be helped with Massage as in asthma and COPD. Breathing is a muscular activity so Massage Therapy can help by allowing the chest to expand more thus creating more space to breathe.

Changes to diet and lifestyle will also be beneficial.

CONTACT MND SCOTLAND FOR INFO.

WHAT CAN WE DO AT BROOKS-CARTER CLINIC?

Remedial and Sports Massage addresses muscle imbalances, which occur when the body is continually fixed in one position (poor posture) or involved in repetitive actions – golf, tennis, piano playing, computer work, lifting, driving etc. Remedial Massage is a treatment that can be applied specifically to help prevent an injury or the recurrence of a past injury as well as treating the injury itself.

Advanced Remedial Massage Therapists have more skills and training and they add Muscle Energy Techniques. Positional Release, Impact Therapy and more deep soft tissue work to their Remedial Massage toolbox. The aim is to bring the body into balance using specific positioning and the Client’s muscles to bring the body into balance, gently and effectively. Advanced Remedial and Sports Massage therapists treat and educate on management techniques for back and neck pain, headaches, referred pain, overuse injuries and postural complaints.

Reflexology helps the body to heal itself. Following illness, stress, injury or disease, the body is in a state of "imbalance", and vital energy pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively. Reflexology can be used to restore and maintain the body's natural equilibrium and encourage healing. Organs and body parts are represented on specific points on the feet thus problem areas can be treated / worked. Relaxation benefits are to be experienced!

Swedish Massage is a wonderful to tool not only to improve circulation (moving unwanted waste products into the circulation so new healing oxygenated blood can reach problem areas), relaxation and general health but also to ease pain. Massage Therapists want your body to work like a fine tuned engine with the minimum of wear, tear, stress and energy, leaving more energy available for living!

A Massage Therapy session can be ‘custom built’ for all ages.

All these therapies work well alongside orthodox medicine as well as on their own.

THERAPY OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR THIS CONDITION AT BROOKS-CARTER CLINIC