Chronic illnesses take a toll on the body both emotionally and physically because they are long term conditions. They are slow progressing and, therefore, with us daily. The condition can be extremely frustrating to deal with as a patient because there seems to be no end in sight.
There is also frustration on the part the physician as well, who wants to relieve her or his patient of the almost constant discomfort. Oftentimes, physicians offer, as a first choice, medications to relieve those discomforts. However, adding medications is not always the best choice because patients may be already taking a number of prescriptions, and adding to them can cause interaction problems. Many meds can also have serious side effects, preventing the patient from taking them altogether, or requiring additional meds just to counteract the side effects. The treatment, in some cases, can be worse than the underlying condition.
Certain chronic conditions, such as Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus, as well as chronic arthritis and disc problems, though they may not always be operable or candidates for elimination, can be treated with massage therapy. Periodic therapy, though it may only result in short term relief for some diseases, can result in a considerable increase in the quality of life. Treatment that is a coordinated effort between the attending physician and a licensed physical therapist and other members of the patient’s health care team can lead to many benefits.
Patients with chronic illnesses should consult with their family physicians or specialists to see if massage therapy would be a viable option along with, or in place of, current treatments to help relieve their discomfort.