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Research to explore massage benefits for multiple sclerosis patients


















A British physiotherapist has been awarded a research grant to examine the benefits of abdominal massage for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Doreen McClurg, a reader at Glasgow Caledonian University, received £741,000 (US$1.2m, €937,000) from the UK's National Institute for Health Research to carry out a report on how to improve neurogenic bowel dysfunction (NBD: constipation and or faecal incontinence), which is rated as the most severe problem for MS patients. 60 cent of MS sufferers experience NBD, which is caused by damage to the nerves controlling defecation.

McClurg will lead a team of 10 co-investigators from the Scottish university who will recruit 200 MS patients to work out if abdominal massage is more effective and cost-effective in reducing the symptoms of NBD.

Factors that impact upon the effectiveness of the massage intervention will also be identified, for example, the adequacy of the massage training.

The patients will be divided into two groups, one which receives abdominal massage and optimised bowel care and the other will receive only optimised bowel care. Optimised bowel care will include normal procedures for NBD and small non-medicinal changes such as an increase in fluid intake.

Nurses across 10 MS centres will teach carers of patients how to implement the massage, which lasts 10 minutes and consists of four standard strokes including kneading and stroking. During the following six weeks, home massage will be recommended and weekly telephone calls will be made by the researcher to discuss the participant’s condition.

The clinical value of massage therapy is continually being investigated by research institutions around the world to aid all kinds of ailments.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by LEISUREMANAGEMENT
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