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November 06, 2012

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This is great to read. As an intern I worked at a MS infusion clinic. Just talking to the patient you can tell that they are interested in whatever treatment you can give them to try, whether it is medication or exercise or an herb/supplement. Not only more often than not patients would come back to report that the exercise and the other treatments they were doing along with the drugs was helping. This is a great option to try.

This is potentially wonderful news. I have several MS patients who have been incompacitated by their pain. It is not controlled by huge amounts of narcotics which cause their own list of problems.

As many have said before me, drugs only delay the progr ession of MS, a terrible, terrible, disease. It's great to see so much being done to help these patients. With new agents like fingolimod and dalfampridine the future is bright for people with MS. That being said, I think everyone can benefit from relaxation exercises. In our tightly wound society of deadlines and stress, it's important to realize how great it is to be alive!

I think its amazing how much relaxation technique can improve overall health. This is especially relevant to stress-induced health problems such as insomnia and anxiety. These conditions are often treated with medications like benzodiazepines that can possess addictive properties and are sometimes socially unacceptable to certain patients. Having an alternative therapy like this is great for patients who want to avoid these medications.

GP, thanks for the link on how to do this relaxation technique. Unfortunately, the link didn’t work, but maybe this will help: http://www.amsa.org/healingthehealer/musclerelaxation.cfm There are some good books written by Craske and Barlow like “Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry,” etc. as well that delve deeper into stress management and relaxation techniques such as this. I would recommend it.

While the physical component of progressive muscle relaxation plays a role, I think the mental component is imperative to get the most out of this technique. By focusing on the difference between the feelings of tension and then of relaxation with your eyes closed, your mind stops wandering and it can become a sort of meditation, really. If you start worrying if it will work or if you will feel it, just refocus your mind on the heaviness, warmth, and tension in your body and then feel all of it melt away as you relax, both physically and mentally. With practice, this method can help people cope with anxiety and stress better.

I would be interested in trying out the progressive muscle relaxation technique, but it looks like the link posted by GP does not work. It looks like a great way to relieve muscle tension before bed, encouraging sleep. I have quite a few MS patients that come to my pharmacy, who often complain of issues getting to sleep with the muscle tension they are experiencing. Many are on several muscle relaxers that just don't seem to be helping them much, perhaps more alternative therapies such as this technique would be beneficial to them.

There is only so much drugs can do in managing MS. I've seen a friend who was the captain of my lacrosse team and running marathons to becoming so distraught by the debilitating disease. Losing sleep and being fatigued constantly must be so difficult to deal with on an everyday basis. PMRT doesn't seem to be difficult, and it would be a cost-effective way to improve a MS patient's quality of life.

I often do progressive muscle relaxation in bed when I notice that I am all tensed up from worrying about tomorrow's tasks or when my muscles are tight from a stressful day. I have experienced how quick and simple, yet beneficial it is. This will probably also be beneficial for MS patients as an alternative to sleeping pills or caffeine to combat the fatigue and sleep disorders as these may have negative interactions with other medications or treatments they are on.

Multiple sclerosis can be a very debilitating disease. Many patients have complications including depression, difficulty thinking, and osteoporosis in addition to fatigue and difficulty sleeping. Hopefully this relaxation technique will help improve patient's quality of life and encourage patients to have a more optimistic outlook regarding palliative treatment of their disease state. I'm sure that improving sleep quality and decrease fatigue will make a big difference in these patient's lives!

This sounds like encouraging news if you are someone with multiple sclerosis. MS can be severely debilitating and I can only imagine the difficulty that MS patients might have sleeping, relaxing and combating fatigue. I am happy to read that progressive muscle relaxation technique was shown to help in this area. I would not be surprised if many more CAM therapies come out in the next few years showing benefits in these same areas. This is also encouraging because I am sure MS patients take many medications to help them with these problems so I am sure it is refreshing to have an alternative.

This relaxation technique is a great alternative treatment for sleep difficulties associated with multiple sclerosis. With all the complications these patients face day to day, MS patients are likely to have the most benefit from this type of muscle relaxation. Although this is a small study, the potential benefit to MS and other patients is significant with this type of muscle relaxation therapy. I don't have much experience with this type of therapy, but I can see how it would be of benefit to those with tight muscles due to MS, stress, and other factors.

Though I’m familiar with massage, yoga, biofeedback, and tai chi being used for stress management, I had never heard of progressive muscle relaxation before. I am curious about the mechanism of this technique to help improve sleep and reduce fatigue in patients with MS. In this disease, the transmission of signals to and from the brain are interrupted or slowed. During muscle contraction with PMRT, neurotransmitters release epinephrine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine. Perhaps the efficacy of this technique has something to do with its role in releasing these substances in the nervous system, which we know does not function properly in patients with MS. Or maybe PMRT simply helps to relieve stress and tension in these patients, thereby helping them to sleep better.

My friend’s mother has Multiple Sclerosis. I plan on mentioning this relaxation exercise to her. This sounds like it will be beneficial to anyone with fatigue. The technique reminds me of something that is done in yoga to relax muscles.

This is a great technique, and one I’ve used myself when I’m having trouble falling asleep. I originally learned it in an SAT-prep class (surprisingly) as a method of stress reduction. Here are some directions for Progressive Muscle Relaxation from the American Medical Student Association for anyone who is interested in trying it: http://www.amsa.org/healingthehealer/musclerelaxation.cfm. The great things about this technique is that it does not require any kind of special training, and it is quite safe. I suppose a downside to this study is the lack of blinding, but it would be very difficult to blind anything like this. Overall, I think that if patients find Progressive Muscle Relaxation to be helpful, regardless of the reason, then they should use it.

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