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Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis – Osteopathic Pathways towards the ANS

Updated: Jun 28, 2022



From Tim Sparrow, BSc, DO.


Multiple Sclerosis is a multi-dimensional chronic disease whose effective management requires a multi-dimensional approach (D.L. HART, PT, PHD et al. Int. J. MS Care 2011:13:154-162).


Classified as a demyelinating disease, it involves an immune mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS) ..... (National MS Society).


Osteopathically, one approach to the management of MS may favor that which is of a “multi - system” nature. That is, one of which is representational of our principles and a model of “Body Unity - The human being as a dynamic unit of function.” - ECOP, Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology.


The Institute offers you revised and updated lecture series , based on a case study (long term Relapsing - Remitting MS) , gives an introduction to an “integrative approach” for the potential osteopathic treatment of this disorder , which includes addressing the autonomic (ANS) control, regulation and function of many systems within the body and how that relates to the typical presenting symptoms of MS, involving the GIT, GU , Respiratory, motor, visual and balance disturbance, stress, fatigue, influence on allostatic load, cognitive and emotional wellbeing of the patient.


Reference is given to related neuroanatomy, and physiological relationship of each system involved. Also to the underlying mechanisms of autonomic mediation and more specifically, drawing upon ongoing neuroscientific discoveries and research relating to disease, the means by which we can potentially “interface“ with these particular autonomic “ landmarks and pathways ” within the domain of our osteopathic treatment.

In addition, adjunctive approaches towards patient motivated, device assisted, neuromuscular re-(h)abilitation and motoric and cognitive exercises are also included for discussion.


The evaluation of treatment through existing and developing treatment outcome measures and tools, being also considered.


Reference to the details of the case study are then further developed upon more comprehensively within the clinic workshop where the history, timeline and neuro/ pathophysiology of this disease and the significance of ANS involvement are considered.

From this, guidance on a protocol for an integrated multi- systems treatment approach is given and applied in a technique class: Osteopathic Considerations in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis - Osteopathic Pathways Towards the ANS by TIm Sparrow, Do, BSc Ost Med

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