symptom management

How to Manage MS-Related Spasticity

Lisa Emrich Health Guide March 24, 2009
  • SPASTICITY is one of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) that is seen in up to 75% of patients.  It is a complex, poorly understood symptom that is often associated with muscle weakness.  Often in MS, the lower limbs are more affected by spasticity than the arms.  MS-re...

11 Comments
  • Cathy
    Health Guide
    Oct. 28, 2011

    As everyone here at HC knows, I have had MS for 25 + years.  I have never had spasticity (to the best of my knowledge).  Lately I have had issues in my foot.  I feel a tightness coming on the bottom of my foot, and it feels like a charley horse (however you spell it!).  Then total pain, and I don't know which way I am supposed to turn my...

    RHMLucky777

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    As everyone here at HC knows, I have had MS for 25 + years.  I have never had spasticity (to the best of my knowledge).  Lately I have had issues in my foot.  I feel a tightness coming on the bottom of my foot, and it feels like a charley horse (however you spell it!).  Then total pain, and I don't know which way I am supposed to turn my foot or toes to help it pass.  I try to relax and wait for the intense pain to pass.  After the pain subsides, my toes have a lingering feeling of numbness and I don't want to walk on my foot for awhile.  Best guess - is this spasticity?  I am waiting to visit a new neurologist; can't get appt. till November.  Thank you!

    • Lisa Emrich
      Health Guide
      Nov. 02, 2011

      Hi Cathy,

       

      I've heard other people talk about spasticity in their feet.  I have started to get what might be spasticity OR inflammation along the bottom of my left foot.  It really hurts sometimes, but stretching gently does seem to help.  Hopefully your new neuro will be able to shed some light on the issue that is going on with your foot. ...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi Cathy,

       

      I've heard other people talk about spasticity in their feet.  I have started to get what might be spasticity OR inflammation along the bottom of my left foot.  It really hurts sometimes, but stretching gently does seem to help.  Hopefully your new neuro will be able to shed some light on the issue that is going on with your foot.  Hope it feels better soon. :)

       

    • Cathy
      Health Guide
      Nov. 02, 2011

      Thanks, Lisa.  I appreciate your answer.  I am going to do some gentle yoga stretching this afternoon.  Hopefully that will help.  I can't wait to go to my new neuro with my list of "complaints" because I believe I am having a mild exacerbation.  La dee da, (as Annie Hall said:))Laughing

       

  • vinelady
    Jun. 08, 2010

    I HAVE HAD PROBLEMS FOR 8 MONTHS NOW, I GET ALL OVER MUSCLE CONTRACTIONS. IN MY HEAD ,CHEST,ARMS LEGS. I AM TIERD ALL THE TIME I HAVE GAINED SO MUCH WIEGHT. I AM WAITING ON MY APPLICATION APROVAL FOR MRI FUND.  TRYING TO KEEP POSITIVE BY HELPING OTHERS IN NEED BY GIVING FOOD TO THE HUNGERY.Undecided   ~CHARLA~    ~ALSO~  I AM UNDERGOING...

    RHMLucky777

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    I HAVE HAD PROBLEMS FOR 8 MONTHS NOW, I GET ALL OVER MUSCLE CONTRACTIONS. IN MY HEAD ,CHEST,ARMS LEGS. I AM TIERD ALL THE TIME I HAVE GAINED SO MUCH WIEGHT. I AM WAITING ON MY APPLICATION APROVAL FOR MRI FUND.  TRYING TO KEEP POSITIVE BY HELPING OTHERS IN NEED BY GIVING FOOD TO THE HUNGERY.Undecided   ~CHARLA~    ~ALSO~  I AM UNDERGOING ACUPUNCTURE FOR PAIN.

    • vinelady
      Jun. 08, 2010

      ~ONE MORE THING~  AS OF JULY FIRST THE MS ASS. WILL NO LONGER EXTEND MRI FUNDS IS WHAT THEY HAVE TOLD ME.Cry

    • Lisa Emrich
      Health Guide
      Jun. 08, 2010

      Hi Charla,

       

      How is the acupuncture working for you?  I'd be curious to read more about it.  Please consider writing a sharepost so others well find it too.

       

      Very sorry to hear of your painful spasticity.  I notice that you can't take gabapentin according to your profile.  But have you tried baclofen?  It is commoly used...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi Charla,

       

      How is the acupuncture working for you?  I'd be curious to read more about it.  Please consider writing a sharepost so others well find it too.

       

      Very sorry to hear of your painful spasticity.  I notice that you can't take gabapentin according to your profile.  But have you tried baclofen?  It is commoly used for spasticity and something to talk to your doctor about.

       

      Also, sorry to hear the the MRI fund (is this the diagnostic fund or the MRI Institute?) is not extending funds.  Have they run out of funds I wonder?

    • bobbi
      Dec. 05, 2010

      I have recently started Baclofen for pain, spasticity, in my right rear thigh.  5 m didn't do it so I've been upped to 10. so far nothing and seems to be worsening. I am thinking about accupuncture since that has helped with other things.  I go to the gym 3 times a week and try not to favor the leg so it can get the workout. (term workout used lightly!!) ...

      RHMLucky777

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      I have recently started Baclofen for pain, spasticity, in my right rear thigh.  5 m didn't do it so I've been upped to 10. so far nothing and seems to be worsening. I am thinking about accupuncture since that has helped with other things.  I go to the gym 3 times a week and try not to favor the leg so it can get the workout. (term workout used lightly!!)  Does heat or cold help the pain at all.  Driving the car is the worst but today I woke up and even had the pain lying in bed.

      All ideas and advice wold be welcomed.    I've been diagnosed since 1979 with very few symptoms, knock wood,  Tysabri is the best thing that ever happened to me but this is starting to worry me.  After all these years I hope m good luck isn't runnning out.  Im 50 years old and not ready to give in.

      thanks for any suggestions.

    • Lisa Emrich
      Health Guide
      Dec. 05, 2010

      Hi Bobbi,

       

      Ouch.  I've had spasticity in my hamstring before and that was much more painful and when I've had it in my calves.  Heat seems to be comforting but doesn't really solve it.  Taking 10mg of Baclofen is not very much at all.  Is this once daily?  Or 3-4 times per day?  If it's the latter, hopefully you will begin...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi Bobbi,

       

      Ouch.  I've had spasticity in my hamstring before and that was much more painful and when I've had it in my calves.  Heat seems to be comforting but doesn't really solve it.  Taking 10mg of Baclofen is not very much at all.  Is this once daily?  Or 3-4 times per day?  If it's the latter, hopefully you will begin to feel some difference.

       

      When I started Baclofen, my neurologist had me start slowly with a small amount such as 5mg.  Then she had me increase the amount and number of pills per day (every few days) until I began to notice a difference.  It took maybe close to two weeks before I found a dosage which worked for me.  The most I ever took was 60mg per day for a period of time.  Now, only a small amount when I need it.

       

      As far as the acupuncture goes, if you have access to someone who is really good, I'd say go for it.  It is something which I appreciated when I was doing it.

       

      So maybe try a heating pad on my leg and call your doctor about the dosage of your Baclofen.  I hope that you begin to find some relief soon.

    • bobbi
      Dec. 05, 2010

      thanks so much

      i am gradually increasing to 3 a day if needed.  definately calling the acurepuncturist..i see dr next week and we go from there  so nice to have people to talk to.

      bobbi

  • Anonymous
    Diane J Standiford
    Mar. 27, 2009

    Ugh, my daily friend, but a high maintenance one! LOL Was on Zanaflex for YEARS, but zapped off of it when my BP dropped to 80/16.(ot 60/16...starting to forget)---too low. It ruled my life and I was happy to be rid of it. Now Valium and exercise/yoga (wheelchair yoga)...my advice: stay on top of it early, if I had I might still be walking.

  • Maris B. Mohr
    Mar. 25, 2009

    Lisa,

    Thanks for the explanation. I believe I do suffer from pain due to spasticity, but my neuro did a very cursory test last month and said I don't. My reflexes seem enough to him and he bent my knees without a problem. I really felt like he wasn't taking me seriously. He sees me for 10 minutes every 4 - 6 months so how can he tell?

     

    Sorry, I just left...

    RHMLucky777

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    Lisa,

    Thanks for the explanation. I believe I do suffer from pain due to spasticity, but my neuro did a very cursory test last month and said I don't. My reflexes seem enough to him and he bent my knees without a problem. I really felt like he wasn't taking me seriously. He sees me for 10 minutes every 4 - 6 months so how can he tell?

     

    Sorry, I just left that visit feeling very discouraged.

     

    Feel good.

     

    Maris