Seven Common Relapsing-Remitting MS Symptoms

by Jacqueline Ho Content Producer

Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) is one of four major types of MS and is the most common. RRMS is marked by relapses that last for 24 hours or longer. Symptoms may become worse during a relapse, but are followed by a remission, when symptoms improve or disappear.

Blurry vision looking at office.

Vision problems

People with RRMS may experience episodes of vision loss in one eye or blurred or double vision, caused by inflammation of the nerves in the eye. Vision loss may increase as RRMS progresses, but complete blindness is rare.

Burning, tingling, numbness, pain in bare foot.

Tingling and numbness sensations

Patients may experience tingling, crawling or burning sensations, which typically begin in the hands or feet and move up through the arms or legs. Sometimes, patients may feel sensations of intense heat or cold or may lose sensation altogether.

Fatigued woman.


Fatigue is both the most common and debilitating symptom of RRMS. Fatigue is often worse in the late afternoon and improves in the early evening. Sometimes, fatigue is accompanied by an increase in body temperature.

Lack of coordination

Maintaining balance and coordination is often a challenge for RRMS patients. They may have difficulty walking normally or trouble grasping small objects. Some patients experience tremors, or shaking or trembling of their limbs.

Young man having trouble thinking clearly, head bowed.

Difficulty thinking clearly

Cognitive problems, including difficulty concentrating, reasoning and solving problems, affect many people with MS. Patients may have problems with memory, which can create challenges when it comes to the workplace.

Young woman upset, sitting on couch at home.


Physical changes in the brain or emotional response to stress can contribute to feelings of depression. Less common among patients is manic depression, paranoia and extreme mood swings.

Woman has to go to the bathroom.

Bowel or bladder problems

People with RRMS often have difficulty controlling their bladder and bowels. They may experience the need to urinate more frequently than others. Sometimes, bladder problems can lead to urinary tract infections.

Jacqueline Ho
Meet Our Writer
Jacqueline Ho

Jacqueline is a former content producer for HealthCentral. She is a multimedia journalist with a bachelor's degree in English Literature and a master's in Broadcast Journalism and Public Affairs.