Spasticity & MS

By Michal Sakal, a physical therapist

This painful and distressing symptom usually occurs when opposing muscle groups contract and relax simultaneously. Some people experience spasticity as stiffness or tightness and others as uncontrolled muscle spasms.

Spasticity usually affects the legs more than other muscles and one side of the body more than the other.

Since spasticity can hinder mobility, sleep, and quality of life, it is imperative to seek treatment.  Non-pharmacological interventions, such as physical therapy (PT), can be an essential component of treating spasticity.

The PT might prescribe an individualized program designed to improve care and comfort by reducing muscle tone, improving range of motion, and increasing strength and coordination. For example, stretching and range of motion exercises can treat connective tissue tightness. Strengthening exercises and general conditioning can treat weak muscle groups that contribute to spasticity. Yoga and tai-chi are great for aiding in balance and coordination.

Have you experienced spasticity? What helps you? Please share your suggestions, tips, and advice with others in the group.


The BelongMS Team

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