Multiple sclerosis (MS)
symptoms: muscle stiffness
and spasms (spasticity)
What is spasticity?
Spasticity means muscle stiffness or spasms. The stiffness may be as minimal as muscle tightness, and may not be bothersome at times. Or stiffness may be so severe as to produce painful, uncontrollable spasms. Sudden movements or position changes can bring on spasticity, as can muscle tightness, temperature, humidity, infections or even tight clothing. Your hips, shoulders and elbows can all be affected. However, spasticity is much more common in the knees and ankles.
Left untreated, spasticity can lead to complications like "frozen" joints (called contractures) and pressure sores. These can also act as spasticity triggers. This means they can set off even more symptoms.
Spasticity varies from person to person and should be treated on an individual basis.
Dealing with spasticity related to multiple sclerosis (MS)
Spasticity varies from person to person. It should be treated on an individual basis. Your health care professional can recommend ways to relieve the MS symptoms. He or she can also track your progress and may make referrals to other health care professionals such as occupational and physical therapists.
Exercise, daily stretching and changes in activity are all ways to help relieve spasticity. Also, speak with your health care professional to find out if medication is an option for you. There may be treatment options available that can help you deal with spasticity.