I am a 62 year old female and was diagnosed at 49. I’ve been quite stable and the disease has not progressed to the point of serious disability. However I do have painful muscle spasms in my back and feet, incontinence and fatigue. My legs are weak in that I cannot walk for a long distance and certainly have difficulty with uphill and stairs. My left leg is worse and my left foot too. That foot often feels painful but numb and heavy. Also my left leg, where the buttock meets the upper thigh, is often in pain sometimes with burning pain down the back of that leg. I walk a lot and go to the gym to strengthen my muscles but can only make so much progress. I would like to get some aerobic exercise but its difficult because walking is not easy. Can I make my legs stronger or is it impossible because its from nerve damage? Is there much I can do about the spasms - I’ve tried drugs and they don’t help me. Is the pain due to muscle spasms or is it likely nerve pain?
It is hard to determine the cause of your pain without examining you. You will need to address this with your MS specialist. I can tell you that lack of movement and stretching with decreased walking will worsen spasticity and stiffness over time. It is possible to exercise, even if you spend most of your time in a wheelchair. Please check out the link to Daryl Kucera’s online exercise classes:
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Clinical Neurosciences Director
University of California San Diego