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  • Kimberly
    By Kimberly  April 6, 2012 11:19:20 PM EDT


    Spasticity is a widespread and debilitating condition that is associated with some common neurologic disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Spasticity causes certain muscles to continuously contract. It is one of the more common symptoms of MS.

    Spasticity can be as mild as the feeling of muscle tightness and cramping, or as severe as painful, uncontrollable spasms, usually in the legs. It also tends to affect one side of the body more than the other.

    Common symptoms of spasticity can include:

    Increased muscle tone
    Muscle tightness and/or stiffness
    Overactive reflexes
    Involuntary movements, which may include spasms (brisk and/or sustained involuntary muscle contraction) and clonus (series of fast involuntary contractions)
    Decreased functional abilities
    Abnormal posture
    Contractures (permanent contraction of the muscle and tendon due to severe persistent stiffness and spasms)
    Bone and joint deformities
    As with other MS-related conditions, spasticity tends to come and go and can be triggered by sudden movements, temperature changes, humidity, infections, or even tight clothing.

    It is estimated that more than 80% of MS patients have spasticity. Spasticity can lead to serious complications if not treated. Treatment can include medication, exercise, or changes in daily activities. There are different medications available that can be taken orally, intravenously, or delivered into the spinal fluid. Physical therapy, like exercising, can help prevent painful and disabling complications to the hips, knees, ankles, shoulder, and elbows. There are also devices that can help assist with daily activities that might be made more difficult by spasticity.

    To learn more about spasticity, please visit:
    National MS Society

  • Tammy_Songbird
    I don't always get spatisity but when I do it can be really painful. Some times I get in my feet. Some times I am able to move my toes in such a way I am able to stop the spatisity
  • seenjo11
    great post kimberly. thanks for saving me loads of surfing time. my issue now is that in addition to the MS i have a sciatica issue. so when the spasms come - usually at bedtime -  i'm left wondering which affliction is responsible and what i can do to temper it.
  • omar
    Hi Kimberly , ask your Doc about Baclofin it helps with  the spasticity
  • kc41101
    Hi Kimberly,

    I really didn't know what caused this, my legs bounce (mostly my right leg my left has a tendency to feel like an anchor) I thought it was from fatigue when I can't lie down but stress and infection make more sense. I was hospitalized last month and while in the ER my leg locked and bounced from the knee (It hurt so bad and I thought I was going to break the chair I was in) I was fighting an infection and a flare-up. While in the hospital I learned to keep my right leg elevated to stop bouncing .      
       withlove03 I bought the Tommie Copper sleeve for my mom (she has arthritis in her elbow) she loves it so as soon as a get a couple dollars together I'm definately getting the knee brace.
  • what_a_life
    thanks Kimberly. I always thought Spasticity was invountary muscle movemnent like leg kicking in bed! But what you are saying is very helpful..I have ristricted foot movement( no more taping of my left foot) n if i'm not wearing my foot brace my foot drops so i trip over my own foot, knee buckles because my left leg has no strengh in it....morning are the worse n when i' m tired form a days work.thanks for  informing me that I"m not the only one that has this
  • withlove03
    Wow....I did not know this.  About 2 months ago I really over did it and since then my calf on my right side feel like it wants to cramp really bad by the end of the day.  In the morng it s not as bad, but never seems to go away completely even with rest.  I did not realize that this was a symtom of ms...I just thought I did something to my leg.  That make perfect sense.
    I have to say that I did buy a Tommie Copper  compression wear for the calf and it does help some.  I put it on all day, and if I am on my feel all day I make sure I have it on.  The cramp is not as bad by the end of the day with the sleeve on.   Check them out Tommie  Thanks again.
  • Maura_G
    Ooh have to check that out.  I also sleep with my feet flat pressed againts the foot board. 

    That really helps. 

    But I haven't had them in almost a year.  So, I"m keeping my fingures crossed.

  • withlove03
    I too sleep with my feet on the foot board some times.  I have a bad time with RLS at night also, and I take meds for this.  If I dont take the meds it get so bad that I will slap my legs on the bed until I fall asleep.  Even with the meds I move my legs still, but not as bad.

    I have found the sleeve helps alot, my next one I want to get is the shorts, I get pain in my hip.  Glad I could pass on the info.
  • withlove03
    kc :   So glad that she love it...I have one for my leg and it did help me alot I think.  i also have them for my hands but have not use them yet...I think they scare the pain  My next one I want to get the shorts and the shirt.  My hips hurt alot and it does not seem to get better.  Well, glad to help...Keep well.
  • kc41101
    Hi withlove03,  those things are awesome (just got one for my knee) for such a little thing it really works.