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What causes walking problems in people with multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Difficulty with walking (gait) is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). There are many causes of gait issues, including muscle weakness, foot drop, muscle spasms, balance difficulty, loss of sensation and fatigue. If you have difficulty walking, your neurologist will try to identify the cause and will accordingly pick the treatment that is best for you.

Foot drop is a relatively common cause of gait disturbances in people with MS. It can have a severe impact on a person’s ability to walk and can cause serious falls. Foot drop may occur during a relapse and get better with time, or it may become permanent. In either case, there are a few treatments to help manage it.

Interventions including physical therapy, braces, functional electrical stimulation (FES) and the drug Ampyra have been shown to help improve symptoms and the quality of life of those who experience foot drop. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.