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How can multiple sclerosis (MS) affect my balance and coordination?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system where communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted due to a break down in the insulating myelin that surrounds a person's nerves. People with MS will often have difficulty in controlling the strength and precision of movements, so that holding things can become a problem, and balance and coordination may be impaired. They also experience numbness, tingling, sensitivity to heat or cold.

Approximately 85 percent of people with MS report some spasticity, which leads to increased stiffness or tightness in their muscles adversely affecting movement. They may or may not experience other components of abnormal muscle tone, such as spasms. Complications from spasticity include pain, joint contractures, frozen joints, impaired bladder or bowel function, skin ulceration, and abnormal postures and falls.

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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.