How is muscle weakness in multiple sclerosis (MS) treated?

Muscle weakness can occur in multiple sclerosis (MS) as a result of slowing or loss of nerve impulse conduction. It may also evolve from disuse, especially if lifestyle changes have made an individual more sedentary. Weakness contributes not only to mobility complications, but also to safety hazards. For instance, foot drop is common in MS and can cause abnormal walking patterns, placing strain on muscles and joints that are not meant for walking. This can result in pain syndromes and create a risk of falling.

There are several treatment options for muscle weakness in MS. One of the most beneficial is an exercise program tailored to an individual's specific needs. A rehabilitation professional will assist in designing a program that is appropriate for the current strength of the affected muscle. Assistive devices are also helpful in addressing mobility issues. Bracing, canes, walkers and wheelchairs improve both safety and fatigue. Newer technology that externally stimulates muscles to contract at the right time during the walking cycle is another option.
Louis Rosner
Probably the best physical therapy exercises for weakness are done in the water. These hydrotherapy exercises use the benefits of buoyancy. Eliminating the pull of gravity makes it easier to move a weak limb through a fuller range of motion. Also, staying off a weak limb will conserve strength for when it is needed.
Multiple Sclerosis

More About this Book

Multiple Sclerosis

Too often, multiple sclerosis is thought of only as "the crippler of young adults." But in fact, 75 percent of all people with MS will never need a wheelchair. In Multiple Sclerosis, Dr. Louis J....

Continue Learning about Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment is multi-faceted and individualized, from which specialist to see to the best pain management options for your symptoms. Research is currently being conducted in the fields of central nervous syst...

em repair and disease modification; other research efforts are dedicated to testing the effectiveness of new medications. More controversial treatments, such as the use of cannabinoids to treat symptomatic multiple sclerosis pain, are also being explored.

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.