Spasticity in MS is related to alterations in the normal excitory / inhibitory balance on the nerves responsible for movement, caused by lesions in central pathways and can be both intermittent (spasms) and tonic (stiffness). Flexor and extensor spasms can be very troublesome, especially at night, adding to fatigue. Spasticity can also present challenges in walking, seating, and can interfere with hygiene and nursing care in individuals with advanced MS.
Implementation of a stretch program, assessment for gait, mobility and safety is important. For those with marked disability, it may be necessary to review seating. Spasticity can also be improved with medication, on review with the treating physician.
Key Healthcare Professionals
- Occupational therapist
- MS nurse
Also see Pain and MS.