Susie asks Christy if MSers suffer from muscle spasms, what can help?
MSers suffer from muscle spasm, is there anything you can recommend to help them manage that symptom?
Yeah, muscle spasms is a form of spasticity and it’s best tackled as part of a multi-disciplinary team really, and physiotherapy’s a really important part of that team. You really need to find out what your key triggers are for your spasms and your physiotherapist may well provide you with a spasm diary that you’ll fill out over a week or two that might help you find a pattern to factors that might lead to spasms becoming worse. There are a number of things that can make spasms worse that you need to rule out initially, and again, your MS nurse may well be able to help you with that. So things like bladder and bowel problems can make spasticity worse, pain, illness and infection and those kind of things need to be ruled out first.
It’s very much a 24 hour approach that you need to be thinking about and I think your physio’s in prime position to help you deal with that, specifically looking at your posture, day to day, so if at work you’re sat in a particular position for a long term, is your chair supporting you and giving you the right postural stability and support that you need. You might need to look at addressing the environment a little bit more to make sure that you’re getting the support that you need. Again, becoming active and being generally more active is really important, so again, pilates, t’ai chi, there’s evidence now that suggests that exercises, more cardiovascular type exercises like cycling, strengthening exercises can also help reduce spasticity. But again, you would want a specific assessment by your physiotherapist that can look at your needs, because it’s a very individual thing.
So your physiotherapist can recommend what level and what type of exercise or sport you should be doing?
Yes. They’re in prime place really to give you advice around that. And what maybe not to do might not be the best thing for you to be accessing.
MS Reporter: Susie
MS Expert: Christy Holland is an MS Specialist Physiotherapist who works with patients across Leeds.