Multiple Sclerosis is the condition of the nervous system. The nervous system controls the muscles of the body including those of extremities such as hands and legs. Thus, patients with MS experiences problem in legs.
What Does Multiple Sclerosis Feel Like In Legs?
Multiple Sclerosis is the condition characterized by the damage of the nerves. The myelin sheath of the nerve gets damaged leading to improper conduction of nerve impulses. This leads to chronic pain and widespread inflammation. Any part of the body can be affected. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic and progressive condition and the severity increases with time. It also affects the extremities particularly the lower limbs or the legs. As it generally affects the muscles of the body, the muscles of the legs are important for walking, running and maintaining proper balance. Any abnormality in the nerves and the associated muscles of the legs severely reduces the quality of life and make the person dependent on others. (1)
Following are the various symptoms related to the legs or the lower limb experienced by the patient suffering from multiple sclerosis.
- Inflammation And Pain. As the healthy cells of the nervous system get damaged by the immune system of own body, it leads to widespread pain and inflammation.
- Fatigue. The person with multiple sclerosis feels fatigued and weakness in the legs.
- Weakness. Due to the fatigue, physical inactivity, and imbalance, the activity level of the person gets reduced leading to loss of muscle mass. This leads to weakening of muscles, particularly of the legs.
- Walking Difficulty. Patient suffering from multiple sclerosis has severe walking difficulties. Several factors are involved to fuel this condition such as balance problems, fatigue, weakness, sensory problems such as dizziness and vertigo and muscle stiffness.
- Risk Of Fall. The risk of falling in the people with MS is significantly increased due to poor balance and slow walking. Proprioception is greatly reduced in such patients.
- Numbness And Tingling Sensations. Numbness and tingling sensations in the leg is one of the most common symptoms of Multiple sclerosis. In most of the cases, numbness is the initial symptom.
- Spasticity. The muscle of the legs is controlled by the nerves and the contraction and relaxation are assisted by the nervous system. When the nervous system gets damaged due to multiple sclerosis, it leads to stiff muscles. The patient experiences pain while walking.
Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
The treatment of Multiple sclerosis is directed to keep the diseases in the remittance phase and also to manage the signs and symptoms of the disease. Following is the treatment strategy for multiple sclerosis.
Treatment For Flare-Ups. When the disease relapses from the remittance stage, the drugs are used to prevent the accompanying pain and inflammation in the nerves. The drug of choice for this condition is steroids. Injectable methylprednisolone and oral prednisone are used to treat inflammation. If the patient does not get relief with steroids, the other option is to perform plasmapheresis. This technique is also used when the symptoms of relapse are new.
Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. The drug used to manage primary progressive MS is ocrelizumab which is approved by USFDA for this indication.
Relapse-Remitting MS. The goal of the physician is to keep the disease in the dormant form. For this, various disease-modifying drugs are used. The oral options include Fingolimod, Teriflunomide, and Dimethyl fumarate, while the injectable options are Beta interferons and Glatiramer acetate.
Managing Signs And Symptoms Of MS. Apart from the drugs directly acting on the disease, various other drugs are used to manage the symptoms. These are drugs to increase the speed of walking, fatigue-reducing agents, muscle relaxants and drugs to manage depression and anxiety. Physiotherapy is also recommended to manage muscle stiffness.
Legs are affected by MS. The patient experiences difficulty walking, muscle stiffness, fatigue, weakness, tingling sensation and numbness and tingling sensation in legs.
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