Muscle stiffness and spasms are very common among people with Multiple sclerosis (MS). They may range from a minor inconvenience to the degree that makes daily life and activities uncomfortable, painful, and challenging. The most common are leg spasms and stiffness of the arms, legs, or trunk, although it can affect any other muscle in the body.
Both stiffness and muscle spasms can be painful. Sometimes they can alter posture, and that by itself can cause pain. Muscle spasms are often accompanied by an involuntary, repetitive, up and down movements of a muscle (clonus). The most common is the tapping motion of the foot on the floor.
The first step in managing these conditions is identifying potential trigger factors that cause or make the spasms or stiffness worse.
Some common trigger factors include a relapse, an increase in body temperature, extreme temperature (both heat and cold), an infection, or stress. These conditions vary significantly from person to person, and so do the different available treatments. They may involve physical and occupational therapy, medications, surgery, nutrition, complementary medicine, or a combination of them. In addition, Belong users that discussed this topic in the various groups recommend stretching, especially in the morning and before bedtime, exercise, and maintaining good posture. It would be best to discuss treatment options with your health care team and decide, which approach is the best choice for you.