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Hi all

I had a relapse back in November which caused me weakness in my left leg. After a course of steroids and physio I was back on my feet by February - able to walk about half a mile unaided. Then, in March, I had a 24 hour sickness bug which knocked my legs out of action for about 4 hours. The next day I was wobbly on my feet again, but able to walk with one stick (I don't need to use a stick inside, providing there's furniture/walls to hold when needed).

Since March it's been peaks and troughs. I saw my physio who told me to carry on with my exercises as before. I was able to walk a fair distance with my stick, although I needed to rest sporadically. Recently, my legs seem to have become very stiff and heavy and get tired very easily. It is particularly bad in the morning, and takes most of the day for my muscles to loosen. By then it's bedtime, so it's back to square one!

I have tried exercising/stretching before bed, but it doesn't seem to help. I also have weird spasticity in my feet. If I stretch my legs out whilst I am lying in bed, the muscles in my lower back/stomach (my core muscles) seem to have a strange spasm and take over, so my legs get pulled up towards my body and my feet and lower legs twist inwards. It's quite uncomfortable!

Has anyone had similar experiences? I think some of the muscle stiffness is MS, but as my physio pointed out, other muscles in my body are probably working overtime to make up for my weak leg.

I'd appreciate any advice, as I know that I'll be at square one again in the morning!

Thank you!
Rachel
Hi
Two things that help my stiffness are Pilates and rolling.
There is a whole thread on rolling.
Are you doing either?
Hi Veg

Yes, I do Pilates, but it I am not sure it is particularly effective at the moment as I am not strong enough to perform some of the moves. I also do Yoga from time to time. I've seen the thread on rolling - will have to get myself a roller!

Thanks
Rachel
I go to a beginner class and can't do all the movements but I still go and I always feel better for going I am hoping in time I will get stronger.
Yes - I need to persevere! I did Pilates well before MS, so I sometimes get a bit disheartened that I can no longer do it with ease.
I began Yoga a few months ago after a year or two of not doing a class and I found I was quite stiff afterwards but as the weeks have passed I do feel better afterwards.I have even been a couple of times when legs have been stiff and sore an I felt like staying at home, but it even helped then.

I massage my muscles with Magnesium oil a couple of times a day. I have also made up an arnica oil with the essential oils Rosemary and (oh sorry the 2nd oil has escaped me ..could be lavender) I massage using this too, sometimes I feel it helps ,the days it doesn't is still feels really good at the time.

My neurologist recommended cooling gels for sore muscles too. The sort that sports people use, massage in well and make sure you have time to sit and relax as it seems to get activated over a few minutes after application.

Good luck with finding something to help.
Thank you, Quin. I have been trying massage with a wooden roller, but I'll give the oils a go too. My ON returned a few days ago, and my walking got worse, so I am in clinic on Tuesday for steroids. Hopefully this may ease the stiffness too!

Rachel
Hi Rachel,

I had stiff legs for quite a few months, things that I think helped: Epsom Salt baths - this is your way of getting magnesium in your system, I really think that Magnesium plays an important role and it's best to get it through the skin - so yes Magnesium oil is good too. At first I took a bath almost every day (luckily I don't have any heat problems).
The other thing was meditation - I noticed that I stored all my negative emotions in my upper thighs - I would have never thought that before. I love love all of the loving kindness meditations but especially anything from Sharon Salzberg. The third thing is: excercise but you do so well already!
So be kind to yourself, try not to get frustrated. Be happy every evening when your legs start to relax and slowly they will relax earlier and one day you suddenly remember that "hey I don't have any stiffness anymore, when did that go?"
All the best for now
Mila
I was about to recommend pilates - but I see that Veg has beaten me to it, and that you already do pilates anyway. I've heard that cannabis can help spasticity, but may not be an option unless you're in California, Colorado or Washington
Hi Rachel,

I know what you mean; I have stiffness for about 7 years.
First a little, and my walking got worse, etc.
Last month it's getting better and better (not everyday).

I walk everyday with my walker, sometimes some steps without anything.
I can practice more then before (the diet is working ?) and I practice as much as possible.
Stretching everyday. It gives me joy.
Your muscles are ok (the nerves are bad, etc), so let them work as much as possible.

Jossi
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