Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis
If you have multiple sclerosis, it's common to develop spasticity, which is a symptom that can lead to increased feelings of fatigue. This muscle tightness and stiffness can often be treated with medications. Effectively treating spasticity can make it easier to accomplish the activities of daily life and may make you feel less tired.
Many individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) suffer from muscle stiffness and/or painful muscle cramps. Sometimes, there will be sudden, uncontrolled movements of the limbs. This is called "spasticity" or "spasms."
The word spasticity means stiffness. The word spasm means a sudden muscle tightness or movement. Both words are often used when talking with MS patients.
Three out of every four people with MS have spasticity. Spasms and spasticity cause the muscles to tighten, but then they do not relax.
People can react in different ways to spasticity. For example, a leg can suddenly become stiff or refuse to bend, while at other times a leg will be completely limp. Spasticity may cause one person's arm to simply feel stiff and another person to have an elbow that is impossible to bend. Spasticity and spasms can also make it difficult to sleep at night.
For many people with spasticity, the extra work it takes to move around when the muscles are stiff can make them tired or fatigued. The increased stiffness in the muscles means that a lot of energy must be used for daily activities.