walking and balance problems

Many people who have MS develop walking problems and this can be due to many different aspects of control of movement. The most common disturbance in mobility is problems with gait and balance. This can be caused by muscle weakness, spasticity, muscle fatigue and changes in sensation.

Treating mobility problems is best done by a MS specialist neurophysiotherapist who will assess the cause of walking and balance difficulties and work on exercise programs and other assisted methods to help overcome such problems. These may include providing appropriate aids, assistive devices, teaching exercise programs and generally advising on gait and safety.

More unusual symptoms affecting walking or balance are changes in movement control that result in difficulties with placing the foot accurately and avoiding tripping and falling. Other problems include foot drop (weakness of muscles affecting the ability to clear the ground when walking) or problems with balance such as vertigo.

Most MS teams will have physiotherapy support where management of mobility problems can be addressed.

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