What is confusing is that I know that I have restless legs syndrome. But when my restless legs act up, I have the urge to move my legs. They feel crampy, and well, restless.
When some invisible red eyed monster is pulling at my muscles, I just want to relax my legs. Sometimes I want to give it a gentle shake off.
So my question (mostly to myself, but if you have a thought, please share it) is: is this spasticity?
I wake up with pain, mostly in my left leg. Does this prevent me from doing things? I suppose not directly, but it does make it harder to get out of bed in the morning.
I see Dr.E, my MS neurologist next month, for my annual check-in. I feel as if I can hear him now...he won't be definitive in a diagnosis. But he will give me medication to try. And then I will start another internal battle with myself...
There are conflicting numbers as to how many people with MS experience spasticity. Some websites offer that 20% of people will experience some level of spasticity during their time with the disease. Other numbers include that 1/3 of all people will adjust their daily living in some way due to spasticity.
Here are some possible "spasticity" experiences:
What Does Spasticity Feel Like?Spasticity tends to occur more often in the legs than in the arms. It also tends to be asymmetrical, meaning it is worse or happens more often on one side of the body than the other. There are several types of spasms that affect people with MS:
Extensor Spasms: These happen when a limb, usually a leg, stiffens and the person is unable to bend the joint. These cause the limb, usually a leg, to jerk away from the body. It usually affects the quadriceps (the large muscles on the front of the thigh), causing the lower leg to straighten.
Flexor Spasms: This type of spasm causes a limb to contract, or bend, toward the body. This type of spasm almost always affects the legs, especially the hamstrings or hip flexors.
Clonus: This is when muscles jerk or twitch repeatedly. The most common forms of clonus is when a person’s foot taps rapidly and repetitively on the floor or knee or ankle jerk repeatedly after stimulation (such as tapping at the joint), rather than the normal response of one tap or jerk.
Adductor Spasms: These are more rare. These spasms cause a person’s legs to close together tightly, making it difficult to separate them.
Stiffness: This can be thought of as mild spasticity. While not as dramatic as some of the forms of spasms described above, when muscles are slow to relax, it can cause problems walking or using the hands and fingers to perform delicate movements. In some cases, the stiffness may not pose a huge problem. In other cases, the spasticity can cause problems with mobility or be painful enough to interfere with daily life.
I'll keep you posted,