Disappearing muscles

Hi. What do you call the symptom where a muscle, to all intents and purposes, goes missing from your body’s sense?

Imagine all the other muscles in your leg trying to cope with a sudden absence of your shin muscle. It’s just not there any more. You have to, literally, relearn to walk again on that leg. All you can feel is the loss. Your brain feels the loss too, as it instructs the other muscles in your leg to try to find a work-around.

It is, quite simply, disabling.

I want to put this before my GP and wonder if it has a name.

Every year after the winter I have to do something to re-gain some of my muscle. The winter is very hard on me and each year I lose strength, especially leg strength and co-ordination. Around March I have to make a conscious decision to do something to energise it and make it think it has to work again and get strong. It is not nice, it hurts, other bits feeling like they will fall off. This year I need a bit more help so I have bought three day passes at the gym down the road which opens very early so there will be hardly any people there. The instructor will show me the new machines next week and is happy that I cannot do weights repetitions due to my spine problems, but is happy for me to go at my own pace which is very lightly and very slowly. They are also happy that I will be with my stick at all times. There is a pool, sauna and steamroom. I know that I will have to more or less go to bed for two days afterwards but I need to do something. Last year my cut off level where I need to rest changed, so I have to be aware that there is less tolerance on my body this year and do small amounts that build up over maybe a long period of time.

I have tried quietly to do some exercise during the winter in the house and also dragged my dodgy leg round the block screaming and kicking even in the snow! However it has not been enough so tough measures for me next week! Hope this helps, I check with my M.S. nurse or GP before I do anything, mostly they laugh, sometimes they say no, sometimes they just shake their head.

I was loaned a FES device (functional electrical stimulation) by my local therapy session. That was quite specifically for footdrop - it helped me pick up my toes by giving a small shock to my shin muscle triggered by a pressure switch in my shoe.

I’d recommend seeing a neuro trained physio. I’ve seen a physio at the hospital and our MS therapy centre - well worth it.

Sonia x