Forum

Electrostimulation

Do people with MS who have lost the ability to move a limb still find that the limb will respond to TENS type electrostimulation or does this not have any effect because the nerve itself is damaged?

Hi,

I haven’t tried personally (not in that position yet), but MS doesn’t actually damage nerves in the extremities (as far as we know), so those in the limb itself are still intact. The reason the limb FEELS damaged is that nerves in the brain/spinal cord end of the track aren’t working properly. So the nerves in the limb are still fine, and in theory capable of doing their job, but the message centre that controls them isn’t sending/receiving the messages properly.

I think direct stimulation of the affected limb - with e,g. a TENS machine - should still activate the local nerves, because they are OK.

I’m less sure whether it would make the limb feel any better, though, because signals from the limb nerves SAYING they’re being activated might not be able to make it back to the brain, to tell it what’s going on. If the brain is unaware what’s happening locally, it presumably won’t feel any better.

However, just because movement signals between brain and limb are getting blocked, doesn’t mean ALL signals are. The limb still might be able to get messages through about the TENS machine, even though it’s had no luck with movement.

Is there any possibility you could borrow one, rather than buy, just to try it? I think there’s a chance it might help, but I wouldn’t commit the money without testing.

Tina

l have used an old slender-tone machine on my ms leg to get the muscles working. By placing one of the pads at the side of the knee and one further down - l can then get my floppy foot to move up and down -and not be floppy. lf l use this machine for about 20mins - afterwards l find

that it ‘remembers’ what it should be doing. So it just goes to show that we do not actually lose this ability - which is heartening.

So lts lost - but not gone forever. l have a power-plate machine - which gives the muscles a good work-out. And l love seeing the muscles in the

legs working away ten to the dozen.

F

Thanks, I am not in that position, hopefully wont be but I was just thinking about it because I read another post about somebody troubled with a cold leg that was also unresponsive. Assuming the leg was actually cold rather than just percieved as cold, I was wondering if a rapid muscular workout (a simulated shiver) using electrostimulation would induce blood flow and warm it up.

Hi, I used to use a tens for pain, not ms type pain, just any kind of pain and I thought it worked well and helped me. Why not give it a go and see. Cheryl:)