Exercise vs support for wrists and ankles

Hi All,

Hope the day is being good to you?

I wanted to have your views on this is possible please?

I have chronic instability of the ankles. Many problems with my feet, ankles and stiffening legs.

RE: the ankles.

I do not have foot drop. I have a problem where when I come downstairs my left foot often “kinda breaks” on the left side and I fall over. It happens sometimes when walking. It doesn’t happen going upstairs. I have special insoles for my shoes as the MS has caused my feet to have very high insteps. Had to say goodbye to the high heels and the sexy shoes but that is another story …!

To get back to the ankles. It also affects the wrists.

My conundrum. Do I start wearing supports on my ankles and wrists. Or do I try and exercise to make them stronger? I am still confused about this. When MS hits us can exercise to make things stronger help or is it too late? Of course, exercising is good for us anyway. But if the damn muscles have “got the MS bug” will exercise help at all - I really don’t know. I have ordered an elastic support for my foot but my other half is not happy. He feels that exercise would be better.

I have arthritis in my spine and my doc wonders if all this instability is the arthritis too and not MS. Either way I need to do something about it.

I cannot get a physio appt, even with a prescription. Have been on all the local lists for ages but nothing has happened.

Yours thoughts/ideas would be good.

Thanks my friends,



Perhaps try both - And certainly try to see a neuro-physio for advice. l go to Pilates and Thai Chi classes - and l have been shown exercises you can do with a stretchy band. Useful and cheap piece of kit that works the whole body. There is possibly exercises with one of these bands on youtube. Most you can do sat down. But you only need to do a few minutes a few times a day and build up gradually without tiring yourself out. The stretchy thera-bands can be bought online or possible Tesco - Argos etc.

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I am due to have splints fitted for both of my feet because the muscles are contracting I am in a wheelchair full time and when I questioned the specialist he said unaided my feet would fully turn under. Because I need to stand for transfers etc I am going ahead with what at first seemed a stupid waste of money.


I have got fitted splints for my wrists to ware in bed and for walking stick driving etc witch results in the questions

What have you done now etc etc etc

I don’t know the answer to that, but I use ankle supports, just the ones you buy over the counter, when they hurt or I keep going over on them. Just a thought - do you belong to the ms society? Some have physios at their get togethers. Might be worth attending if they do as they give exercises, but could answer many questions.

Cath x

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It’s such a shame you can’t get an appointment with a neuro physio…they are incredibly knowledgable about these things and would be able to give you gentle strengthening excersises for your wrists and ankles.

Have a look at the MS Trust website…they have excersises suitable for people with MS.

Hope you soon get some help.

Nina x

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Could you ask your ms nurse or GP to try and push your appointment, as I am sure being shown the correct exercises would be a great help.

Hope you get some help soon.

Pam x

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Hi Anne,

Last year I found working and standing in the kitchen was getting more of a strain. I asked my MS nurse (who is absolutely brilliant, by the way) if I could get a lumbar support. She told me that I should be doing the physiotherapy routine I was given. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” was her answer.

I went back to the exercises and religiously did them every day. After two months I didn’t feel that this had made any difference (which is why I gave up in the first place). My reasoning was that conventional physio is a mindless repetition of simple movements. I thought, “what would happen if I had to really think about what I doing”.

For some reason Tai Chi came to mind; watching a group of people moving slowly and elegantly in a park looked like a very thoughtful way of doing things.

I joined a local club last summer. After a couple of months I discovered that I could stand at the sink, do the washing up, I can prepare food for around an hour, I can do ironing, all with out any support. I’ve been going nearly every week now.

My condition has deteriorated during the last six months (it is PPMS after all) and I’m taking more medication than before but I can still stand at the sink, do the washing up, prepare food and there’s a small pile of ironing waiting for me. (I’d make a terrific housewife).

I know that everybody’s MS is unique and this won’t be the answer for everyone, but it works for me. The quality of teaching varies so don’t let one instructor put you off. Try another. I can see me doing Tai Chi for a long time, it’s really a way of life once you get into it.

Others have found yoga, pilates and meditation helpful with what is a physical disease. Like anything worthwhile it takes effort and like any effort it produces results. It has improved my mobility, improved my mood and I get a sense of achievement out of it. It’s quite a social, friendly environment and it gets me out of the house. All for £50 a month.

(Have you got the cod liver oil yet? You said you would).

Best wishes, Anthony

l also do Thai Chi - l go every week to a stretch and flex class which is followed by Thai Chi - some of which we can do sat down. ln fact our instructor - who runs marathons and does triathlons - actually injured herself recently at the Hanover Marathon - a ‘Stress Fracture of her femur’ she is now in a wheelchair for a couple of months following surgery to try and repair it. Who said exercise was good for you! My neighbour did the ‘mud run’ 10k - and ended up in A&E with DVT in his leg which then caused a embolism in his lungs. And another friend who does lots of marathons and 'wild swimming ’ also had a stress fracture of her hip. When strangers ask me why l have to walk with a rollator - l now feel like making up a new cause - something like ‘l fell off the North Face of the Eiger’ sounds more exciting then ms.

You can get some good dvd’s on Thai Chi - and it can be enjoyed by all - no age limit. Look on Amazon for the cheapest. You do not need any special equipment or clothing for it. And a few minutes - several times a day will help keep you supple.

On the other hand you could try something really difficult like standing on one leg for 30 seconds*. I’ve never heard of anyone going to A&E because they fell off their own foot.


(*It really is quite difficult.)

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Hi Everyone

Thanks so much for your replies. To give you an update.

I went to see the Podiatrist the other day about my feet. He is making me new ortho soles for my shoes. Pick them up next week which I am looking forward to. See if they help.

I asked him regarding the ankle instability. He is not sure if it is MS or otherwise. He feels it is too late for exercise to domuch good although he recommends to exercise to keep what I have! He recommends a support.

RE My big toe. I have Hallux Limitus. Never knew I had a Hallux!! Name for big toe. No articulation. Serious as you need the big toe for walking. No surgery.

Sorry but this has become too difficult for me to type today. Having real problems.

Anyway Anthony got the Cod Liver. Will report back!

Sorry for closing so abruplty.