How long can a relapse last?

Hello everyone

Does anyone know how long a relapse can last before it is no longer considered to be a relapse but is just general deterioration/progression? I was diagnosed with RRMS about 26 years ago and had many relapses which usually lasted for sevaral weeeks. 4 years ago I was told I am now SPMS. Since then I have had one or two fairly minor relapses. Since May last year I have been getting stiffness and spasticity in one leg. This continues to worsen, every week I seem to be worse than the week before. I have tried several drugs, so far nothing has helped. last week I saw a new neuro, he thinks this is a relapse. The continual, fairly rapid deterioration does seem a bit like a relapse but it’s been going on for 9 months. Is this possible for SPMS? Has anybody else had a relapse last this long, or longer?Thank you for reading this.


Hi Carol,

I’m RRMS, but I’ve had a relapse lasting about a year.

I’m not saying there was no improvement at all before that time, because there was, but I think it was a full year before I recovered as completely as I was ever going to.

I’m told the average is 3-6 weeks. Fortunately, I don’t have very many relapses, but those I have had lasted loads longer than that!

Then again, I don’t think they were still worsening after 9 months… They were getting better, but had a long way still to go, if that makes sense?


Hi Carol,

This question has always confused me too. I think that I am now SP as opposed to RR, but this is a grey area of course. Despite me being on Rebif, I have been having relapses these past few years. But this year I seem to be in a relapse, and have been since late Jan. I think. I am also itching to know if this is a relapse, (I hate Medrone, so will avoid this if at all possible) as I want to get back on track. I am due to see the big cheese (the neurologiost) any time soon, so perhaps he could enlighten me. I can only assume Carol, that like everything with this disease, they are all different. Humph!

Take care,


Is there a general consensus that someone will recover as much as they’re going to after a year then? Mr S

Hiya Carol

Sorry, I dont know the answer. I dont know that there is a definite answer in fact

Just wanted to asked the poster above why he chose Mr and not Captain?!

Is off singing now…happy talking talking, happy talk la de da!

E x

Hi E I kind of liked the capital M and S in it. Mr S

[quote=“Mr Sensible”] Is there a general consensus that someone will recover as much as they’re going to after a year then? Mr S [/quote] No idea. I only know I’ve had one lasting a year. Whether it’s possible to have one lasting even longer, but still recover, I don’t know. If there’s been no improvement at all after a year, I should have thought it’s unlikely there ever will be. But if improvement has started, it can be quite a few months before it’s complete. Tina

Thank you all for your replies. It is very helpful and interesting to read other’s views. I think I shall have to wait and see, with fingers crossed. Both my GP and ms nurse told me you can still have relapses when SPMS. GP said a long time ago you can’t pigeonhole people like that.


I have always wanted to know this question too, thanku for the awareness@caro51.

Mine was 2yrs ago, and only now am feeling bit of recovery, whereas as previous ones have been 8months maximum.

But i guess everybody is different, coz with ms u dont know when and what will happen, some people recover quick, others bit later.

Hi golden123

Thanks for your reply. 2 years is a long time. I hope your recovery is well under way now and I won’t give up hope of some improvement either. You are right, we are all different, and for me each relapse is very different.