How many symptoms make a relapse?

Back in 2004-2005, when I had my worst relapse so far, there were a number of occasions when I almost fell because my head and torso were moving faster than my legs. I hadn’t had that problem since the relapse ended till yesterday. It’s happened twice, both times I was carrying a cup of tea and was in a hurry to get to my chair. Fortunately I was in the kitchen and there’s a convenient unit to grab hold of.

I’m not aware of any other relapse symptoms. The spasticity in my left calf has been there for years, so that doesn’t count. If the only symptom is signals not reaching my legs quickly enough, is this a relapse?

Hello CD

That’s one of those ‘how long is a piece of string’ questions. Yet most of us have been there. Last year I had a sort of droopy face. My left eye was having trouble seeing, everything was just a bit blurry (definitely not ON as no pain and no colour changes). I had really dark shadows under that eye. In addition, I only noticed in photos that my mouth was drooping on the same side. There was no pain and it wasn’t TN. Ultimately I decided it was a mild relapse, more of a sensory thing really. Eventually it got better - it took a few months, but it did go. Just the last couple of weeks it’s come back.

So the chances are what you are experiencing is a relapse. I believe a relapse can be made of only one symptom. Have a look at the MS Trust page on what is and what isn’t:

But it might not be. All you can do is see what happens over the next few days.

With a bit of luck, it will resolve as fast as it came! (And pigs might fly!)


Thanks for that. Fortunately(!) my hips have started acting up, so I’m forced to walk more slowly. This means that there’s less opportunity for my torso to get ahead of my legs. It also makes it harder to tell if the symptom is there. I’m assuming that it is, at least till the next time I’m able to try to walk quickly.

hi CD

i learned the hard way that i need to stand still for a minute to make sure that my brain and feet agree that i am vertical.

like you, i used to lurch forward as i did before ms.


that sounds like Bell’s Palsy.

with the droopy mouth and eye.

i had it at age 17 and again after my diagnosis.

the first time i used to go to the pub because i’d been told by my boss not to go in work and i was bored.

i heard ever so many quasimodo jokes!

Ooh I say, just looked up Bells Palsy and it does sound exactly like it. I wonder why none of the doctors I’ve spoken to have said that? To be fair, there’s usually been a million other things to discuss and it’s not been top of the list. But last year I ended up seeing an ophthalmologist because of the droopy eye, and then mentioned to my neurologist that my mouth and eye were drooping on the left side. Still I’m seeing my neurologist in a couple of weeks. I’ll ask him then.

Thanks Carole