Spasticity? x

Morning all! More questions from me I’m afraid!!

I’m struggling with what I normally describe as ‘stiffness’. I’m not sure if this is Spasticity??

When I wake in the mornings my whole back is totally rigid - around the thoracic, middle and lower - the muscles all the way up are rock hard - like an ironing board stuck up my PJ’s!! My legs are also really rigid down the backs - particularly my calfs and the muscle accross the front of my shin.

This makes my legs and my feet ache/hurt/burn when I try to walk on them.

At good times - after stretching & rubbing the muscles - this eases somewhat when I’ve been up and about for a while (it never totally goes away though).

At bad times like today I just can’t get it to ease off at all and I’m hobbling around the house unable to move my feet up and down - which means yet another day on the sofa or in bed!

The odd thing is my muscles in my lower legs are like I said ‘rock solid’ - my calves and shin muscles are exceptionally tight and ‘strong’ looking!!! They look like a body builders lower legs!!!

is anyone else like this? Is this spasticity???


Hi Jen

It sounds like spasticity I think. I get similar problems with my leg and thorax on the L. It feels like my back is stuck on that side and when I used to try and run my leg would burn and hurt (hence I don’t now).

Some great exercises for your thorax are the scared cat and other similar yoga positions (if you want I can email you a link that goes through them)- it never goes away but will give you a little more flexibitility than you currently have. I went to an osteopath for a couple of sessions (got through groupon £30 for 2) which helped loosen the stiffness and tightness and combined with daily yoga and stretching it will also help with the pain a little. If you can’t see an osteopath even a massage or physio might help loosen things a little.

I can sympathise- pain as a result of stiff, tight muscles is one of my worst symtpoms.



Hi Jen,

I agree with Reemz it sounds like spasticity.

Spasticity is just a glorified word for what most people experience as stiffness, or sometimes cramp. For me, it feels like the day after overdoing things at the gym or something. Except it’s NOT when I’ve been overdoing things, but every day.

Baclofen (muscle relaxant) has helped, although it’s not a complete solution.

It’s funny - long before I was diagnosed, I went for sports physio (was having problems even then). The physio gave me a calf massage. He said my calf muscles were the shortest he’d ever seen, and asked whether I’d been ill!

I was surprised, and exclaimed: “No! Why?”. He said: “Well, some illnesses can cause this…”

I now think that physio had picked up on what should have been spotted by my GP and various consultants, going back years. He was obviously onto something, but he didn’t stress I should go back to my GP and push for answers, so I was left scratching my head, and thinking: “What an odd comment!”.

Although I thought it strange my calf muscles were a bit of a phenomenon, I dismissed it, because as far as I was concerned, I hadn’t been ill!

It’s such a pity the only person who realised was working outside the NHS, and unable to share his concerns with anyone who might have acted on them.


I often wake in the morning with stiff arms and legs and a rigid back.My legs and arms are bent and usaly my right hand is all twisted.I cannot stand up straight and I am in pain all over my body.

I struggle around the home until the muscles ease and I can straighten back up again.

Yes my osteopath thought I had increased muscle tone for a girl who was quiet slight which can happen when you have spacticity too. It definitely is a pity that people outside the NHS can’t link in more - my osteopath was quiet certain there’s something wrong though he’s not sure if it’s MS where as my neuro just said it’s because of age I get tight muscles too, you’re not exercising correctly or stretching, just put up with it. I’m 29, 2 years ago I could run five miles without feeling fatigued, I’ve always danced and had great co-ordination and balance and never had any stiffness and minimal muscle ache before this. I’ll have to remember baclofen if things get worse for me :slight_smile: