Forum

Spasticity

For the past few years I’ve been suffering foot slap with my left foot, which FES didn’t help. The neuro-physiotherapist I’d been seeing referred me to an ordinary physiotherapist for help with my hip pain. The new physiotherapist found that my left lateral gastrocnemius is permanently tight and that’s what’s causing the foot slap. The pain in my left calf isn’t too bad at the moment, but it doesn’t respond to oral painkillers. I have to use ibuprofen gel, which isn’t ideal if the pain starts after I’ve got dressed. My problem is that I’m starting to get the same sensation in my right calf, although it’s nowhere near as bad and I’m not sensing foot slap - yet!

How common is spasticity in both legs? Is there any treatment apart from Baclofen? The physio mentioned this as a possible treatment if things got worse, but said that I might not want the side effects. How bad are the side effects? Would an oral drug work if oral painkillers don’t help? I’m trying not to worry too much because I can still walk, even if not as far or as fast as I used to. I’m just trying to assess the options for the future.

Hello CD

Bad news that spasticity is now affecting your right leg. Baclofen isn’t such a bad drug you know. It’s a case of getting the balance right, too much can make it difficult to use your legs, not enough and you’re in spastic city. There are other drugs - just as with everything MS wise, it’s all about individual response.

Have a look at https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/spasticity-and-spasms There are some other drugs listed if you don’t get on with Baclofen. But imo, it’s worth trying a very small dose (5mg for eg - the maximum is 80mg a day, I take about 60mg).

Sue