Walking Difficulties

Hi I am newly diagnosed…just yesterday…i wondered if anyone had similar symptoms when walking. When i look down and concentrate i can correct my feet but if i dont my knees ho together and my feet point inwards…it feels really strange. Ive been getting numb legs whilst sitting too. Has anyone else had this and has anything helped please? Kind Regards Emma

Walking problems are probably one of the main symptoms of MS. Anything from heavy stiff legs to weakness , spasms, numbness the list goes on and on. Everyone has the same symptoms but in different ways if that makes sense. I would suggest that having to concentrate on your walking just to be able to walk is “normal” with MS. If I’m walking alongside someone I tend to switch off from conversation or looking around at things as I find my walking goes even more out of synch if I’m not fully concentrating.

a neurologically trained physio can give advice, ask your ms nurse.

the ms therapy centres have most kinds of exercise classes such as pilates which is excellent and focusses on having your body in alignment. i really struggle with this and realise that it’s not only walking that is affected.

your local branch of ms society can also help.

don’t be shy of getting a walking aid, my first stick gave me the freedom to pop to the shop safely. it also got me hugged and kissed by burly builders (who i knew) when i hobbled past the pub!

rule number one is to make sure that you are safe.

carole x

Hello Emma

When you don’t know what your feet are doing unless you look at them, it’s very strange. I walk towards a mirror on my hallway wall in order to see what my feet are up to. If I looked down at them I’d fall over! (I think this is what you mean, but if I’m wrong, sorry!)

It’s to do with proprioception, by which I mean having the sense of what various body parts are doing without looking. Neurologists and physiotherapists check this by having you close your eyes and touching different bits of your feet/legs etc and asking you where they are touching. The test where they bend your toes up or down are also part of this.

I have one leg that I can’t do anything with, but I know where it is (and what it’s not doing) and the other that will, for eg walk, but I have no idea what it’s doing. It makes for a very confusing time and is the reason why I need to look in the mirror.

Essentially, jactac is right, concentrating while walking is the key to getting it right. Hopefully your problems will ease off - if you’ve been diagnosed with RRMS, it could just be during a relapse and it will slowly improve.

Having numb legs when you sit for too long is another problem many of us have. The answer being to shift position often. Again, this may get better if there is remission from your current state.