Sensory problems, including restless leg syndrome (RLS), numbness and weakness, are the first sign of multiple sclerosis (MS). Sensory problems can occur in 20 to 50 percent of individuals with multiple sclerosis with a condition known as paresthesia. The condition can be caused by prolonged sitting or standing or remaining in a certain position for a long period of time.
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that makes the legs feel tingling when they are at rest and creates an overwhelming sensation to move them. Studies have shown that individuals with MS are three times more likely to experience restless leg syndrome compared to the general population. Cervical cord damage plays a large role in the development of RLS and can occur more in those with multiple sclerosis.
Feelings and sensations of restless leg syndrome include crawling underneath the skin, tingling, burning or creeping. Symptoms may be relieved with movement of the legs, but this relief is temporary. Furthermore, it’s impossible to keep your legs moving constantly, which makes the hours during sleep the most difficult. Many individuals suffer from sleep deprivation when they have RLS.
Numbness, as well, is a common sensory problem in those with multiple sclerosis. When the nerve’s transmitted sensations are not conducted properly it causes lack of sensation in the affected area. Numbness is considered more of an annoyance than disabling and usually occurs in small locations for those with MS. There are cases, though, where numbness can affect a person’s ability to function.
Weakness in multiple sclerosis can be caused two different ways: It can result from spasms or fatigue or it can result from damaged nerves. The first cause of weakness can result in loss of strength or loss of control of extremities. Due to the second cause of weakness signals may become disrupted and not reach the extremities.
This Blog is intended to provide news and information to people living with MS, their families, caregivers, medical professionals and other stakeholders. Information/opinions contained in this blog are obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but their accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This blogger does not approve, endorse or recommend specific products or services and respects an individual’s right to make their own health management decisions. However, we can provide information to assist people in their decision process. For specific, personalized information, please consult your physician or other health care professional.