Home - About Us -  Member Areas - Local Support Groups
     Support  | Services  |  library |  Products  |  Sponsors   
" With Friends with MS online you're never alone!"  
All of our links
What is MS?
MS Symptoms

Gait or Walking Problems

Problems with gait or difficulty in walking are among the most common symptoms in MS.

Gait problems are usually related to several factors.

·        Weakness: Muscle weakness is a common cause of gait difficulty. If both legs are affected, this is known as paraparesis; if only one leg is weak, it is called monoparesis. Patients may also have a foot drop that can cause them to stumble or trip. Weakness can often be compensated for by appropriate braces, canes, walkers, or other assistive devices.

·        Spasticity: Muscle tightness or spasticity can also interfere with gait. This generally responds to an antispasticity medication such as baclofen or tizanidine. Stretching exercises are also helpful.

·        Loss of Balance: Balance problems generally result in a swaying, “drunken” type of gait known as ataxia.  Severe ataxia generally means the person would benefit from the use of an assistive device.

·        Sensory Deficit: Some MS patients have such severe numbness in their feet that they cannot feel the floor or know where their feet are. This is known as a “sensory ataxia.”


Most gait problems can be helped to some extent by physical therapy which includes exercises and gait training, by use of appropriate assistive devices, and in some cases by medications. Each person's gait disorder needs to be evaluated on an individual basis by a physician, and an appropriate therapy program developed to suit that individual.

Disclaimer  |   Contact  |   Search
Copyright 2010 Friends with MS - Serving the MS community since 1998