b'Symptom ManagementM MoovveemmeennttIIssssuueessaannddMMSS TThheeddiisseeaasseepprreesseennttssaavvaarriieettyyooffccoommmmoonnddiissoorrddeerrssBy Bhavya Suri With all the symptoms that multiple sclerosis can present, movement issues are some of the most common. But movement consists of more than just being able to move around. When explaining to someone how your movement has been affected by your MS, the common perception is to assume you are having difficulty walking. However, this is only one component of the larger picture. Issues like loss of balance can play a large role in how you are able to perform functions such as getting up from a chair or sitting back down on it. Tremors can affect functions such as brushing your teeth or your condence in being able to feed yourself. Spasticity and spasms can affect your muscle functions and affect their movement in daily activities such as walking. Ataxia can be confused with tremors. However, ataxialack of muscle coordinationcan lead to tremors in the limbs. Restless leg syndrome, a common movement disorder, can affect not only your movement but also your sleep cycle and lead to further fatigue. These movement issues are some of the common ones. Lets go through them and see how they play a role in your daily activities. Loss of balance: While the science behind loss of balance is not fully understood yet, losing balance can signicantly affect your gait (manner of walking). MS affects many different areas of the central nervous system. The changes occurring to your cerebellum (the part of your brain responsible for coordination and regulation of muscle activity) and spinal cord can result in postural changes. Simply put, lack of appropriate postural responses leads to imbalance, which affects the way you move around. This can lead to needing assistance in walking, whether with an assistive device or having a caretaker around to monitor your movements. The range of balance loss varies depending on the progression of MS. Tremors: Tremors are repetitive rhythmic shaking occurring in specic areas of your limbs that can lead to an inability to perform activities such holding a glass, brushing your teeth, feeding yourself, and driving. Myelin damage to the cerebellum affects not only that area of the brain but the nerves leading to and from it. The myelin damage leads to tremors, ranging from a mild to severe form. Tremors can lead to changes in quality of life in some and in others, it may not be noticeable. Spasticity and spasms: Your muscles allow you to perform everyday functionssmiling, talking, brushing your teeth, putting on shoes, and the list goes on. When muscles functions are affected, they can create problems in your daily routine. With MS, the damage to the myelin sheath affects the nerves that communicate from your brain to your muscles. Muscle spasticity is abnormal tightness that occurs because of prolonged muscle contraction. msfocusmagazine.org 38'