Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system. What happens is your own body’s immune system destroy its own tissue, known as the myelin sheath.
This is the important tissue that covers the spinal cord and the nerve receptors.
These attacks leave behind open areas known as a lesson. It’s these lesion areas that causes abnormalities in the electrical signals sent to and from the brain.
These irregular impulses are what causes the numerous symptoms associated with MS.
In this article, I’ll discuss the three types of muscle spasms what problems each one causes and the available treatment options.
Early Warning Signs of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, like a lot of the other autoimmune diseases, has a range of symptoms.
The symptoms and their severity that fluctuates from person to person. Some of the more common early warning signs include; tingling and numbness in different parts of your body.
A person might feel like an electrical current is running down their arm, legs or neck. Someone, they might have a generalized weakness.
A person might experience difficulty with walking. They may have blurry vision and sometimes they might see double.
They can have urinary urgency, or perhaps difficulty when they begin urinating.
What is a Muscle Spasm?
A muscle spasm is defined as a sudden intense tightening of the muscles. It generally affects a person’s arms and legs.
There are three types of muscle spasms found in MS, they are; tonic, phasic and spastic. Each one has its own degree of muscle tension and severity.
Tonic muscle spasms cause the muscles, to completely tense up. Phasic spasms cause the muscles to move in a rapid, repetitive involuntary motion.
Spasticity is when the muscles tighten up so hard that it causes a person to have difficulty with mobility.
It can even make it hard for someone to sit up and to transfer from place to place. This type of muscle spasm is the most painful and is the one doctor treat the most.
These spastic muscle spasms can also cause severe pain in and around a person joint. It can cause severe lower back pain as well.
The severity of the pain with these spasms depends on if you’re sitting, lying and if you’re relaxed.
Things like wearing tight clothes, having an infection, the heat, cooler temperatures and humidity can make the muscle spasms worse.
How is Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed?
A neurologist will also look at your personal medical history and the family medical history because MS is thought to be genetic.
He’ll ask you to move your arms and legs first, He’ll then move your extremities. This is called active and passive range of motion.
This is to find out how well you’re able to move your arms and legs, without causing pain.
A doctor might do a series of tests to make a diagnosis. Some of them might include; MRI, spinal tap and evoked potential.
A doctor will use an MRI to take pictures of your brain and spinal cord, to establish the presence of a lesson.
He’ll check for other abnormalities in these areas as well. If the doctor’s really concerned he might inject a metallic dye into your system.
This substance will leak around the abnormalities. In addition, he will check for volume loss due to atrophy.
If he diagnoses you with MS then it’s likely he will repeat this test periodically, to see how the disease and treatment are progressing.
Your neurologist might drain a little fluid off of your spinal cord, to see if it contains white blood cells. He will also check for the oligoclonal band, to determine how well your immune system is doing.
The Evoked potential is when a neurologist stimulates your nervous system by using either checkerboard pictures or clicking sounds.
He will then record how your nervous system reacts. This recording is usually taken from the nerves in the arms and legs.
Make My Symptoms Go Away
A doctor will recommend you see a physical therapist and an occupational therapist. A physical therapist will show you different exercises that will help you stretch your muscles.
This will help reduce the spasms. Where an occupational therapist will help you choose a medical device, this will assist you with mobility and with your other daily living activities.
Medicine’s to the Rescue
A doctor might also prescribe medicine to help with the muscle spasms. Some of them might include a variety of muscle relaxant, like baclofen or Zanaflex.
He might prescribe a central nervous system depressant like Valium, or other benzodiazepines.
This is to slow down the central nervous system activity, which will decrease muscle spasms and pain.
Sometimes a doctor might suggest you should have a pump implant. This pump would continually deliver an appropriate amount of medicine, which would reduce your symptoms.
Sometimes a doctor might decide to inject a substance known as Botox in your muscles, to help them relax.
Eating to Reduce Symptoms
Your daily diet should include 3 cups of colorful fruits and vegetables a day. These foods are loaded with antioxidants which help boost your immune system.
Some examples include; peaches, sweet potatoes, cranberries, oranges, carrots, beets, all the berries, and peppers,
A Paleo diet also includes three cups of green leafy vegetables a day. They have a large amount of vitamin ACK and B vitamin.
Include three cups of sulfur-rich vegetables. Sulfur helps reduce harmful toxins and it helps with neurotransmitters producing.
Some of them include; onion, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, and turnips.
At each meal, you should include fish like salmon or herring, for the omega 3. You should also meat from a grass-fed animal. These animals aren’t full of toxins.
When you cook your food be sure to use an oil that isn’t full of trans and saturated fats. Some of them might include flax, coconut, hemp, or olive oil.
It’s also suggested to eat seaweed and organ meat once a week.