Altered sensations are common in people with MS. Also called “sensory disturbances”, they include numbness, tightness, tingling or burning. At times, these sensations are bewildering. A ‘tight banding’ around a leg or the torso can be confused with muscle tightness or spasticity. Sometimes these sensations are painful.
Even when they are not painful, they may change how you move and can affect balance and decrease mobility. For example, altered sensations on the soles of the feet can affect how you walk.
You CAN manage altered sensations with a variety of approaches. You can:
- Speak with your physician about your symptoms and therapies or medications that might help.
- Exercise, with particular emphasis on stretching, to help maintain your range of movement.
- Try massage and applications of heat or cold for relief.
- Consult with a physical or occupational therapist to learn compensation techniques, such as using visual cues to make up for loss of awareness of your body parts in space.
- Use a cane or other aid for balance and mobility.
Contributing editors: Staff, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis