PT on the Net Research

Muscle Spasms with MS Clients


I currently work with two clients that have MS and two clients that are stroke victims. Although each case is unique, I continue to see some similarities in them with regards to spastic and toned muscles. Outside of prescribed medication from their doctors, I am wondering if there is anything I can do to help them manage this problem more effectively. I currently use some sort of myofascial release with them and static stretching. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.  


We appreciate your question and client concern. As you stated, each client is unique and therefore the below advice should be “tweaked” to each individual! Ultimately, and to answer your question, your goal with each individual case is to enhance their current level of function. This will be proved by assessing and re-assessing on a minute-to-minute basis as there are no black and white answers. Below I have listed a few definitions for clarification and points to assist you in your programming. 

Practical Application

Our approach, although complex in nature, is simple:

Re-assess every session to “tweak” the plan of attack. With the client, you will figure out what works and what doesn’t. For example, releasing the scar tissue formed may improve proprioception to the scarred region and therefore enhance overall balance. Yet on the next client, it may create naive range of motion and create a more intense spasm. Finding this is not your fault. It’s a fact we are dynamic structures with many complexities. The key is to have a check and balance system of programming, which includes the many recommendations that exist regarding stroke and MS clients.