ms + hypermobility = chronic pain?

22Jul14

OK, I’ve drawn much of this conclusion before. But I figured I’d reiterate my thoughts, since I haven’t seen this talked about anywhere, really.

People with MS develop chronic pain. Yes, it’s a nervous system disorder. The nervous system is this big, amorphous, not-well-understood thing. And the source of much of this pain is also not understood.

As MS progresses in our bodies, our muscles gradually weaken. There is no discrimination here: big muscles (like the big quadriceps and hamstrings in your legs) get weaker, and really tiny stabilizing muscles (small muscles supporting your hip, keeping your leg tracking properly when you walk) also get weaker.

I, being into fitness, work really hard at fighting this slow progression toward weakness. I am a little weaker on my left side than my right, but not enough so for others to notice it (other than my healthcare and bodywork professionals).

But having had three months of little or no exercise with recent abdominal surgeries, and noticing the magnified effects in my strength differences, it really drove home what I have as the title of this post.

Now, since I’ve caught on quickly that my time off led to additional weaknesses and imbalances, and I’ve worked with rehab patients similar to myself, I’m hopefully getting back to appropriate strength work before any chronic pain situations pop up.

But for example: as a result of MS (and, I believe, my bone shape in general) I have excess mobility/hypermobility in a lot of my left side–hip, shoulder (my shoulder blade almost pulls off my back), thumb, wrist… pretty much everywhere. My thumb actually hurts sometimes. I’ve been doing small-range single-leg squats, starting back into it my holding onto something for balance. My leg, right now, does NOT want to track a straight line–combination of muscle weakness and hypermobility in pretty much every joint makes it wiggle all over the place. (The same exercise on my right side is relatively easy.)

Now, if I just let things go…or if I didn’t know the right type of exercise to do in order to attempt to equalize my sides… I may end up in a state of chronic pain as a result of my hypermobility. One side is stable, the other side is loose and unstable–and because of this, joints get pulled on unevenly (I’m thinking of the lower back and hips), causing daily pain.

I wish I could bottle my thoughts and exercises and send them out to everyone having problems!

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3 Responses to “ms + hypermobility = chronic pain?”

  1. The whole “awareness” thing can be a puzzle when trying to figure out what is causing what. My left leg not working caused deterioration of my left buttock muscle which has made me crooked and that has begun a myriad of interesting issues.

    • SO true! And even though I’m a professional, it often takes me (seemingly) forever to figure out the most obvious connections, sometimes. I also have left glute weakness from MS (mainly abductors) which I knew would affect the entire chain of my left leg… but it took a while for me to make the connection to my right shoulder (the front side of the body also stabilizes itself diagonally). Everything works together!
      Signed, Body Detective 🙂

      • fyi, I use a soft garden kneel pad under that side of my bottom in the car and other seated places. It helps!


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