Invisible symptoms: twitches and spasms

MS Society blogger Ann
It’s early evening, I’m relaxing watching a bit of TV or reading with my feet up. That’s when it starts: my toe, usually my big toe on my left foot, slowly starts to point towards the ceiling.

It aches, I push my toe back down, this repeats for an hour or so. Sometimes it leads to a massive leg spasm, sometimes the toes just twitches away for ages.

It’s usually worse in bed, my leg kicks out without me controlling it. It’s not every night, just now and again, but my partner has had the occasional kick in the arse and I feel bad about that.

I know people put up with much worse than this. I remember when I couldn’t feel anything below my waist and I am grateful for my now hyper-sensitive feet and being able to feel my legs. It’s still annoying.

Theories and experiments

It never seems to be as bad if I’ve moved around enough during the day. Saying that, I had a big swim yesterday and it happened last night. I have a theory that if I have a small walk and go to the gym at some point in the day I’ll be OK. Yoga stretches are also a good help and I need to work harder to get them into my daily routine.

I have a new theory that if I keep my feet down on the floor instead of putting them up on the sofa too much this will help too. I have no scientific evidence for this and I’ve only tried it once but it seemed to help.

Another great technique is distraction. Luckily last night in the midst of my toe twitches I was wiping my glasses and they broke in my hand. I had to concentrate so hard on fixing them my twitches stopped. Next time I get twitches I’ll try and find something to concentrate on, something physical like playing guitar or building something with Lego.

I’ve also found that alcohol helps, not too much, just enough to relax. But I don’t like to drink on a weeknight if I have work the next day, only Friday or Saturday nights.

What do you do?

Do you get twitches or spasms? I’d love to hear if you have any tips on how to deal with them.

> Read our information about managing muscle spasms and stiffness

About Ann: Ann is a TV addict and writer with relapsing remitting MS. She hosts a pub quiz and a spoken word night called Verbalise. She has a border collie called Barbara.