This review article highlights another big problem in MS; problems with gait or walking.
Gait problems in MS’ers is characterised by reduced walking speed, walking endurance, step length, cadence (how smooth your gait is) and joint motion, as well as increased energy requirements of walking and increased variability of gait.
Standardised clinical, timed, and patient-based measures can identify MS’ers with gait problems.
Observational gait analysis, instrumented walkways, or 3D gait analysis can help determine which problem underlie gait dysfunction to help direct effective treatments.
Exercise may ameliorate some or all types of gait dysfunction.
Gait dysfunction due to weakness may be helped by orthoses or functional electrical stimulation.
Gait dysfunction due to spasticity may be relieved by oral, intrathecal, or intramuscular medications targeting spasticity.
Assistive devices and balance training may reduce gait dysfunction from imbalance.
The use of dalfampridine or fampridine may increase walking speed in selected MS’ers where this is a problem.
“This article highlights another problem MS’ers have as a result of becoming disabled and discusses ways to assess and manage the gait problems.”