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climbing stairs and muscle weakness
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climbing stairs and muscle weakness

I've searched the previous posts so as not to repeat questions and found they fell short for me.  I am trying to understand the muscle weakness I experience when climbing stairs.  I can make it a floor level but must stop to as though I need to let the blood catch up in my legs so I don't literally collapse.  It's not my breathing, it's my legs specifically.  My arms and hands have similar weakness but since they are not weight bearing like my legs, it has less of an impact.  37 yr female,I have mild ms with a cervical lesion and a few in the brain,one band on spinaltap, taking avonex for 6 months.  I exercise walk (1.5-3 mi) and stationary bike 5 mi several times a week, been doing it for several years.  No spasms with the weakness, just very severe with stairs. Aches deep in legs and feet as well. Any thoughts? perhaps a concurrent condition I should look into? or MS related? I don't understand why messed up signals from lesions would cause such muscle weakness.
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It is common for MS patients to have fatigue, however you do not describe a decrease in your ability to perform excercise. Therefore, if you are having difficulty with stairs only, I would want to examine your legs more closely. Perhaps you should have blood work to assess for muscle damage. I would recommend discussing this with your neurologist and having it investigated from there. Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
If you have mild  MS, I don't think it is uncommon as you get older for this to happen.  I'm not a doctor, but I know that climbing stairs pushes against gravity, forcing the blood flow to move faster and the muscles in your legs to tense up the higher you climb.  What happens after you reach the top of the stairs?  Are you in excruciating pain, feel like you're going to pass out?  If any one of these symptoms are present or other symptoms come up you should contact your doctor asap and find out what's going on.    Particularly if you have lesions in the brain. You may need to have another MRI just to be safe. Be safe about this, so you don't have to worry so much and here's hoping you can get some relief.
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Avatar_n_tn
When I reach the 'top' of the set of stairs there isn't pain.  It is kind of like the 'burn' of a hard workout, but much more.  Like I said, the breathing is fine too.  The feeling of having to 'wait' for the 'blood' to catch up is like when you get up and feel light-headed and have to wait for a moment to let the blood equalize in there before resuming movement, only in my legs it's much stronger and is in my legs, not my head.  I'm not sure if it could be attributed to the messages not making it to the muscles because of lesions/scars, or if it is perhaps some sort of interference with the protein receptors of the muscles themselves.  Either way, it would be nice to understand what is going on and whether it is something more than my ms.  I don't have balance issues or motor function issues, but the stairs just kick my butt to the point of wondering if my legs are going to buckle underneath me.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I have the leg weakness on stairs, too, and on the way down they shake.  It doesn't seem to happen on all stairs, though.  Hmmmm  The last 2 times I went shopping with my sibs my legs were sore as if I had done some new exercise and worked them hard, this is new to me.  My neuro feels it is MS related.

Here is a link to an MS forum:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/FriendsWithMS/message/15077

I hope that helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
thank you for your thoughts, I will bring it up to my neuro and see what he thinks.  Since I don't have any real disabilities yet he doesn't see me regularly.  I do have bloodwork set up so I'll talk with him when the results come it.  Perhaps he won't just blow it off as 'normal effects' of ms and research it.  thank you again for you time and thought effort.
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