November 17, 2016
When I swim in a cold lake or take a cold bath, my ability to walk vastly improves for an hour or 2. Anyone else experience this? Any research being done?
November 20, 2016
Hi JannieO and thanks for your question! One of the unique aspects of MS is that it affects everyone a little differently. Some people living with MS cannot tolerate heat, while others find cold weather to be agonizing. Some of our members have improved muscle function with heat, while others are more like you and find the cold to be a form of temporary therapy. You might appreciate this information from the NMSS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society) on beating the heat -- http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Chapters/COC/Services-and-Support/Services/COOL-IT. While it's not exactly what you were asking about, it does show that MS organizations are aware that staying cool can really help people living with MS function better. I remember viewing a story about a high school track student that was able to run and win races, despite having MS. As her core body temperature increased, she would actually lose all feeling in her hips and legs, but she learned to run on, despite the lack of sensation. Her coach literally had to catch her to stop her at the end of each race and they immediately covered her body in bags of ice to bring her body temperature down. It highlights yet another interesting phenomenon of MS. So, while doctors and scientists may not be lab-testing cold therapy yet (and they may be; I was just unable to find any information on it), I would not be surprised if it happens in the future. Thank you for sharing and I am glad you can enjoy a couple of hours of easier walking! Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.