My main Multiple Sclerosis symptoms are scarce, thankfully. For me, these symptoms include fatigue and lassitude, muscle weakness and occasional pain. Arm and leg weakness is something I want to focus on today, though. I feel like the weakness we feel with MS is something hard to explain and I’m interested to see how you all explain it.
Weakness and fatigue
While I do have occasional weakness in my arms, weakness in my legs occurs far more frequently. When this happens I feel like my legs are weighed down with something much like bags of sand. They are heavy and they get tired so easily! I now enjoy fitness, so this is something that can make that difficult at times. I can’t always do the full workout I’m aiming to do because my legs tire so quickly. It’s an extreme feeling of exhaustion when the weakness hits. I feel like they’re so weak they hurt. Technically fatigue and weakness have 2 different definitions; weakness being a lack of muscle or physical strength and the feeling that extra effort is needed to move and fatigue being a feeling of tiredness or exhaustion because of lack of energy or sleep, but in these cases I feel like they are one and the same. My legs are weak because I need extra effort to keep them moving, but they’re also exhausted because of lack of energy.
My legs are buzzing and burning
I notice it hits me the most when I get overheated. On hot days my legs tire rapidly, they go from 0 to 10 on the weakness scale in no time. I can be walking outside one second and the next it’s an extreme effort to keep standing because the weakness in my legs is excruciating. It’s an odd sensation, really. It’s almost like my legs are buzzing and burning because they’re trying to keep up but can’t. They’re so tired it is painful and I have to sit down for a second to alleviate the uncomfortable feeling it brings. For lack of better words, I hate it. In most of these cases I have to just rest until the feeling subsides, but sometimes even when I try to continue walking it lingers. I don’t have a lot of tips when stuff like this hits, but I wanted to share a few of the things that help me.
Like I said, this isn’t a quick fix. Sometimes resting my legs when they’re overwhelmed with weakness only helps temporarily, but when your body is communicating that it needs rest I feel it is important to listen to those cues.
Make things easier on yourself
When I’m working out and doing things to strengthen my legs, I can’t do them like everyone else. When you’re doing exercises like lunges or squats, sometimes you need extra stability so they don’t tire as quickly. I have found that holding onto something, especially when performing lunges, helps my legs stay stronger longer. Also when walking, wherever it may be, if you know your legs might get weak make sure you’re in a place where seating is nearby. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Do strength exercises
This is the one thing that is helped me the most. When I first began working out I couldn’t do a squat for the life of me. My legs were too weak for me to squat low enough for them to be effective on my own, so like my lunging tip, I had to hold onto something. If I didn’t, I would surely fall. Doing these types of exercises, however, has strengthened them immensely. I can now do squats all on my own and while they’re still harder on me, I can see how much my lower body strength has improved. Moves such as leg lifts, squats, and lunges are great exercises to strengthen your legs. I know it has drastically helped mine! Like I said earlier, if this is too hard on you to do on your own simply hold on to something when doing leg lifts or lunges and if you need to, have a chair behind you when doing squats to catch you if you fall. Believe me; it’s much nicer than hitting the floor! And, remember, to always take advantage of resting when you need it. It’s so important to do that so that your legs don’t completely give out. Find the point to where you can push yourself, but not over do it!
I wish I had a few more…
This is a shorter article and I wish I had a few more tips for leg weakness, but that’s all I have for right now. Since starting to work out my legs are so much stronger, but they do grow weak easily and sometimes that just can’t be avoided. That’s when I take advantage of resting and try again the next day. Here’s where I want to leave it to you guys: How would you describe how leg weakness feels for you, and what have you find that helps alleviate the feeling? Also, what are your tips to help your legs grow stronger?
As always, thanks for reading!