Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Picking sides

Picking Sides

Don’t ask me how I come up with the titles to these articles at times because I honestly couldn’t tell you… I promise I’m writing about something that does involve MS, trust me.

So what do I mean when I say “picking sides?” Well, I’m referring to the fact that it seems that my MS likes to pick sides of my body that it’s going to affect, usually worse on one side in comparison to the other. I’m not sure if this applies to you, but I know that it applies to not only myself but also my friends with MS as well.

For me, it seems that my right side is more affected with MS than my left side. Now this isn’t completely visual either. I have that burning/fire feeling on the right side of my lower body and leg.

I think to myself that sometimes I wish my MS would “show itself” on both sides of my body, instead of just one, so that I’m not favoring one side, etc. Why? Well, let’s say that my right left is “on fire”… when that happens I don’t want to walk on it, I don’t want anything or anyone to touch it, nothing. So my left leg will overcompensate due to my lack of use of my right leg. No big deal, right? Well, it’s not that easy.

See, when I’m overcompensating for a symptom that has flared up on one side of my body, I’m over exerting myself on the side that is compensating…. So sooner or later, not always, but for me it mostly happens… I will start to have issues on the leg that was fine when my other one was on fire. Does that sound familiar?

I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that my Multiple Sclerosis is a lefty…. Because as most of us have learned… is that each side of your brain controls the opposite side of your body and the function it’s supposed to carry out. This is why I say that my MS is a lefty, because I’m mostly affected on my right side. This is a really great article about MRI Images & Symptoms by Laura Kolaczkowski, Why Don’t My MRI Images Match My Symptoms?”

Kind of stinks that I’m a ‘righty’ though, it can make things VERY difficult at times.

Now, I’m not at all saying that I’m not affected on the left side of my body at all, because I am. It just seems that my left sided symptoms are even harder to “see” than the symptoms on my right side.

I was “lucky” enough to not only have Optic Neuritis on my right eye, but on my left as well. After thinking about it and speaking with my doctors about this, I asked them if my left eye Optic Neuritis could have been brought on my it over compensating for the vision issues I had with my right eye. The answer I received??? “It’s possible…” Well, okay then.

So why am I going off and ranting about MS picking sides, blah blah blah? Well, it does matter… to me at least. My whole right side is weaker than my left, but now that I’ve had to become accustomed to that, my left side gets very tired and seems to want to “give out” on me at times.

I’ve even had comments in the past like, “Why is your left foot dragging? I thought it was the right foot you had problems with at times?” It’s really complicated to answer that… So I’ve just said, “My left leg can’t carry the whole team and not have a second string.” (I’m into sports, just a FYI.)

I still wonder at times, is there something in the ‘functioning’ that is MS, that causes it to ‘pick a side’ that it’s going to attack? How does it target its victim (nerve)? I sound like I’m discussing a video game or something… and MS is the bad guy, like Bowser from Mario Bros. or something. Oh – and the princess is my nerves? I do get easily sidetracked at times so excuse me for that. Although, you probably do to, so I’m glad we’re apart of the same (SBC) Sidetracked Brain Club. (Yes I totally just made that up.)

So in a way, if you really think about it … while MS can attack and affect only one side of the body… it still affects both sides in the long run. And I totally just thought about that while I was writing this. See?! Y’all help me all the time to come up with all these insightful thoughts.

On that note, I’m going to give my brain a break for now…

Wishing everyone well!


Ashley Ringstaff
Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Matt Allen G
    5 years ago

    Right now I have less fine motor control on my left side and my tongue/face is numb right down the center. Oh, my left eye is worse than the right… I think it has something to do with the lateral placement of lesions…. ugh…..

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    5 years ago

    I know how you feel – trust me on that. I seem to just be mainly affected on my right side – but I do have certain things that happen on my left side, or have happened in the past. I guess the ‘left over’ symptoms after a flare seem to be more right than left. Which is annoying. Because then my left side over compensates and gets aggravated.

    There is no winning in the situation.

  • Nancy W
    5 years ago

    I agree! I have had MS for 11 years. Several times I have had problems with compensation. Recently, it is my right shoulder. I found STRUCTURAL YOGA THERAPY helps more than conventional PT. I have pinpointed which muscles I was overworking and which ones are “lazy” So I focus on relaxing while doing simple exercises to get back to using the right muscles.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    5 years ago

    That’s awesome! I’ll have to look into that. I’m actually going through some appointments to see what’s wrong w/ my neck/shoulder area on my right side. Maybe a herniated disc? I’m not sure.

  • Poll