Tips for Managing Muscle Spasms & Cramping

Last updated: December 2018

MS is often associated with a variety of pain syndromes including both acute and chronic types of pain.  Primary pain results from disease-related damage to the Central Nervous System.  Although secondary pain syndromes are not directly attributed to MS lesions, symptoms can be equally frustrating.

One of the most discussed symptoms in the MultipleSclerosis.Net community is spasticity, which includes muscle spasms or cramps.  We decided to ask our Facebook community how they deal with muscle cramps. Here's what they had to share:

Food & drink

  • Eating rainbow vegetables of colors help (Like green, orange, yellow, red). I mix cooked Jasmine rice with Sweet potato, sweet carrot, spinach, red yellow and orange peppers, garlic cloves. You can use canned, just be sure to drain the juice because of the preservatives.
  • Muscle cramps can be helped by adding potassium: Melon is a good source. This organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar made into a drink is also very helpful
  • Eat bananas and broccoli 
  • Potassium, hydrate with an electrolyte. I exercise outside in the heat quite a bit, so I make sure I have Gatorade, or Nuun. Hammer makes a product called Endurolytes as well.
  • Drink healthy teas. 
  • Gatorade (as long as the cramps are not bad), soma for bad cramping 
  • Stay hydrated! 
  • Pickle juice is great…Old natural remedy
  • I have had severe leg cramps and drinking tonic water mixed with juice seems to help!
  • I have horrible muscle cramps, and my new miracle drug is tonic water. It is the quinine in the tonic water that makes them go away. Diet tonic is horrible, go for the real stuff.
  • For the Dysesthesias that can involve a girdle band-like pressure, drink any hot liquid. This causes me severe sudden pain and this is the only way that I can get relief but it helps instantly 

Stretching & Massage 

  • Stretching exercises 
  • Regular walking
  • I just have to put my foot, of the limb that's cramping flat, and stretch.
  • My balance is so off so yoga isn’t possible so I made up my own type of yoga. It helps a lot…and sometimes a warm bath helps too.
  • I get up and do push-ups with my feet while standing in the doorway to my bathroom. I also add arm push ups just because I'm there and it's a perfect time to do it...
  • For bad pain make a massage oil from 2 tea bags and 1/2 cup of canola oil that has been sitting in the sun for a day either out-side or on windowsill. You can use whatever teabags you want. For pain I like peppermint.


  • Flexeril 
  • For muscle spasms the Avonex shot I get seems to tame them
  • I take magnesium twice a day; it has helped quite a bit!
  • Started on muscle relaxers and they are gone for the most part.
  • Cannabis helps 
  • Dr gave me a prescription for medicine called Zanaflex and Baclofen and at bedtime Klonopin
  • My doctor just put me on Valium since mine were waking me up all night.
  • I take a muscle relaxer every 4hrs and at night 

Lifestyle & meditation

  • When the body says enough. Then it is enough. If you do not get it done today it will still be there tomorrow.
  • Get enough rest to prevent cramps 
  • Deep breathing cut them out completely for me. Concentrating on the place where the muscle is cramping (especially the legs), deep in breath, hold it, slow out breath, repeat as necessary.
  • I just meditate and they usually drift away.

Hot/cold therapy

  • When I do get cramps in my legs and hands heat packs are the only things that help. I have several of those microwave bean-bags
  • Don’t let your legs get cold in bed - Keep them cozy and warm
  • I use Voltaren cream and ice packs and heating pads alternate them it helps a lot
  • An ice pack to the area. I have those refreeze-able ice packs that can wrap around my leg. Within a short time the cramp is gone.

Do you experience painful muscle cramps? If so, how do you manage them? Please share any helpful tips in the comments section below! 

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