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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Multiple Sclerosis Patient: Email Advice

Good morning,

I just discovered your website. Thank you for offering an email to ask questions.

I am a 49 yr old female, diagnosed with MS exactly 1 year ago.   My main problem is spasticity in my legs.  Calves are the worst, very tight.   I tend to turn my left leg-foot outward slightly when I walk.  I don't believe I have foot drop.   Looking at my shoe pattern, I can't tell. Perhaps I could send a photo for you to view.

I found a website for a shoe designed for weak spastic legs and I was curious if you were familiar with it.   The website is outdated and options appear limited.  So I'm a little cautious but if their claims are valid, it might be my answer.

When I discussed footwear or brace options with my neurologist 6 months ago, she said she was more concerned about controlling the spasticity and if that was possible the feet wouldn't be so affected.  I consistently have high tone, hyper-reflexia and ankle clonus 4-5 beats.

I am trying different prescription strengths of baclofen but it's not very successful. So...I am due for a new pair of shoes and my legs, calves, and feet hurt enough that I decided to research my options.  I welcome your thoughts and advice.

Thanks again for your time.

Dr Blake's comment: 
     Thank you for you questions. No, I am not familiar, but I called the number and spoke with Curtis. He was very kind and explained the concept. The shoes on the website are all with the same heel height and rocker. The heel height is to bend the knee and get the weight moving forward (if you have a tendency to hyper-extend your knee). So, it is great if you have knee hyper-extension (too straight) than excessive knee flexion to begin. It does rob you of some of your proprioception (balance), so poles could help if you have some loss of sensation. He loves to work with physical therapists or physiatrists who seem to have the most knowledge on MS. They start you on 30S (see picture of the 30 style) with the open toe, because it can test the style, and is one of the best for a variety of shoe widths. He says he has a liberal return policy, so probably worth a trial. Even if it does not work, having a PT figure out why, can help in the selection of other shoe types. There has definitely been an explosion of variety!! Hope this helps some. Rich

Here is a post from a fellow sufferer of MS--I like his style.

I also like the approach in the next link where closer to the ground is better.

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.