Friday, December 6, 2013

Stiff-Person Syndrome, 1 of 5

Do you feel stiff from time to time? We all do! Not everyone has Stiff-Person Syndrome or SPS, however. No, it’s not a joke. SPS really does exist! Also known as stiff-man syndrome and Moersch-Woltman condition, reportedly it was described first by Moersch and Woltman at Mayo clinic in 1956. On a recent airline flight to Australia I sat next to Kati and her boyfriend Shane, who was diagnosed with Stiff-Person Syndrome in 2007. We chatted a bit about the impact SPS has had on his life and how he developed and embarked on his own rehabilitation program, which has kept him out of a wheelchair and that actually may have saved his life.  A very rare disease of the nervous system, SPS may begin very subtly during a period of emotional stress and likely involves an autoimmune process. SPS is characterized by progressively severe muscle stiffness typically in the spine and lower extremities. Most patients experience painful episodic muscle spasms that are triggered by sudden stimuli. Shane stumbled across the recognition that when he experienced muscle spasms, exercise helped reduce his pain. As you may imagine, that has changed the way he relates to and manages SPS.

No comments: