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MS Walking Tests: How They Work + Tips for Walking with MS

Posted by:

Johannes Sauer

Published at: July 04, 2024

Table of Contents
  1. How to Manage Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  2. Role of MS Walking Tests

    1. Early Detection of Mobility Issues

    2. Tracking Progression of MS

  3. Key Features of MS Walking Tests

  4. Ways for MS Patients to Improve Walking Gait

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), your doctor may sometimes want to have you do a walking test to assess your condition. This post will explain the role of walking tests and how they work. We will also go over some recommendations for improving your gait when walking with MS.

How to Manage Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

There is no known cure for MS. Treatment at this time consists of managing the disease. Some methods that are used to do that include oral and injectable treatments, infusions, physical and occupational therapy, and additional medications as well as emerging treatments.

Role of MS Walking Tests

Doctors use walking tests to assess how far your MS has progressed, and what level of disability it is causing you.

Early Detection of Mobility Issues

One of the advantages of regular walking tests for MS is that they can help detect issues with your mobility early. 

The sooner you catch walking problems involving MS, the sooner you can begin treating them. There are a variety of exercises you can do to improve your walking with MS.

Tracking Progression of MS

Jul 3, 2024

This test is not just about seeing how MS is affecting your walking; it is also a way of assessing the broader effect of MS on your body.

Based on how you perform in walking tests, your doctor may decide to make adjustments to your treatment plan, helping you to slow progression insofar as is possible, or even enter remission.

Key Features of MS Walking Tests

During an MS walking test, your doctor will direct you to walk from one point to another. They will then note how long it takes you to cross that distance, and make observations about your gait while you walk. 

Along with noting the results for your individual test, your doctor will keep a log of past tests. That way, they can compare how you are doing to how you did in the past. 

There are multiple types of MS walking tests, including a 6-meter test, a 10-meter test, and a 25-foot test. Sometimes, a long-distance walking test is used.

Ways for MS Patients to Improve Walking Gait

You might wonder how you can keep walking with MS if your symptoms are making it challenging. The Multiple Sclerosis Trust explains that MS can produce a number of difficulties with walking, including slow, short steps, tripping and stumbling, heaviness, weakness, and unsteadiness. MS can also lead to foot drop, which causes the toes to drag along the ground while walking. 

Doing simple stretches and exercises to improve gait, and practicing walking, are ways that MS patients can keep walking effectively.

One trick to exercising and walking more safely and comfortably with MS is to wear shoes for multiple sclerosis.

The Cadense Original Adaptive Shoe for men and women is an excellent choice because it features patented variable friction technology.

With this technology, you can “glide” across uneven surfaces, even if you cannot completely lift your feet because of MS-related foot drop. 

These shoes are designed to maximize stability and support while reducing fatigue through lightweight materials.

That way, you are less likely to trip and fall, and can exercise for longer before you feel tired.



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Why are walking tests important for combating Multiple Sclerosis?

Walking tests help you to catch problems with your gait so you can proactively gait training exercises to restore a natural, healthy gait. They also help your doctor assess the progression of your condition so that treatments can be modified as needed to keep symptoms in check.

How often should MS patients take walking tests?

How frequently your doctor recommends taking walking tests will depend on your individual condition. You will need to take them on a regular basis in order to get the full benefit from them.

Are there additional exercises for improving the gait of MS patients?

Yes. See these gait training exercises for some options for improving your gait with MS. Start gradually if you need to, and perform the exercises consistently for the best results. Continue exercising regularly in the future to maintain your gait with MS.

Posted by: Johannes Sauer

Johannes is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cadense and passionate about helping people with walking difficulties. Johannes is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cadense and passionate about helping people with walking difficulties. He was immediately drawn to the mission of the company because his cousin lost his lower leg in a tragic motorcycle accident a few years ago and is experiencing walking difficulties ever since. Johannes brings over a decade of experience in working for consumer product companies to Cadense. He holds an MBA from the University of Graz in Austria. Johannes lives with his family in Santa Barbara, CA.

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