Some people living with MS might have trouble walking due to balance problems, muscle weakness or tremors. These symptoms might come and go, but over time, they may gradually get worse. Your doctor or MS nurse may want to keep track of these problems to see if they are getting any worse and to help them to find out if your treatment is working for you.
The way they do this is by measuring and recording your mobility problems. The most common scale used by doctors or MS nurses is called the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and it’s often used to assess how your MS is progressing by measuring your ability to do certain things, for example if you’re able to walk a certain distance. Your doctor or MS nurse may give you a physical examination and ask you questions about how you’re doing and what you’re able to do.
The EDSS is made up of a scale which goes up from 0 to 10. A score of 0 indicates healthy, normal functioning while a higher score reflects increasing impairments and disability:
Although the scale can look a little worrying as it includes all levels of disability, with appropriate treatment most people will never reach the higher scores associated with advanced multiple sclerosis.
It’s very likely that your doctor or MS nurse will be tracking your EDSS score, but you can also calculate, track and understand your own EDSS score in less than 10 minutes with this handy online tool.