With multiple sclerosis, no two people have the exact same symptoms and an individual’s symptoms can fluctuate and change over time. One person may have 2 symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and another may have nearly all of the symptoms.

It is important to know all of the most common symptoms, so you are able to recognise whether yourself or a loved one are exhibiting signs of multiple sclerosis.

Here are the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Dysesthesia (MS Hug)

Most of the time, the first symptom of MS or relapse is MS hug and it feels like a squeezing sensation around the torso which has a similar feeling to when a blood pressure cuff tightens.


Around 80% of those with MS experience fatigue as a symptom and this can interfere with their home life and work life. This may be more prominent in individuals who have minimal activity limitations.

Gait (Waling Difficulties)

Walking difficulties with MS can be related to other factors, such as spasticity, weakness, weakness and loss of balance. These can be helped with assistive therapy, medications and physical therapy.

Vision Problems

Lots of those with MS say that one of the first symptoms they recognised is problems with their vision. This can consist of pain on eye movement, neuromyelitis Optica, optic neuritis, poor contrast or colour vision and blurred vision.


Pain is common with MS, and this can range from clinically significant pain to chronic pain. This can be managed with medication where needed.

Sexual Problems

Sexual problems can occur in those with MS because the sexual responses can be affected by damage to the central nervous systems. Psychological factors, spasticity and fatigue can also play a part in causing sexual problems.


Depression is amongst the most common symptoms that those with MS suffer from. It is more common in those with MS in comparison to the general public and those with other disabling or chronic conditions. Depression can be triggered by the challenges of MS or it can be a primary symptom.

Bowel Issues

A concern that lots of those with MS share is constipation due to the lack of control in the bowels. This issue can be managed with adequate fluid intake, medication, diet changes and physical activity.

Bladder Problems

At least 80% of individuals with MS have bladder dysfunction and it can be managed well with intermittent self-catheterisation, medications and fluid management.

Cognitive Changes

More than 50% of those with MS suffer from a range of high-level brain functions being affected. This includes changes in their attention span, the ability to perceive their environment accurately, changes in the way they problem-solve and organise, changes in their ability to process new information and changes in their ability to remember new information.


Weakness with multiple sclerosis is the result of damage to the muscles nerves or unused muscles. This can be controlled with rehabilitation exercises and the use of mobility help and other devices that help with assisting the individual.

Emotional changes

Emotional changes can be caused due to the fact that an individual is living with MS as well as a result of immune and neurological changes. Mood swings anxiety, uncontrollable laughing and crying and irritability are ways that MS can affect emotions.

Dizziness & Vertigo

Sometimes those with MS may feel lightheaded, off-balance or less often have the feeling that their surrounding or themselves are spinning (vertigo).


Numbness in the body, face or arms & legs can often be the first experienced by individuals who have been eventually diagnosed with MS.


This term refers to the feeling of stiffness and a large range of muscle spasms that happen involuntarily. These can occur in any of the limbs but it is more common to have in the legs than in the arms.