Table of Contents
Pain is a very personal experience, one that you can feel but others cannot see. It is common in MS and can limit your ability to do things that you enjoy. Some types of pain are a direct result of MS and are caused by damage to nerves in the central nervous system. Other types of pain are because of changes to your body because of MS. For example, you may have weakness in your leg and now walk differently, causing pain in your back and hip. This pain is from something else MS has caused (weakness). Also, you may experience aches and pains that anyone can get and are not connected to your MS at all, like a toothache or stomach pain.The type of pain that comes directly from the damage to nerves in MS is called neuropathic pain. Pain that comes from weakness, stiffness or other mobility problems from MS is considered musculoskeletal pain. Both types of pain can be acute, having a rapid onset and short duration, or chronic, starting gradually and persisting daily or almost every day. The key is to identify the type of pain and treat the source of it.
Neuropathic pain happens from “short circuiting” of the nerves that carry signals from the brain to the body because of damage from MS. These pain sensations feel like burning, stabbing, sharp and squeezing sensations. In MS you can experience acute neuropathic pain and chronic neuropathic pain.Acute Neuropathic Pain is sometimes an initial symptom of MS or may be part of an MS relapse. Acute means it has a rapid onset and is of short duration. Types of acute neuropathic pain include:
Emotional changes, including fear and worry, may contribute to physical pain.
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