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Multiple Sclerosis Pain

Multiple sclerosis pain comes in many forms. From burning, tingling, or stabbing, to dull aches. Even though it's sometimes hard to describe, it is real. You may have been accused of over-exaggerating the pain by some of your doctors.

Many doctors realize that the pain may come from hyper-sensitivity or pain that is similar to phantom pains. Cir's doctor describes them as pains that shouldn't really be there. The brain sends the wrong signal because the wires are crossed or damaged by demyelination.


The pains can come from interrupted signals along the nerve pathways to and from your brain. The pain is sometimes divided into two categories. Acute and chronic pain. You may have either one of these types of pains at any time

Acute pain is any pain that's sharp. You might describe it as a shooting or intense pain. The pains can come on suddenly or they can come and go over a short amount of time. As quickly as they appear, they can disappear just as quickly. If they continue over a longer period of time, the pain may turn into a chronic pain.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts over a long period of time. Usually this is about a month or more. It can come about slowly over and last continually. This type of multiple sclerosis pain can be with you for the long haul.

Types of Multiple Sclerosis Pain

What kind of “pains” do MSers feel? Read through the list below. Many may not think of them as being pain. You may describe them as being annoying, but not necessarily painful. If you feel them over a long period of time, or the feelings are very intense, then you will probably describe them to your doctor as being painful.

  • burning
  • tingling
  • prickling or pens and needles
  • numbness
  • spasms
  • stabbing
  • tightness or squeezing sensation as in the MS hug

Medications for MS Pain

There are several drugs that doctors prescribe for multiple sclerosis pain. Cir has tried a few of them and now takes Neurontin and occasionally Klonopin when the pain gets really bad.

  • Neurontin (Gabapentin)
  • Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam)
  • Triptafen (Amitripyline)
  • Lyrica (Pregabalin)

Whatever type of pain you feel, how do you manage it? Many times the medication or treatment you use is not always effective. Or in the case of drugs like Klonopin, because they are a controlled substance, you shouldn't take them over an extended period of time.

What to do about it

A lot of what you do depends on your tolerance for pain. How much pain can you take? In the case of someone who does not have MS, and pain comes on suddenly and goes away after a period of healing, pain may be more tolerable. When you have MS, this multiple sclerosis pain may never go away.

I've always wondered how Cir can tolerate day in and day out, going through the continuous pain that he does. For me it would end up being more of a mental issue than a pain issue. I don't know if I could take having a sensation like burning or tingling that goes on and on and on with no end in site – even with medication. 

Go back to Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

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Cir & Akrista

You are reading original content written by Akrista or Cir L'Bert of Life in Spite of MS. If you enjoyed reading this blog, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you there!

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