Medical Q&As

Multiple sclerosis - chronic pain?

I am suffering with MS (multiple sclerosis) and for the last 6 months I have tingling and chronic pain in my arms. I have been prescribed four different medications without benefit. One doctor told me that the pains were not associated with MS. My own GP has now added an antidepressant to my current prescription but I am still suffering. I will at last see a neurologist in 3 weeks time. Do you agree that MS does not cause pain?

Chronic pain can be a problem for some people with multiple sclerosis. In the past it used to be thought that it was a painless disease but in the light of patientsí reporting of symptoms that view of the disease is no longer tenable. Given the fact that the essential feature of the condition is damage to the myelin sheath of the neuron or nerve cell, obtaining relief from pain with standard painkillers can be difficult. I note that you have been using an antidepressant along with your painkillers without much success. Some people have obtained relief from pain through the use of neurontin, which is a drug that is also used in the treatment of epilepsy. Perhaps that drug was one of several that you have already tried. Given the chronic nature of your pain I think it is appropriate that a specialist review you and one further option in that regard would be to see a specialist in pain management. You might also like to check out an article on pain and MS on the website of MS Ireland at the following link: http://www.ms-society.ie/msnews/issue54/28pain.html