everyday health magazine
Pain is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), especially when the spinal cord is affected. But it’s very different from pain caused by, say, a broken bone or burn. MS pain is neuropathic, meaning the nerves generate it, but without any sort of injury or tissue damage present.

“I describe it as electrical short-circuiting in the nerves that signals to the brain something is wrong in the area those nerves supply,” explains Robert Bermel, MD, a neurologist at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Cleveland Clinic. “It’s like false pain signals being sent because the nerves aren’t functioning correctly.” (By contrast, an injury prompts nociceptors — a nerve ending that senses pain — to send signals to the brain so you feel pain where you’ve been hurt.)

For this reason, typical pain treatment won’t relieve neuropathic pain caused by MS. But if it’s something you’re dealing with, there are effective ways to manage it.


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