Monday, February 20, 2017
Why Do My Legs Hurt?
People living with MS can experience different types of pain in the limbs (legs or arms), the most common of which are neuropathic or musculoskeletal in origin. Neuropathic pain in MS is frequently caused by lesions in the spinal cord and is characterized by sensory changes. Spinal cord lesions may also cause muscle weakness, spasticity, ataxia, or other gait disturbances, each of which can lead to musculoskeletal problems.
Do you experience burning, itching, numbness, tingling, stabbing, or the sensation of bug bites in your legs? These are examples of paresthesia, a form of neuropathic pain, and are often experienced by people with MS. A particularly strange sensation is the feeling of water dripping on or down the leg, which is an example of dysesthesia. Other dysesthesias involve the abnormal interpretation of sensation, hypersensitivity to touch, or a tight banding sensation.
Neuropathic pain and sensory changes are often treated with anti-seizure medications, such as gabapentin, pregabalin, carbamazepine, tizanidine, or clonazepam, and certain antidepressants.
For me, spasticity is a significant source of musculoskeletal pain in the legs. Other causes of MS-related musculoskeletal pain include poor posture, inefficient walking (gait), physical inactivity, muscle deconditioning (being out of shape), and muscle fatigue or weakness.
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Why Does MS Make My Legs Hurt?