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Intermittent sensory symptoms in RRMS

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    Intermittent sensory symptoms in RRMS

    Do people with RRMS have sensory symptoms that come and go without qualifying as relapses? Ever since I had my first and only relapse 1.5 yrs ago (numbness in one foot which cleared completely never to return) I've had various sensory symptoms in different body parts. Examples are tingling, icing, burning, pain, buzzing, and vibration with a duration from seconds to weeks. In my case the longer-lasting symptoms often fluctuate during the day and hence are not consistently present. Some such symptoms have disappeared, but I never know if they will reappear after months. All these symptoms are very mild and not clinical. Nothing has been as dramatic as my initial relapse where I experienced persistent numbness for three weeks. BTW I'm on Copaxone.

    Does anyone else experience intermittent symptoms similar to mine? How often do you have relapses?

    Thanks in advance.

    Hello Walnut,

    It's common for symptoms to come and go. Any symptom(s) that are not consistant for more than 24 hours is not considered a relapse.

    It is common to have residual symptoms and symptoms that come and go.

    How often do you have relapses?
    I have had 5 relapses in 26 years.

    Does anyone else experience intermittent symptoms similar to mine?
    I deal with sensory symptoms (vibrations/buzzing, pins and needles and sometimes numbness) intermittently.
    Diagnosed 1984
    “Lightworkers aren’t here to avoid the darkness…they are here to transform the darkness through the illuminating power of love.” Muses from a mystic


      Yes, mine come and go. The only time I can count on them is premenstrual week.


        For me, sensory symptoms are pretty much an everyday occurence, but they aren't the same from day to day, and they do come and go.

        My sensory symptoms are sort of "background noise." They're there, and I'm aware of them, sort of, but they are distractions, not really obstacles (I consider some of my other symptoms obstacles that keep me from doing what I want.)

        Does that make any sense?


          Thanks for all replies. I can really relate to calling the presence of my symptoms "background noise."


            Me too, lots of sensory symptoms, changing often, and actually never remitting. That's just how MS manifests itself in me, I guess...


              No relapses that I notice

              I can't differentiate between what is my normal MS course and any relapses. I'm RRMS, but if it remits it's news to me.

              I've been plagued with a weird itch (very intense) which is always in one of two places. It is miserable and I've seen 3 or 4 docs just for this. There is no rash, no skin breakage or redness.

              So weird.

              The tough thing about this type of 'symptom' is it simply has no explanation. It is likely MS, but who knows.

              Everyone with MS is different, just as we humans are each different from one another. So you can hope to find someone who has similar symtomology, but you might not.

              Good luck with your MS journey. Diane
              You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.


                Diane--wheres your weird itch? It isn't on your arms is it? If so, look up radiobrachial pruritis, which is itchy arms....The sun aggravated mine. Its gone for the moment.


                  When I had my relapse in 2007 that led to my official Dx, my one symptom was really intense pins and needles/numbness on my whole left side. [I guess technically it was paresthesia but when I described it to my current MS specialist and mentioned that it threw off my walking, he felt like there must have been something else going on. I'm not sure. It felt like if you've been sitting in a position too long and when you try to stand up, your leg is SO "asleep" that at first it's hard to walk and you're stomping it trying to get feeling back ...] Since then, my left side has always been prone to "falling asleep" or getting numb pretty easily. Things like having a hot laptop in my lap will trigger it in my left leg, or if I sit or lie in a position for too long.
                  I've only had 4 relapses in 10 years (and one other possible relapse)--two a month apart in 2001, then one in 2007 and one now that's been going on for a month or so.
                  2001: 1st 2 relapses, "probable MS." 2007: 3rd relapse. Dx of RRMS confirmed by MS specialist. Started Cpx. (Off Cpx Feb 08-Mar 09 to start a family; twins!) Dec '09: Started Beta. Oct '13: Started Tecfidera. May '15: Considering Gilenya.


                    i mostly have just sensory sx right now. some are constant, like my skin feeling numb and tingly, which i take gabapentin for. some come & go, like the zinger pain or the buzzing. i also have burning pain that comes & goes.
                    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference" Reinhold Niebuhr


                      Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate your sharing of your experiences...

                      Even though my neuro is the one persisting that new/old symptoms may come and go without being real relapses, or "significant MS attacks" in his words, I feel concerned since a lot of RRMS info online states that the disease manifests itself in relapses followed by remission. Therefore I'm somewhat relieved when learning that other people are similarly affected (I do feel sorry for you though...).

                      Another source of concern for me is that my recent brain MRI was unchanged after 1.5 yrs. Having had sensory symptoms as stated above, I'd expected at least one new lesion in addition to the two old lesions. Whereas I should be real happy, I'm actually sort of confused. I haven't had a repeat MRI spinal cord. My initial cervical/thoracic MRI one year ago was clear. My neuro hasn't suggested that we check the spinal cord at this time.

                      Any comments/thoughts about MRI:s and intermittent sensory symptoms in RRMS? Should I just be happy for the lack of lesion progress and my being fully functional despite all the background noise?

                      Thanks in advance


                        Think of it this way: imagine a short in a wire to a lamp. The lamp sometimes works, and sometimes it flickers, and sometimes it goes off. And it can come back on. The wire hasn't changed. Its just that the constitution of the wire is faulty--the connection is faulty and inconsistent. When myelin wears off, it has that effect....


                          Originally posted by Walnut View Post
                          I feel concerned since a lot of RRMS info online states that the disease manifests itself in relapses followed by remission.
                          There is alot of misinformation/misunderstanding about what remission in MS is or means. Remission is really not a word that should be used in reference to a disease such as MS.

                          Remission in MS: The patient is not doing as bad as when in a relapse. Remission can be complete (no symptoms) or partial (residual symptoms and symptoms that come and go). It would be my guess that for the majority, partial remission is more common than complete.

                          Myelin protects the nerves, MS destroys Myelin. Think of an electrical cord to a lamp. If there is damage to the electrical cord the lamp may work but intermittenly or not at all...much like MS.

                          If you wrap electrical tape around the damaged area the lamp works again without a problem. Unfortunately, there is no permanent fix for the damage MS has done to the Myelin.
                          Diagnosed 1984
                          “Lightworkers aren’t here to avoid the darkness…they are here to transform the darkness through the illuminating power of love.” Muses from a mystic