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Can pain be a flare, not just chronic?

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    Can pain be a flare, not just chronic?

    Hello,

    I was diagnosed 21 years ago, so I should probably know the answer to this because I've had flares with burning, itching, numbness, etc... But recently I had like 3-4 weeks of some kind of strange muscle pain in my back, especially in my upper back/shoulders accompanied by occasional spasming/tightness? During that time, I also had like a week of unexplained muscle pain in both quad muscles in my legs. It finally disappeared as mysteriously as it began and I never even thought MS until my pcp asked if it could've be a MS flare up (symptoms had improved by the time got in to see him). Now I'm wondering...

    I've always thought the pain aspect of MS as being like chronic because I do have chronic low back pain/stiffness and chronic migraine issues, etc. But can pain (of various types) also be a flare up? Thank you in advance for any insight into this.

    #2
    Originally posted by SonyaK View Post
    Hello,

    I was diagnosed 21 years ago, so I should probably know the answer to this because I've had flares with burning, itching, numbness, etc... But recently I had like 3-4 weeks of some kind of strange muscle pain in my back, especially in my upper back/shoulders accompanied by occasional spasming/tightness? During that time, I also had like a week of unexplained muscle pain in both quad muscles in my legs. It finally disappeared as mysteriously as it began and I never even thought MS until my pcp asked if it could've be a MS flare up (symptoms had improved by the time got in to see him). Now I'm wondering...

    I've always thought the pain aspect of MS as being like chronic because I do have chronic low back pain/stiffness and chronic migraine issues, etc. But can pain (of various types) also be a flare up? Thank you in advance for any insight into this.
    Hi Sonya!

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Great question about pain.

    This info is from the NMSS website:

    "Neuropathic pain happens from “short circuiting” of the nerves that carry signals from the brain to the body because of damage from MS. These pain sensations feel like burning, stabbing, sharp and squeezing sensations. In MS you can experience acute neuropathic pain and chronic neuropathic pain.

    Acute Neuropathic Pain is sometimes an initial symptom of MS or may be part of an MS relapse. Acute means it has a rapid onset and is of short duration. Types of acute neuropathic pain include:
    • Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) - a stabbing pain in the face or jaw area that can occur as an initial symptom of MS or as a relapse. While it can be confused with dental pain, this pain is neuropathic in origin (caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve). This pain often comes and goes and it is unpredictable when it might occur.
    • Lhermitte’s sign - a brief, stabbing, electric-shock-like sensation that runs from the back of the head down the spine and often into the arms or legs, brought on by bending the neck forward. It typically means there is or has been damage from MS in the cervical spine (neck). When this happens for the first time it could be a relapse or a first sign of MS.
    • MS Hug - a squeezing sensation around the torso that feels like a blood pressure cuff when it tightens. This too is from damage to the spine from MS and could be a first symptom of MS or a relapse.
    • Paroxysmal spasms - intermittent and painful tightening of muscles, such as in your arm or leg that may occur many times throughout the day or night.
    If you are experiencing any of these pain sensations described above for the first time you should contact your healthcare provider. You might need further evaluation and treatment."

    Full article:

    Pain & Itching | National Multiple Sclerosis Society (nationalmssociety.org)
    PPMS for 23 years (dx 1998)
    ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

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      #3
      Thank you so much for your reply! And thank you for this good information! Looks like I have more to discuss at my next neuro appt.

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