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Multiple Sclerosis Pain and Daily Life

Pain associated with multiple sclerosis affects many aspects of patients’ lives.

The pain multiple sclerosis patients feel is also causing major disruptions in their life.

That was the thrust of a presentation made at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), held recently in Nashville, Tennessee.

The research showed a high prevalence of pain in more than 50 percent of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Nearly 30 percent of those patients reported pain was their worst symptom.

Pain has been associated with poorer psychological functioning as well as reduced productivity. It also interferes with daily functions.

“Mood, cognition, fatigue, sleep, quality of life, and overall ability to function are all affected by pain,” Dr. Barbara Giesser, professor of clinical neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and clinical director of the UCLA MS program, told Healthline.

The investigators looked at 161 patients with multiple sclerosis from the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) Registry who reported at least mild pain.

Multiple sclerosis is an intrusive illness with a menagerie of symptoms. This intrusiveness and its associated pain in daily lives was analyzed using the Illness Intrusiveness Rating Scale (IIRS).

“Pain is a very common and sometimes under-recognized symptom of MS,” Giesser said. “Pain may come from damaged nerves (neuropathic), poor gait mechanics, or other structural abnormality such as arthritis or spasticity, and can aggravate other symptoms such as fatigue. There are many effective pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment for pain, specific to each type.”

Read on: Multiple Sclerosis Pain and Daily Life

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