How to effectively manage the sensory symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

The sensory symptoms of multiple sclerosis are among the most common. Understanding the types of symptoms and how to manage them will help you treat the disease more effectively.

Some of the serious, even frightening symptoms of multiple sclerosis are sensory disturbances – sensations that can range from numbness to sharp pain.

These sensory symptoms are often caused by nerve damage from multiple sclerosis. Anyone with multiple sclerosis is at risk for these symptoms.

However, with the right treatment strategy, you will be able to manage the disease more easily.

Sensory symptoms of multiple sclerosis

People with MS often have three basic types of sensory symptoms: loss of sensation, abnormal sensations, and sensation of pain.

When sensation is lost, the affected area or part of the body becomes numb.

Abnormal sensations may include signs such as:

  • Feeling of thorns and needles in the body
  • Itchy
  • Feeling slow

Painful sensations include the following signs:

  • Hypersensitivity to touch
  • Burning feeling
  • A tight feeling in the abdomen like a belt, possibly due to nerve damage or from spasms in the small muscles between the ribs
  • Lhermitte's sign, a sudden electric shock-like sensation that runs down the spine and down the limbs, occurs when the head is bent forward.

Numbness, abnormality, and pain can occur anywhere on the body: face, trunk, arms, hands, legs, and feet. Symptoms may be short-lived or long-lasting.

If symptoms are caused by old nerve damage, it usually comes on when you're tired or sick. At this point, take a break to let your body recover.

Symptoms rarely last, but are very dangerous

The sensory symptoms of multiple sclerosis are very rarely permanent, but they are very dangerous.

For example, foot symptoms that can cause you to fall; Numb hands can drop objects and burn you easily; Facial numbness will make chewing and swallowing more difficult.

Controlling sensory symptoms

Medicines can help control some of the symptoms. Neuropathic pain may respond to anticonvulsants such as Neurontin® (gabapentin) or Lyrica® (pregabalin). Sometimes, doctors also prescribe antidepressants to treat nerve pain. If the sensory symptoms are caused by a relapse or a new sclerosis, you may need steroid medication to control them.

Topical creams and ointments can help relieve pain in the legs, feet, hands, and arms.

The response to the drug will vary from person to person.

According to experts, heat also helps treat symptoms. Warm compresses can help relieve pain, and massage is also effective.

Some other methods to help prevent and manage symptoms include:

  • Avoid places that are too hot
  • Rest much
  • Try to stay healthy. Illnesses, like colds or flu, are common causes of multiple sclerosis symptoms.
  • Wear a soft collar to avoid signs of Lhermitte's disease.
  • Try cognitive behavioral therapy or hypnosis.
  • Meditate to reduce stress and pain.

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