numbness and tingling

Numbness and tingling are fairly common symptoms in MS and are mainly due to damage to myelin in pathways that carry sensory information from the body to the brain. Other similar experiences may be of feeling cold or hot, unexplained pain and a shock like feeling along the spine. Pain can be a feature of MS and is thought to be mainly due to myelin damage in pain nerve pathways. 

Some people can experience painful spasms, this can generally be treated by a physiotherapist. Occasionally people experience a tight sensation around the abdomen or chest, this is often referred to as the 'MS hug'.

Most people cope with these changes well but it is helpful to be aware that numbness, especially in the hands and arms, can lead to burns and other damage as a result of the loss of sensation. An occupational therapist can help with strategies to avoid problems like this.

 

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