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Does Multiple Sclerosis Cause Migraines

Migraines As A Sign Of Ms Relapse

Multiple Sclerosis and Headaches: 7 Helpful Head Pain Tips

Migraines with aura and sharp pain may be a sign of a relapse of MS, and patients experiencing migraines should be evaluated so the appropriate treatment can be given. Patients who experience migraines often experience an increase in migraines during flares of MS. However, patients with a history of migraines may also experience them separate from flares of MS. Proper evaluation by a neurologist is needed to determine the cause and guide treatment.1,2

Trapped In A Bear Hug

Itâs not a warm and cozy kind of hug. Called banding, this MS symptom feels like somethingâs squeezing you firmly about the chest and wonât let go. It can strike anywhere between your waist and neck, or just on one side. You might have pain or breathlessness. It happens when damage from the disease blocks or garbles the messages from your nerves. Spasms in the muscles between your ribs trigger the tightness. It often passes on its own.

How Are Ms And Migraine Related

You may wonder if MS can cause migraine attacks.

Generally speaking, the majority of people with MS and migraine received a migraine diagnosis prior to an MS diagnosis. This leads researchers to believe that MS doesnt cause migraine.

However, a relationship does exist. An MS lesion in the periaqueductal gray matter an area of gray matter found in the midbrain can cause migraine in some people.

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Getting Help For Migraines With Ms

People with MS who experience migraines should talk to their neurologist about their experience. Research has shown that some doctors dont routinely ask about migraines, and patients must speak up about migraines to ensure they get the attention they deserve. The right treatment can reduce the frequency or severity of migraines, which can lead to an improved quality of life, and in some patients, effective treatment for migraines means the ability to remain employed.1

Medications Can Also Be Headache Triggers

Pin by Tyra Powell on Health

I wish that I could help to get rid of every medication that we need to take. For the most part, I avoid taking any medication that will only treat my symptoms. I just hate the way that medicines make me feel.

Fortunately, the disease-modifying medication I am on currently does not give me headaches. However, I spent years taking Rebif. Those years were spent with headaches nearly every day. Spending three days a week with the interferons triggering flu symptoms and the days between recovering, left my head reeling and tired.

Additionally, anytime there is a relapse, the dreaded prednisone infusions are sure to follow. I prepare myself or a week of complete pain when this happens. That prednisone is a beautiful drug because it shortens the timeline of my relapse, but I hate the process all the same. The migraines of my last infusions brought me to tears.

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Q: Do Psychosocial Factors Play A Role In Pain

A: Psychosocial factors, including pain related catastrophizing and pain coping, were not only strongly associated with pain interference but were more strongly associated with pain intensity. Thereforeadding Psychology and nonpharmacologic means of helping pain may improve pain coping. It is not clear if depression in and of itself is a risk factor for pain in MS.

How This Study Was Carried Out

125 women and 55 men with MS in Germany were interviewed. None of them had other conditions, such as a brain tumour, which might cause headaches.

Clinical data about their MS, including when their MS began, their EDSS score and any medication taken, were recorded. Any headaches were classified according to international guidelines into migraine with and without aura, tension-type headache, or cluster-headache.

General health was assessed using the Short Form 36 Health Survey which looks at eight dimensions including physical function, pain, general health, vitality, and social functioning. The Beck’s depression inventory was used to assess for depression.

The average age of the group was 44 and the average time since the onset of MS was 12 years. Almost half had relapsing remitting MS, over a third had secondary progressive MS and just over one in eight had primary progressive MS. Just three had clinically isolated syndrome.

Members of the group were receiving a wide range of disease modifying treatments with only 12 not receiving any during the time frame of the study. The average EDSS score was 3.6 although it varied widely.

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Q: Are There Different Types Of Ms Pain

A: Pain can be described on the basis of different factors: location, etiology and duration or time course: acute or chronic.

Common acute pain syndromes include: Paroxysmal pain, Trigeminal neuralgia, Lhermittes phenomenon and dystonic spasms.

The common chronic pains are: low back pain, dysesthetic extremity pain, spasms, cramps, complex regional pain syndrome .

Table 1. Pain Syndromes according to lesion location

Demyelinating Lesions inthe Nerve entry ZoneTrigeminal Neuralgia

Q: How Do We Best Help Ms Patients With Neuropathic Pain

Multiple Sclerosis can hurt! Pain Syndromes in MS

A: We first diagnose the pain syndrome and educate the patient. We try to follow a multidisciplinary process, involving health psychology, physical and occupational therapy, and other health care practitioners as needed. Anticonvulsants have been the first line therapy for MS related neuropathic pain. We generally start treatment with Gabapentin or Pre-Gabalin. These medications can make patients sleepy or dizzy, so starting in low doses or at bed time can help the patient better tolerate the medications. Neuropathic pain may need higher doses of these medications for full efficacy, ie. 1800 mg of Gabapentin a day is a common dose to help neuropathic pain. The FDA has approved PreGabalin and Cymbalta for treatment of diabetic related peripheral neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia, but we also use these medications for MS neuropathic pain in an off label fashion. Oxcarbazepine , lamotrigine and tricyclic antidepressants have also been found to be helpful for treatment of central neuropathic pain. It may also be reasonable to consider using medications that have helped peripheral neuropathicpain: tramadol, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors . There are times when combination therapy of various drug classes also may help lessen MS patients pain. Disease modifying therapies for MS have not been shown to be helpful in treating MS pain. Baclofen may help painful spasms and has been found to also help TN pain.

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Q: Does Mri Help To Localize The Pain Syndromes Of Ms

A: Central MS pain patients have been found to have between 5-16 focal brain lesions mainly in the periventricular white matter. One third of these cases had lesions in the lateral or medial thalamus and mostpatients have cervical or thoracic spine lesions. Tonic spasm patients were found to have lesions at the level of the internal capsule posterior limb or in the cerebral peduncle. Patients with Lhermittes phenomenon were found to have lesions of the cervical spinal cord. Further evaluation is needed if the pain syndrome is atypical for MS or difficult to control to rule out alternative etiology of the pain syndrome.

Patients with spinal cord lesions may be more likely to have neuropathic pain, likely due to altered afferent traffic to the thalamus.

Clinically we note that in patients with MS pain we cannot specifically identify a generator for pain, as there may be multiple different demyelinating plaques or areas of demyelination not visualized on MRI imaging.

In 15 % of the TN cases routine neuroimaging may identify the cause of the TN. There are currently inconsistent results regarding sensitivity of MRI to identify vascular contact in CTN. MS patients may have lesions at the Trigeminal nerve root entry zone as well as pontine lesions at the intramedullary portion of the trigeminal root.

Nose Numbness Multiple Sclerosis

One of the main symptoms of multiple sclerosis is nose numbness. Early stage symptoms of this disease have a tendency to come and go and do not always point to MS as the cause.

The cause of MS largely remains a mystery, even though the disease was discovered in 1868. Researchers know the nerve damage is caused by inflammation, but the cause of the inflammation is still unknown.

Multiple sclerosis is associated with the following:

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Is Your Nose Numbness Caused Anxiety Multiple Sclerosis Or Other Things

Nose numbness results due to a condition are known as Raynauds phenomenon. This condition occurs when blood flow to your fingers, toes, ears or nose is restricted or interrupted, according to

According to reports from National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, women are more prone to develop this condition especially those between the age of 15 and 25 years.

Also, those individuals who live in cold areas are susceptible to Raynauds phenomenon than those in warmer climates.

The article provides useful information about the causes and symptoms and I hope it will be of help for you.

Q: What Is Neuropathic Pain

Migraines and Multiple Sclerosis Linked by Common Factors ...

A: Pain arising as a direct consequence of a lesion of disease affecting the somatosensory system.

Geber C, Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Am J of Med 2009 122:S3-S12.

In MS patients commonly have neuropathic pain. It often affects a limb or limbs, and sometimes involved the trunk. It is described in a various ways but often the following descriptions are used: burning, tingling, jabbing, electrical, itching. Sensory exam is often abnormal at the site of the pain, but may be minimally abnormal. Neuropathic pain is commonly worse at night and may be associated with allodynic pain . Neuropathic pain may be intermittent or continuous.

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Nausea With Light And Sound Sensitivity

Now, when it comes to migraines, I never experienced the whole aura bit, but a sudden onset of nausea, light sensitivity, and/or sound sensitivity was all too common. It finally got to the point where I had to see a doctor about it who prescribed me a migraine medication since the over-the-counter stuff either didnt work for me or, for some reason, made everything worse! Especially the nausea!

An Itch You Cant Scratch

Itâs the itch that isnât. A sudden, intense tingle crops up out of the blue, anywhere on your body. But thereâs no skin irritation or allergy to scratch or apply rash cream to. This kind of itch doesnât stem from your skin. Dysesthetic itching is a nerve-related sensation that passes quickly. Itâs treatable with meds for epilepsy. Carbamazepine , gabapentin , and phenytoin are a few.

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The Problem Of Misdiagnosis

Studies have found that migraines occur two to three times more often in people with MS than in the general population. In addition, some symptoms of migraine and MS can be similar, reinforcing the importance of reporting the duration and quality of your symptoms to your healthcare provider in detail.

Due to these potential similarities, a person having migraines may be misdiagnosed with MS. A 2016 study performed at four academic MS centers looked at records of 110 patients who had been misdiagnosed with MS, some believing they had MS for 20 years or more. The most frequent alternate/correct diagnosis was migraine, either alone or in combination with other diagnoses, which was found in 22 percent of the misdiagnosed patients.

Not only are there overlapping symptoms between the two, but both migraine and MS can show abnormalities in your brain as well. When you see a neurologist for your headaches, you’ll typically have magnetic resonance imaging of your brain. If you have migraine or MS, it may show brain lesions called white matter lesions or T2 hyperintensities, although the pattern is usually different in each. This is why these lesions need to be interpreted carefully on an MRI and considered along with your symptoms.

Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder

Multiple sclerosis – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

NMOSD is an inflammatory disease that, like multiple sclerosis, attacks the myelin sheaths the protective covering of the nerve fibers of the optic nerves and spinal cord. But unlike MS, it usually spares the brain in its early stages. Symptoms of NMOSD can be similar to MS but can also include sudden vision loss or pain in one or both eyes, numbness or loss of sensation in the arms and legs, difficulty controlling the bladder and bowels, and uncontrollable vomiting and hiccups.

Treatments for MS are ineffective for and can even worsen NMOSD, so getting an accurate diagnosis is extremely important. A blood test known as the NMO IgG antibody test can help to differentiate between MS and NMOSD.

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I Started Getting Migraines A Few Years After My Ms Diagnosis

So many shared that they believed there is a connection between their MS and their migraines. Those who only started getting migraines after their MS diagnosis really had a reason to see a connection.

Yes! I never suffered from headaches before MS. Now I get mini-migraines. They last from a few seconds to a couple of hours. Pain in the brain!

I started getting migraines a few years after my MS diagnosis. It is always on one side of head. My neurologist said the pain is where one of my bigger white spots on my brain is.

Maybe My Headaches Are Related To Ms

As I read about it more, I slowly moved from thinking that this had nothing to do with MS to thinking that it very well could. Maybe the way MS affects the brain and the neurological pathways within it can cause headaches to occur more frequently than they do in the general population? Maybe headaches are some sort of secondary symptom like how insomnia can be the result of constantly having to get up to use the restroom throughout the night? Or perhaps these headaches and MS simply share a common trigger, like diet? Maybe the food that 78% of people with MS eat triggers an inflammatory response that not only results in disease activity but also headaches?

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Q: Do Ms Patients Get Headaches

A: Headaches, particularly migraine, appear to be reported more commonly in the MS population. Headaches can sometimes be associated with a relapse, but at the Mellen center we do not considerisolated new headache to be a definite marker of a relapse of MS. Interferon Beta and fingolimod can increase the risk of headaches, especially in the first few months of therapy. Cervicogenic headaches are common and can be helped by physical therapy focused on the neck.

Other than altering medicines which may induce headache, we treat headaches in MS the same way they are treated in the general public. There is nothing specific about the MS treatment. MS medications do no reduce headache in the MS population,and some may be associated with increased headache frequency . We often work with local neurologists or a headache center in the ongoing care of such headaches.

Loss Of Or Change Of Taste And Smell

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Research has shown that many people who have MS experience changes in how food tastes and smells. One study, published in April 2016 in Journal of Neurology, found that a significant number of people with MS have a decreased ability to sense all four basic areas of taste: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, and that these taste deficits that are linked to MS-related lesions throughout the brain.

Its not common, but other people with MS have reported hyperosmia, or an abnormally heightened sense of smell or abnormal sensitivity to odors.

Before you assume that MS is the cause of impaired or decreased taste, get your symptoms checked out by your doctor, as new loss of taste and smell can also be a symptom of COVID-19, among other conditions.

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I’ve Struggled With Depression For Years

For example, as Ive mentioned in previous posts, Ive struggled with clinical depression since my late teens. Until more recently, I never even thought that it could be related to my MS. I always saw it as separate I was just someone who had depression and who just so happened to also get MS. It was just a coincidence .

What Does Numbness And Tingling Caused By Anxiety Feel Like

If youre anxiety is causing numbness and tingling, you may feel:

  • Numbness in any area of your body

It most often occurs in the hands, feet, and face despite it being capable of occurring anywhere on your body. The numbness can feel like youve lost sensation or that you have sudden weakness in the affected area

  • Tingling in any area of your body

Anxiety can cause tingling to happen anywhere in your body, but most often affects your hands, feet, face, and scalp.

Tingling can make you feel like tiny vibrations under your skin or as if something is buzzing inside you. It can sometimes even feel like youre getting a very mild electric shock.

  • Inflammation in any area of your body

When you experience numbness or tingling due to anxiety its because theres no blood or oxygen in the affected area. At some point the blood and oxygen will return and when that happens, it can feel like the affected area is burning.

This is the same thing that happens to you when youre out in the cold and then you come inside into the warm. As sensation returns to numb body parts youll experience burning.

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Stress Is A Trigger For Headaches

Stress is another trigger for the headaches I get. It is the most common reason for my headaches. Multiple sclerosis is a stressful disease to have. I am doing well managing my condition, but that management takes a lot out of me. I know that I am not alone in this situation.

The doctor appointments, the medications, arranging for life to continue as well as possible, day in and day out, is a very stressful experience. For years, I carried bottles filled with ibuprofen everywhere I went, because the threat of a headache was always there.

In the years since my diagnosis, I have had to learn techniques to cope with the stress and lessen my need for medications to make it through my day. I have had to learn how to sleep through the night, drink more water, eat healthier food, and get out to exercise more. I know it is not easy, exercising with MS, but a little bit every day can change how life feels.

Exercise makes it easier to interact with the world, and it also makes sleep come easier at night. The daytime brain fog and grogginess are significantly lessened by diet, exercise, and sleep. The reduction in headaches is a bonus!


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