When it comes to MS pain, how can you separate fact from fiction? Here are a few common facts and myths about pain in MS.
Myth: It's all in your head! MS doesn't cause pain.
Fact: It was once believed that MS itself did not cause pain. Now we know that MS pain is very common. In fact, over half of people with MS suffer from pain caused by the condition.
Myth: If the pain is getting worse, then the MS is getting worse too.
Fact: Increasing pain is not necessarily a sign of that your MS is getting worse. A study on MS and pain did not find a relationship between pain and the length of time a person had MS, or the amount of disability caused by MS.
Myth: You should not use opioid pain relievers (such as morphine) because
you will become addicted to them.
Fact: Addiction is very rare in people without a history of drug addiction who are using opioids (such as morphine) for pain relief. If strong pain relievers such as opioids are needed to relieve your pain, it is better to use these medications than to leave the pain untreated. Untreated pain can spiral out of control, leading to fear, worsening pain, and limitation of activities.
Myth: All pain is bad.
Fact: Pain evolved to help warn people of injuries and illness. Some pain can be good. For example, the pain of a sprained ankle prevents you from walking on it and causing further injury. This type of pain helps the body avoid further injury or warns it that it needs to heal. Other pain, such as the nerve pain caused by MS, is not helpful, and should be relieved with appropriate therapy.
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