UPDATED 9/2023 - Updates are interspersed throughout
Ouch. I suffer from chronic neuropathic pain (NP) as a result of my MS.
In the case of NP caused by MS, the nerve fibers themselves have been injured and become damaged. These damaged nerve fibers send incorrect signals to the pain centers in the brain, the part of the brain that interprets nerve signals and determines if those signals should signal a sensation of pain. The impact of nerve fiber injury includes a change in nerve function at the injury site and areas around the injury.
In my case, I have a lesion in my cervical spine (neck) around C1/C2. An MS lesion is the result of the immune system attacking the nerves, then the body unsuccessfully attempting to heal the damage, leaving behind a mess of scar tissue. The lesion is laterally located on my left side. The result is: 1) lots of pain downstream of the C1/C2 nerve, into my left shoulder, arm, and sometimes hand; 2) weakness in my left shoulder, arm, and hand; 3) weakness and loss of control in my left hip and down my left leg, into my foot; 4) burning pain in my right leg and foot.
There are three approaches I use to minimize pain:
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