Dysesthesia in MS: Feeling, Causes, and Treatment

Last updated April 29, 2022, by Patricia Silva, PhD

Fact-checked by Ines Martins, PhD

FAQs about dysesthesia in MS

These abnormal sensations are not dangerous themselves. But dysesthesia can be uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and even scary if a person experiences symptoms such as an MS hug for the first time.

Dysesthesia is not life-threatening, but it can interfere with a person’s daily activities, disrupt sleep, and reduce quality of life.

Similar to other paroxysmal symptoms — which appear suddenly, last for a few seconds or minutes, and then disappear — dysesthesia may come and go. Some types of dysesthesias can be chronic (chronic neuropathic pain), persisting for a certain amount of time.

Anxiety and stress can serve as triggers for dysesthesia or exacerbate its symptoms. In some cases, chronic anxiety and stress can increase nerve firing and cause symptoms similar to dysesthesia, without the actual presence of nerve damage.

Dysesthesia is a type of neuropathic pain, or pain that results from nervous system damage. Therefore, neurologists are the best-qualified doctors to treat these abnormal sensations. A primary care physician could be a person’s first contact to discuss dysesthesia symptoms, but if these are serious or interfere with daily life, the patient should be seen by a neurologist.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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