Tingling Sensations with MS

The central nervous system is particularly vulnerable to the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic autoimmune disease (CNS). With multiple sclerosis, the body's immune system wrongly targets myelin, a protective layer that coats the neurons.

Numbness and tingling in different places of the body are common symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Feeling this way may not always indicate Multiple Sclerosis. Other factors may also play a role in its occurrence.

What causes MS-related numbness and tingling, how it may feel, and other medical diseases that produce similar symptoms are discussed below.

Reasons why Tingling Could Occur in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis

Myelin is a substance that the immune system attacks in multiple sclerosis. The central nervous system's nerves are covered with myelin.

Because of these immune system assaults, myelin and the nerves it protects get damaged. Because of this, nerve signals may slow down or get garbled.

In order for the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, nerve signals are constantly being sent and received. When there is damage to the neural pathways, the brain may not receive sensory information properly.

Many sensory problems may manifest at this time. Sensory symptoms, such as numbness and tingling, are experienced by over 80% of patients with MS, according to a Reliable Source. This feeling is called paresthesia in the medical field.

Many people with MS report first experiencing numbness and tingling in their extremities. The onset of this symptom varies from instance to case. Nonetheless, it may manifest at any time throughout multiple sclerosis.

The Tingling Sensation of Multiple Sclerosis: How Does it Feel?

A lack of feeling, or numbness. Because of this, you may not be able to detect even little pressure, discomfort, or temperature changes.

Numbness may make even simple tasks challenging. The inability to feel sensation in one's fingertips may make everyday tasks like picking up things or writing difficult. Similarly, a person suffering from leg numbness may find it difficult to move about.

Numbness and tingling are also typical side effects of numbness. If you've ever had an arm or a leg "fall asleep" from staying in a certain posture for too long, you may be familiar with this feeling.

Possible tingling sensations include −

  • Prickling

  • Needles and pins

  • Burning

  • Freaked out

  • Itching

The degree to which people experience these experiences varies considerably. Sensations of numbness or tingling may be rather subtle for some people. Conversely, some people may have tingling and numbness that severely hampers their ability to go about their normal day.

Where is This Taking Place, Exactly?

In MS patients, numbness and tingling often occur in these areas −

  • Face

  • Arms

  • Torso

  • Legs

One or both sides of your body may be affected by these feelings. They may sometimes be localised to a small area of skin rather than the complete body portion.

A numb feeling all over the body or in an arm or leg may be quite uncomfortable, almost like being squeezed. The term "MS hug" has been used to describe this phenomenon.

When Will This Occur?

Numbness and tingling might seem to come on suddenly at times. This signifies that there is no obvious cause for it to happen.

Changes in feeling, such as numbness or tingling, may be an early indicator of multiple sclerosis. These feelings, however, might appear or go at any time.

Sensations of numbness and tingling may occur with a recurrence of multiple sclerosis. It's so common that 70% of 5,311 MS patients surveyed in 2017 reported feeling numb or tingly after a relapse.

Are There any Additional Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis?

You may also have other early MS symptoms than numbness and tingling. To name a few others −

  • Feeling lightheaded or unsteady

  • Experiencing Weakness or Exhaustion

  • Discomfort in various parts of the body or face

  • Inflexibility caused by muscular spasms

  • Concerns with one's eyesight, such as blurred vision or double vision

  • Cognitive or memory impairment

  • Inability to regulate urination or defecation

Why Would it be Anything Else?

There are conditions besides MS that may result in numbness and tingling. When an arm or leg goes to sleep from being in a certain position for too long, it might become numb. Yet, there are further, more severe factors to consider.

Feeling Tingly? see a Doctor

Anyone experiencing tingling or numbness should see a doctor so they can −

  • Arising as a result of trauma

  • Happens for no apparent reason and keeps happening again and again

  • In conjunction with other first MS symptoms

How is Multiple Sclerosis Treated?

The course of MS and its symptoms must be taken into account while deciding on a treatment plan. Examples of this kind of information include −

Curative treatments for illness. You can inject or swallow these medicines. The advancement of multiple sclerosis may be slowed with their aid. Depending on your particular form of MS, you may be prescribed one of many different classes of drugs.

Corticosteroids. It is possible to treat the inflammation caused by a recurrence of multiple sclerosis using corticosteroids. Numbness and tingling are two symptoms that they may help alleviate.

Plasma therapy. Those with MS who have relapsed after corticosteroid therapy may benefit from plasma exchange.

Individualized care for symptoms. Your doctor will also address the specific MS symptoms you're experiencing. Some possible methods of therapy are −

  • Drug treatments for symptoms such as numbness, tingling, pain, and muscular spasms

  • Assistance with movement, equilibrium, or everyday activities via physical or occupational therapy

  • Canes, walkers, and other aids to independent transport

  • Behavioral modifications, such as working out more and learning how to relax, are also encouraged.

  • Counselling for managing multiple sclerosis symptoms

Several supplementary treatments, such magnet therapy, vitamin D supplementation, and reflexology, have shown promise in the management of multiple sclerosis symptoms. Still, additional study is required.

Could I Accomplish Anything From the Comfort of my own House?

Numbness and tingling may be alleviated or avoided with the following self-care measures −

  • Get up and about. In certain circumstances, moving the afflicted region might alleviate the tingling or numbness. Exercising regularly is another possible method for avoiding a recurrence of the symptoms.

  • Have a balanced and nutritious diet. The best way to maintain excellent health is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Deficiencies in some vitamins, which may cause numbness and tingling, may also be mitigated by this.

  • Reduce your alcohol consumption. Numbness and tingling may be brought on by or exacerbated by excessive alcohol use. If you consume alcohol, cutting down may help alleviate some of your symptoms.

  • Relax. Look into stress-reduction strategies, including yoga or meditation, since prolonged mental or emotional strain may exacerbate your condition.

  • Medication available without a prescription, sometimes known as OTC. The sensation of numbness and tingling may accompany the pain. Treatment with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), may help.

Updated on: 14-Apr-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started