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Numbness or Tingling


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Managing Symptoms: Numbness

Featuring a discussion with Stephen Krieger, MD, who talks about numbness and MS.


Numbness is loss, diminished or altered sensation. You may notice that you have less feeling when touching something with your hand or notice the sensation in one leg is different than the other. You may feel the sensation of your limb being “asleep” with a pins and needles sensation. Numbness of the face, body or extremities (arms and legs) is one of the most common symptoms of MS. It may be the first MS symptom you experienced.  The numbness may be mild or so severe that it interferes with your ability to use the affected body part. For example, if you have very numb feet, and cannot feel the floor, you may have difficulty walking. Numb hands may prevent writing, dressing, or holding objects safely.

If you have severe facial numbness you should be very careful when eating or chewing, as you may unwittingly bite the inside of their mouth or tongue. If you have numbness of other parts of the body you should be careful around fires, hot water and other sources of heat, as you may suffer a burn without realizing it.

There are no medications to relieve numbness. Fortunately, most instances of numbness are not disabling, and tend to come and go. In some cases of a new onset of severe numbness, associated with a MS relapse, your healthcare provider may prescribe a brief course of corticosteroids to accelerate recovery.

Managing Pain and Sleep Issues in MS

Pain, including numbness and tingling, can cause frustration for people with MS, their loved ones, and healthcare providers. Learn from scientists and clinicians about strategies for symptom management, available treatment options, and ongoing research to identify the cause of pain in MS. Download a copy of the companion book.


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