Casey: I have MS hug, what can I try to alleviate it?
Matt Justin, MS Nurse: Well, that depends how quickly it comes on and how much it’s affecting you. If it comes on very suddenly and it’s really uncomfortable and it’s sore and it’s stopping you participating in your daily life, we would probably consider that to be a relapse and you should speak to your MS nurse or consultant about potentially getting steroids. Steroids can help speed up a recovery. That recovery is going to happen anyway, whether we give you steroids or not. If the MS hug or sort of tightness and band going round the waist is sore and uncomfortable and we don’t want to consider steroids, there are certain neuropathic medications, which again an MS doctor could prescribe that might help alleviate the tightness and the pain. Again, if you’ve had it before it would be important to rule out that you’ve not got any underlying condition that’s exacerbating an old symptom, so we would always make sure that you’ve no signs of infection, the most obvious one being a urine infection, or been run down or stressed, because any of these things can make existing symptoms worse.
Casey: If I tried steroids and they haven’t resolved the problem, is there anything else we can do?
Matt Justin: Well, we would very much go down that second line of looking at medication to help improve the neuropathic pain. These help just dampen down the messages and can often reduce the pain and discomfort. So if the steroids haven’t worked within about four weeks, we would think that they’re maybe not going to be completely effective and we need to talk about other medications that might help symptoms such as that.
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