Chronic pain in persons with multiple sclerosis.

TitleChronic pain in persons with multiple sclerosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
2005
AuthorsEhde DM, Osborne TL, Jensen MP
JournalPhysical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America
Volume16
Issue2
Pagination503-12
Date Published2005 May
ISSN1047-9651
Activities of Daily Living, Chronic Disease, Humans, Multiple Sclerosis, Pain, Pain Management, Psychophysiology, Social Adjustment

The MS literature clearly indicates that chronic pain is a significant problem for many, although not all, persons with MS. The rates of pain have been found to vary in different studies, from 44% to 80%, depending on the sample and the specific questions used to assess the incidence and severity of pain. What is not clear is the proportion of persons who have acute pain relative to chronic pain. Although the specific frequency of pain problems in patients with MS may not be clear, there is a subgroup of patients (about 38% of those with pain in one sample) who report experiencing severe pain [8]. Preliminary research suggests that chronic pain can have a significant negative impact on a number of aspects of functioning in persons with MS, such as the ability to engage in household work and psychologic functioning. A biopsychosocial model of chronic pain, which has proved to be useful in understanding chronic pain as a primary condition and chronic pain in persons with other physical disabilities, may also be useful for understanding pain in persons with MS. Research,however, has not yet tested the utility of this model among MS populations. Longitudinal research is needed to help us learn how MS-related pain may fluctuate over time and with changes in disease status. There also is a strong need for research that examines access to pain treatment and that evaluates the efficacy of currently available pain treatments in persons with MS. The results of such research, as it is applied to help patients with MS, should contribute to an overall increase in well-being and a decrease in suffering among persons with MS and chronic pain.

10.1016/j.pmr.2005.01.001

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