Khan F, Amatya B, Kesselring J. Longitudinal 7-year follow-up of chronic pain in persons with multiple sclerosis in the community. J Neurol. 2013 Apr 25. [Epub ahead of print]
The aim of this work is to examine the course and impact of chronic pain and pain-related disability in persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) over a 7-year period in the Australian community employing a longitudinal, cross-sectional study using structured interviews and validated measures. The intensity of chronic pain was assessed with the visual analogue scale (VAS); the chronic pain grade (CPG) classified pain severity using scores for both pain intensity and pain-related disability.
Of the 74 pwMS assessed at 7-year follow-up (T2), 53 (71.6 %) were female, with average age of 55.6 years, and median time since diagnosis of 16.5 years. At T2, 13 (13.8 %) more participants reported chronic pain compared with baseline assessment (T1), (61 vs. 74). Although there were no significant differences on average pain intensity rating between T1 and T2, more participants at T2 reported higher rates of pain (13.1 vs. 28.4 %). At T2, participants reported greater disability limiting their daily activities due to pain (16.2 vs. 0 %). At T2, pwMS used less pharmacological medication but accessed more “other” therapy to cope with their chronic pain. This study provides longitudinal insight into the complex multidimensional chronic pain-related disability in pwMS over a longer period. Improved clinician understanding of the course of chronic pain, early intervention, and patient self-management may decrease pain-related disability and contribute to their overall well-being.
Pain is a major problem in MS and this is not adequately controlled. Neuropathic pain is the chronic problem caused by nerve damage within the central nervous system generating aberrant nerve signals that stimulate the pain centres within the brain. These are difficult to control. At follow-up fewer pharmaceuticals were being used. This suggests failure of treatments to have any poisitive effect