b'Symptom ManagementOOccccuuppaattiioonnaallTThheerraappiissttssCo CaannGGuuiiddeeYYoouuonnYYoouurrPPaaiinnJJoouurrnneeyyTTrreeaattmmeennttssccaannffooccuussoonnrroooottooffppaaiinnoorraaccttiivviittiieessppaaiinniisslliimmiittiinnggBy Christine Hampton Pain can be such a pain. It can take manycauses them to overuse certain muscles to shapes and forms, but for most people it ismake up for the weaker muscles. This overuse an unpleasant experience. It can be sharp,of the stronger muscles can lead to shoulder achy, burning, shooting, nagging, constant,pain, which may further lead to injury. It can intermittent, etc. Some people with multipleoften be helpful for these patients to participate sclerosis never experience pain, while othersin neuromuscular re-education so they may battle with it daily. For many people, it canrelearn how to use their muscles and move their becomechronicandapartoftheirdailyarms correctly. This gives the weaker muscles norm. But what do you do when it becomesan opportunity to get stronger and prevents a barrier to living your life? What do you dothestrongermusclesfromoverworking. when you cannot sleep or have a desire to goOccupational therapy can also address the out because of the pain? activities that the pain is limiting. For example, Occupational therapists pain can often make it difficult for a person to sleep. OT can work on developing good sleep Physicians, nurses, psychologists, physicalhabits to allow for more restful sleep. therapists, and occupational therapists areAssistive Technologyjust some of the many people that can play a unique role in helping someone on their journeyPain is unique to each person, but some with pain. Occupational therapists focus onof the areas I frequently address as an OT helping people become more independent inregardingpainincludeneuromuscular their daily living activities and can be a greatre-education, workplace ergonomics, and member of your treatment team when your painassistivetechnology.Whatdoesassistive starts limiting your function or participationtechnologyhavetodo withMS? Assistive in life. So what exactly can OTs do to helptechnology can help decrease the burden of with your pain? work. Many patients I work with who have Because of the diverse nature of pain itself,MSexperiencefatigueandweakness.As the treatment OTs offer to address pain canmentioned earlier, weakness can cause you also vary greatly. Treatment could focus onto move your limbs incorrectly, placing more the root of the pain itself or activities the painstrain on certain muscles than others, which is limiting. For example, many of my patientsin turn can lead to pain. Like weakness, experience weakness in their arms, whichfatigue can also cause you to compensate msfocusmagazine.org 32'