b'Natalie BlakeKasey Minnis Executive Director Executive DirectorMS doesnt cause pain. Thats what countlessfrustrated that there isnt an easy x. Cant patients were once told by their doctors. Fordoctors just give you something for the pain? decades, the medical community denied theInthepast,doctorsoftendidprescribe experience of people living with MS, leavingopiate-based painkillers. Today, doctors know them with no hope of relief. Thankfully, in thethat in most cases, opiates are not a solution 1980s, research began to uncover the causesfor MS-related pain. Opiates, when taken too of pain in MS and the attitudes within thefrequently or too long, can actually alter the medical community began to shift. Today,response of the central nervous system to any doctor with a clear understanding of MSpain,makingapersonmoresensitiveto knows it can be painful.painful stimuli. So, they tend to trap people However, having that understanding doesin a cycle of temporary relief followed by not make pain from MS easy to treat. Theamplied pain.causes of pain in MS are varied, and the rstFor this reason, the Centers for Disease step is to discover the underlying cause. Is itControl has urged medical professionals to causedbyspasticity?Bydeconditioning?reserve opiates for short-term medical problems Does it stem from problems with gait? Or is itor traumas, such as following surgery or an caused by the damaged nerves themselves? accident. Doctors treating MS pain look to treat Eachofthesecausesrequiresdifferentthe underlying causes of pain in order to treatment. Some can be treated with medication;address the pain itself.othersourcesofpainaremosteffectivelyThroughout this issue, we explore the treated with physical or occupational therapy.various causes of pain in MS, the treatments Both pharmaceutical and therapeutic treatmentsthat can help, and alternative therapies to canbesupportedwithmassage,exercise,explore. Unfortunately, it can take effort to and complementary alternative medicine. nd the solution that works for you. But dont ManypeoplewithMSndthemselvesgive up. Pain management is possible! Tell us what you want to see in MS Focus Magazine.Email comments to: editor@msfocus.org or write to: Editor, MS Focus 6520 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 msfocusmagazine.org 6'