Can impact trauma cause MS ?

Does anyone have a opinion on this or can you provide details of an expert who believes impact can cause or bring on MS ?


Nobody knows what causes MS.

There have been anecdotal reports of onset following a head or spinal injury, but I don’t believe a connection has ever been proved. Reading between the lines, if you are considering legal action, I don’t think you would ever be able to prove it’s “more likely than not” (the civil standard of proof), your MS was triggered by impact trauma, because this in the realms of speculation.

Even if you could produce a neurologist who personally believes it to be the case, you’d still have the huge hurdle that one person’s belief is not proof. There is not a reasonable body of scientific opinion in support of it.


Thanks for your responses

The first MS symptom was within 48hrs of a bad fall ,a constant headache was immediate and didn’t go away and then more MS symptoms followed in the next 3 weeks. It all happened very quickly and the MS diagnosis was made 6 weeks after the fall.

There were no MS symptoms before the fall

hi brother

my aunt had a car crash and soon after started with ms.

i know my mum was convinced that the accident caused ms but as tina says this is only anecdotal.

my neuro was always interested in these little tidbits.

hope you have no lasting injuries from your experience of impact trauma.

carole x

Is your aunt a blood relative, Carole, or only by marriage?

If she’s a blood relative, I think two cases in the same family strongly suggests car crash wasn’t the cause, but something in family genetics was!

Also (not specifically in relation to your aunt), I wonder if there’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario here?

Is MS caused by trauma, or are people with MS more likely to have accidents involving trauma?

OK, if it was a train crash or something, it clearly had nothing to do with the health of the person who later went on to be diagnosed with MS (unless they happened to be the driver).

But for other types of accident, how do we know undiagnosed MS wasn’t a contributory factor? After all, it can affect balance, coordination, vision, reflexes… So could the person’s accident have been related to health issues they didn’t know they had?

I definitely feel more accident prone since I was diagnosed. But logically, that means I probably was before I realised anything was wrong, as I’m sure it didn’t all come on overnight.



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Ms is genetic is it not it would appear to run in some families could the trauma not trigger the ms I had a traffic accident at work witch resulted in damaged c spine after first ms symtoms but 10 years on doctors now believe is affecting ms g


tina - aunt was my mum’s sister.

i’m inclined to agree with hillybilly that the accident probably triggered ms which was just waiting to happen.

then again i have no scientific background further than A level.

it’s a mixture of bad luck, genetics and environment,

carole x

In my opinion, I believe the ms was already there, just waiting to make itself known.

having an accident makes doctors look more closely, especially for head and back injuries. They look at your brain and spine for trauma and there the ms is, waving sweetly :slight_smile:

Yes it is a known fact. I have had several patients who developed MS or Devic illness after a head or spine injury. Many patients got damage to the eyes’ nerves after a spinal or head trauma. Also the consecutive MRIs showed more lesions.

Yes genetics do play a role. However it is not a sufficient precondition. Other factors such as lack of exposure to sunlight, a low calorie diet, spinal oe head trauma, infection and stress trigger the onset of the illness.

I’m sure I read or heard somewhere that you can get “Trauma MS”.

I cant imagine though it’s the same as having MS via the “normal” route, if that makes sense ?

There was this case

A car crash was also the trigger for my own MS diagnosis. I was told that the link couldn’t be proved and just to get on with my life.