Pain in MS - what is usual?

Hi all,

I was diagnosed with RRMS in october last year and I’m not sure what could be MS related or what can be classed as a relapse.

My legs don’t feel like my own. I don’t know how to explain it apart from that they feel fuzzy with a pain/achey feel from my thighs to my feet. When I walk I’m on the go slow and my legs feel like they are going to give way.

Is this usual? Does anyone else get this?

Hi Emma,

MS is massively variable, so there’s no one set of symptoms that’s regarded as “usual”. Pain and abnormal sensations, however, aren’t at all UNusual, in the context of MS. The same with feelings of weakness.

If you haven’t had these before, and they have lasted more than 24 hours, you’re probably looking at a relapse - unless you’ve had a cold, or some other infection that could be making you feel extra groggy at the moment.

If they’re more-or-less always there, or have been since an earlier episode some time ago, they’re probably just the symptoms you are left with now. It’s common still to have some symptoms, even between relapses.

I haven’t had a relapse for a couple years, I don’t think (apart from a couple of blips that were maybe/maybe not). But I have foot pain ALL the time. And I always feel weaker now, than I did when I was well. I don’t think this is an indication I’m continuously relapsing. It’s just the way things are now.

Hope this helps,



Thank you for your help Tina

I’ve had the symptoms since yesterday morning but it’s not like a relapse I’ve had before, I thought if I had another one it would be similar to the ones I have before.

Just need to get my head around the fact that different symtoms may appear and it’s not set in stone.

Hi Emma,

No, relapses can be different every time. It depends where the lesions form - which is random. I think I probably had several relapses prior to diagnosis, but because they were all quite different, it didn’t even occur to me they could be connected, and part of the same illness. I thought that some of them were “bugs”, and that others were injuries. I thought I’d been unlucky to have quite a few weird things, but didn’t put the picture together at all!

Think you need to tell your GP, or MS nurse, if you have one, that you’re having a relapse. Even if you don’t want treatment for it, you should get it on record that it happened (may affect treatment options in future).


My first three relapses all affected my legs,but then the fourth was my arm and a new burning between my shoulder blades.

As Tina says I would contact your gp/ms nurse especially if DMDs have not been discussed as it may mean you fit the criteria.

Take care


There is a useful article here explaining the role of vitamin D in chronic pain.

### How vitamin D inhibits inflammation - Science Daily

Vitamin D works more efficiently when used in conjuntion with magnesium and omega 3 (additional anti-inflammatory agents and vitamin D cofactor)

Yes, that is a useful article. But not useful for anyone interested in the effect of Vitamin D3 on MS

It demonstrates that you can get statistically significant results using a crude scale,but fail to attain significance using a visual analogue scale. This should not be surprising when you consider that the margin for error in a 5-point scale (Likert type) is just a hairline under 40%, while the margin for error on a visual analogue (Osgood type) scale is around 1.5-2%.

Not exactly what one might consider as a well designed study.


This has nothing to do with whether Emmaah’s symptoms may be related to a relapse. We all know about Vit D3 and its importance Ted. Please keep to topic.

Emmah, Tina gave an excellent answer. From what you are describing it may well be that your are having another relapse and I suggest you get in touch with your MS Nurse to discuss what your options are. But your symptoms sound very MSy and I think you described them brilliantly. I understood immediately what you meant! Describing neuro sensations is soooo hard.

Basic rule of thumb for relapses is that any new or pre-existing symptoms that reoccur and last longer than 24 hours in the absence of an infection or exposure to heat or significant tiredness due to having “over done it” could be due to a relapse and should be reported to your MS Nurse, GP or neuro.

Figuring out what is and isn’t a relpse is notoriously tricky and even MSers who have had it for years still get caught out by it at times. For newly diagnosed people it is so frustratingly hard to know what is the difference between a relapse, a “worsening” of a pre-existing symptom, just a glitch, a pseudo-relapse… aaaaghhhhh!!! I have had MS for about 10 years now and I still get muddled by my silly symptoms!

If in doubt, ring your MS Nurse or if you don’t have one your GP.


The symptoms you describe in your legs sound exactly how my legs feel every time I overdo things these days. For me it’s a symptoms I’m left with after a relapse when I was numb from the waist down until the steroids kicked in and got me going again. My toes have pins and needles constantly and the ‘fuzzy’ feeling creeps up to my ankles and gets me in the thighs when I’m fatigued. It’s strange how quickly it becomes the ‘new normal’!

For you, if you’ve never had this before then you need to speak to your nurse or GP as it does sound like a relapse. Take care