Stress, MS or none of the above? Speculation welcome!

Hi All

What do you reckon to this?

  • burning, tingling feelings in mainly legs that has gradually got worse over the last 7 or so years. Much worse following inactivity - sitting at desk, asleep etc- intensity, duration and coverage has recently (3 months) increased sharply - now have brief (couple of hrs) spells in lower arms , face, and legs have progressed to feeling numb for up to a day (but sensation maintained) after short spells siting. Soles of feet sore sometimes.

  • arms and legs much more prone now to getting pins and needles - which goes when posture changed

  • Last 3 months, upper body has felt a bit ‘juddery’ and unco-ordinated - nothing major but small things like not quite judging distances when putting mug down etc. Possible slight action tremor - both arms.Much worse when stressed to the extent that an email can start it off.

  • Recent clear eye exam, no other motor signs when GP tested, clear MRI 3 yrs ago (for an unrelated matter), No loss of strength so far AFAICS

  • Neuro date in date in 2 months but being a british male have googled the above and points to poss MS. My very good GP says could be stress related. I know I should wait to see what neuro says but again as a british male I will ask random strangers on the internet :slight_smile: Im early 50s BTW

All ideas and wild speculation welcomed. I appreciate you are not health professionals so wont quote you on anything!! Thanks - Mstake

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hi M

have you got any puffiness in your feet.

it could be a circulation issue.

anyway you have an appointment with a neuro coming up and it’s good that you are now in the system.

even though you are a british male, i’ll say take care wee baby lamb!

Hello Mstake (or wee baby lamb)

It doesn’t sound like MS to me. But it could be. It’s impossible to know.

Generally MS symptoms last longer than a lot of your symptoms. Things that improve when you change positions aren’t normally neurological. But could be.

One of the problems with MS is that although there are some rules (eg, a relapse should have lasted for at least 24 hours and be new symptoms, or be at least a month since you last experienced them), on the other hand there are no rules as everyone’s experiences are different.

As you have a neurologists appointment in 2 months, I think you’ll probably have to put off the wondering and worrying until you actually run all the symptoms past him/her and have a neurological exam. You might then be sent for tests depending on what the neurologist thinks.

It’s a good idea to start keeping a diary of symptoms to take with you to the Neurology appointment. If you had records of what symptoms you’ve experienced, when they started, how long they’ve lasted, whether they’ve improved or anything that’s stayed constant. This will help you to explain to the consultant how things have affected you.

Meanwhile, I suggest you stop consulting Dr Google, he’s a rubbish doctor, and before you know it, you’ll have MS, Lupus, MND and galloping plague.

This doesn’t mean stop asking complete strangers (ie us), because we’ll generally listen and give you the benefit of our experience when telling you that we don’t know!


Hi Carole - Burning legs could be circulation but no foot puffiness. Forgot to say all bloods normal.

I must say that this is probably the first time I have ever been called a ‘wee baby lamb’ !!

Hi Sue … galloping plague … you might be on to something there - will Google Seriously you are quite right I need to just wait for appt, but I do like to research stuff.

Its only when I put the juddery arms in the mix that I get pointed at MS - - they could be down to stress I suppose.

Mstake / wbl

It doesn’t sound very MS-y to me, based on my extensive (!) n=1 study.

Whatever is amiss, I hope you get to the bottom of things soon.

Dr Google has a lousy bedside manner, but you know that already, of course; few of us can resist consulting him, though, whatever our age and gender.


… or her !

1 Like

Hi guys!!! Im on the same side as Mistake. i have woken up to a pins and needles sensation in my right hand but as soon as I shake it off it goes away.

then I’ve has very bad shoulder pain and arm pain that goes away in a day and sometimes come back.

My last symptom is that I have like short stabs in my fingers and arms, the come and go all over the day.

do you guys thinks it has to do with MS o a extreme stress and anxiety?

i have been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder about 6 years ago but my symptoms back then were not like this. I am really scared, and would love your opinion and help

Hi Anna

If you read the replies to Mstake, then you’ll see that we just don’t know.

His symptoms didn’t sound much like MS, and neither do yours, but you never know.

Why not see your GP and ask for their advice? If they think there might be a neurological cause to your symptoms, they will refer you to a neurologist.


Thanks Sue!!!

My GP said it sounds like severe stress and not like MS. Still, it is all weird and new for me.

besides, as we all know, Mr. Google can say a lot of stuff.


Try to reduce your stress, eat well, get some exercise, even just walking, and relax about these symptoms.

If you still have them in a few weeks when you know you’re in a more relaxed state of mind, then see your GP again and directly ask for a referral to a neurologist.

It’s all you can do at this point to try to calm your mind and body. To see if the symptoms disappear with a reduction of stress.

Best of luck. Come back and let us know how you get on.


Oh and stay away from that demon Dr Google, whether he or she, it is a crap guide to health. And can allow your stress level to rise faster than anything.


Update - saw neurologist - gave him timescale of symptoms - since I last posted leg feeling of numbness after a days work has increased, arm feeling of numbness has increased, some bladder discomfort relieved by er relieving myself, intermittent dry mouth. Physical exam all normal except sluggish reflexes in lower limbs. Vit D / B12 bloods taken - head / spine MRI ordered. Sluggish reflexes point away from CNS I believe. So poss looking at a peripheral neuropathy though MRI should give more info. Impressed as ever with NHS

Further update - not had mri results but have lumbar puncture appt this fri so guessing mri results showed something of note.

So … clear MRI and Lumbar puncture = MS very unlikely. LP ordered due to a 'incidentaloma’in spine! Still don’t know whats causing stiffness / numbness - some kind of neuropathy prob. Anyway I hopefully wont be back here but I will say what a helpful and supportive bunch of people you all are and I wish you luck in the future. xxx

Hi Mstake (or Wee Baby Lamb - sorry couldn’t resist)

Thanks for letting us know. It does help when we know that for some people symptoms like yours don’t = MS. It means we’re giving people the right advice.

I’m glad it’s not MS, or galloping plague! But sorry that you’ve not got to the bottom of what has caused your problems.

Hopefully you will slowly improve over time. And if you don’t, go and hassle the medical profession again. Btw, if in need, you are always welcome on this site. When you suffer a general neuropathy and have no answers, sometimes there is no one else who can understand. So feel free to come here for sympathy/empathy, advice if we can help, and just fellow feeling.