waiting and confused

Hi I’m new to all this and I’m struggling.

I went to see a back pain specialist about a problem I’ve had for over a year. I’d had an MRI on my lower back which showed nothing, so he’s convinced it’s nothing to worry about. He then went on to ask loads of questions, I’ve been treated for depression for 4 years, I have cronic fatigue, multiple joint pains,muscle spasms, my legs and arms will jerk for no apparent reason, pins and needles in my hands, irratable bowel and pomphylix dermatitous.Then he tested my reflexes, and said I want you to have an MRI on your neck as you have hyper reflexes, I also have a poor sensitivity to pain, ( I could feel pressure when he pricked me with a pin but not a sharp pain). My GP then told me (when I went back for more pain meds) that if the MRI on my neck showed nothing I’m being refered to a neurologist. The specialist said he was thinking MS or MD. I’m confused, does this sound like MS? What sort of tests can I expect? Also does a family history have any bearing on the likelyhood I have MS. My sister has MS and Great Grandmother (maternal side) also had the condition.

Sorry for the rambling


I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time of it. It does sound as though the medics are on the case and are keen to find whether there is some underlying condition that is contributing to your health problems, so that is all good. I am not a medical expert of any kind but, as I understand it, it is a slow business this finding what is the matter when there are lots of varied symptoms with lots of potential causes. It usually involves identifying possible causes and then patiently eliminating them. It sounds as though MS is one of the possibile suspects that they want to eliminate from their enquiries in your case. A family history of MS does make a person statistically slightly more likely than the next person to get MS. But that is a small statistical increase in a very small risk: most people with MS in the family do not get MS themselves, and most people with MS are the only person in the family who’s got it. Nevertheless, your doctors will be mindful of the fact that you have MS in the family and that will be of interest to them.

Tests: most of us with MS have been dx through some combination of clinical exam, MRI scans of brain and/or cervical spine, sometimes nerve conduction tests, sometimes a lumbar puncture. Most of us have not had all those things but most of us have had a couple or a few of them.

I hope that you get some clarity soon on what is amiss, and some help to improve your health.

Good luck with it all.