Pain Management in Multiple Sclerosis: a Review of Available Treatment Options

  • Talal AboudEmail author
  • Nathaniel M. Schuster
Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders (J Graves, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders


Purpose of review

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease with no curative treatment available. While recent years have ushered in many effective new disease-modifying therapies for MS, they have not obviated the need for symptomatic treatments for MS-related pain. In this review, we discuss available approaches to control pain, which is one of the most common complaints MS patients have.

Recent findings

The most recent research in this topic is directed towards non-pharmacologic interventions including water exercises, yoga and cannabis. More trials are being conducted on neuromodulation for MS-related neuropathic pain, including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).


Pain control for MS patients is challenging, considering the progressive and relapsing remitting nature of the disease, however, it is a very important aspect of it’s management, as it improves mobility, exercise tolerance, concomitant depression and overall quality of life. Future research should focus on the use of neuromodulation in controlling MS pain.


Multiple sclerosis Pain Spasticity Central neuropathic pain MS pain MS disability 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Talal Aboud and Nathaniel M. Schuster each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Center for Pain Medicine, Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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