While we all get a headsaches from time to time most of them can be easily gotten rid of with an over the counter medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. When it comes to MS and headaches many patients report that the pain is excruciatingly painful. The incidence of both cluster and migraine headaches is significantly higher in people with MS than most of the other people in the world.
What is the Correlation between MS and Headaches?
For the average person most doctors will tell you that they really do not know what causes a good number of the headaches we get. It is different for someone with MS and headaches as they can most often be attributed to the lesions that the disease causes to appear on their brain, the medications that they are taking to combat some of the other symptoms and on occasion depression.
In a recent study of some 277 patients with multiple sclerosis found that there may be a direct correlation between the number of lesions in the mid brain area and the number of migraine headaches that a patient might get. At the same time lesions in this area of the brain have been linked to cluster headaches where the trigeminal nerve originates.
Patients undergoing an episode of optic neuritis also report having sever heads on one side or the other and that any movement of their eyes increases the level of pain. Another area where multiple sclerosis and headaches are very common companions is the treatments that are used as part of therapy treatments for the disease. Interferon drugs such as Rebif and Avonex are known to cause headaches or make them worse.
How Bad Can they Get?
When it comes to MS and headaches the big question is just how bad these heads can get. Once you go beyond the everyday headache and delve into the realms of the migraine and cluster headaches you are going off the Richter scale of heads. Migraine headaches are exceptionally painful and usually include sensitivity to both sound and light. They can last several hours and the person usually finds a dark, quiet place to lie down until it passes.
A cluster headaches is best described as the worst pain a person could possibly imagine. The pain is so intense that the sufferer may spend the duration crying, rocking back and forth on the bed or in a chair or even teasing their hair out. Not only does the headache cause such an intestinal pain, but the patient will be completely exhausted when it is over and be left with the dread that another one will be coming right on the heels of the one they just got over as these heads come in groups Egypt clusters.
There are medications designed to treat the pain associated with MS and headaches, but you should consult with your doctor to see if there are any contraindications with any medications you are already taking. If there are you may be left with doing the best you can to cope with them until the episodes have passed.