Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association.
Most people with M.E. experience pain. This can vary in both nature and intensity.
Pain can occur in in the muscles (= myalgia), joints (=arthralgia) and nerves (= neuropathic pain).
Nerve (neuropathic) pain often has a shooting, burning or stabbing quality and may keep a person awake at night.
Neuropathic pain can also be associated with sensory disturbances – such as tingling or numbness, especially in the arms and/or legs.
Unfortunately, many doctors still do not have a good working knowledge of the range of drug and non-drug management options that can help to reduce pain in people with M.E.
So we are using this month’s website survey to find out what people with M.E. find to be the two most effective forms of pain relief.
The results will be used when we next update our information literature on pain management, and in our information to doctors.
The results will also be used as part of our ‘patent evidence’ submission to the rewrite of the NICE guideline on ME/CFS – where we hope that the management of key symptoms such as pain will be given far more detailed and helpful coverage.
Further information from the ME Association
- We have an information leaflet that covers all aspects of pain management – including non drug approaches such as acupuncture and TENS machines.
- We also have information leaflets covering several prescription-only drugs:
- The section on Pain Management in the 2010 ME Association Illness Management Report (pages 14 to 16) contains a great deal of existing patient evidence on what people with ME/CFS find helpful and not helpful when it comes to pain relief.
- Similar information on pain management can be found in the Treatment section of the ME Association Guide to Clinical Issues – the ‘purple’ book – which we are also happy to send to your GP free of charge (just send their contact details to our head office).
NHS and NICE guidance