ALS The Painless Disease

ALS Awareness Month: Day 3

True or False?

How about, True & False.

Yes ALS itself does not cause pain. As the motor neurons deteriorate, loss of function (movement) ensues, pain receptors remain in tact. However the pathology of ALS does not elicit pain in and of itself. So ALS the disease process, is not painful. Now before you jump on me for stating this, be aware that pain does in fact accompany the effects of ALS on the body, mind and soul.

The body – as the neurons die, muscle weakness follows, leading to atrophy. This, in advanced stages of ALS, is what makes us appear gaunt and emaciated. Limbs begin contracting, cramps are a precursor of this. But not just feet, legs and arms, oh no. Cramps in the abdomen, neck, fingers, toes and tongue. Strictures, the locking of limbs, and the neck. Which contorts the body into uncomfortable positions. All of what I just mentioned are painful.

Little known pains associated with ALS:

  • Heel pain/burning due to foot drop
  • Hot flashes
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Fasciculation’s (all body twitches)
  • Yawns, causing lockjaw and full body spasms
  • Tongue and cheek biting
  • Neck pain due to head drop
  • Injuries as a result of falls

But yeah, ALS is painless…

Mental and spiritual pain are topics onto themselves.


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