Former Fife journalist Mark Auld, 46, says no two days are the same with MS pain. But he has found a treatment that is making a difference.
“The uniqueness of my illness is baffling. Thankfully the plethora of treatments has evolved so much in the 17 years since diagnosis.
“The condition forced me to give up the job I loved. I have journeyed across a range of treatments over the years.
“Self-belief and positive thinking is key as your condition seems to evolve as the years progress.
“One treatment I came across really delivers results for me – Myofascial Release (MFR).
“I had never heard of it until a friend told me about it but I was intrigued and uplifted in listening to people with MS who had.
“It came into its own the other week. I was going through Trigeminal neuralgia, a pain which seemed to come and go.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a sudden, severe facial pain described as sharp, shooting or like an electric shock.
It comes in sudden short attacks lasting from a few seconds to two minutes.
“Anyone who endures this pain – whether they have MS or not – has my sympathies.
“Eating, chewing and even having a cup of coffee proved difficult.
“It can be a common MS symptom but it can affect anyone. The pain is caused by of a nearby blood vessel pressing on what is the biggest nerve inside the skull.
What is MFR treatment?
“The treatment is extremely relaxing and hands-on and quite unlike deep tissue massage. It is not as invasive.
“The fascial system is a three-dimensional spider’s web that connects and surrounds every system and cell in the body from head to toe.
“Only trained therapists can carry it out. They focus on key trigger points affected by your condition, to restore harmony and get the spider’s web working as it should!
“It can help crippling back pain, IBS, sports injuries, Crohn’s Disease or Fibromyalgia or the lightning-like strikes you can get in your cheek or cheeks through facial nerve pain.
“I only had the pain in my left cheek. Others have it on both sides but Karen – the therapist – placed what seemed like healing hands on the muscles in my face.
“It was not only relaxing but after three years of quite strong tablets to counter the nerve pain it was uplifting and refreshing in equal measure.
“My balance was all over the shop in the last few months. I had fallen, hit my face on the bathroom sink which made me look like I had sparred with boxing champion of the world, Josh Taylor.
‘Treatment speaks for itself’
“MFR was an unknown therapy for so long but the more I got into the treatment the more I wanted to know.
“The treatment has proved so popular getting an appointment for another session has proved difficult.
“Many professional sports teams value the merit of the healing hands approach of this treatment. I certainly do.
“There is no evidence or any long-term studies of how, even if, the treatment works on MS. But I and many others swear by it and the evidence speaks for itself across so many illnesses.
“I think the medical profession and other support bodies should look further into it too.”