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Body All A-Buzz

Body All A-Buzz

Yesterday, my husband and I went for a nice long bike ride. The weather was particularly warm for Autumn and the sky was gorgeously clear. I was compelled to take advantage before it gets really cold.

We packed up the bikes, parked near the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) trail, and rode at “breakneck” speed to points west of town. I’ve loaded the MapMyRide app on my phone and was using that to keep track of our ride. It was fun to hear our distance, time, average speed, and split speed every mile.

For the first six miles, we averaged 15 miles/hour. It was so cool!! Then we hit some serious hills and long, slow inclines. Our speed slowed to about 8.5 miles/hour. Rob could have gone faster, but I was pushing as hard as I could. My competitive streak was a little less than subtly hidden and I wanted to see what I could do.

Our half-way point was my mother-in-law’s house. There were a few things she wanted Rob to do and I needed some rest. She was kind enough to feed us before we hit the trail again. We took a slightly different way back and averaged 11.75 miles/hour for the first five miles, then slowed to 10.15 miles/hour for the remaining 3.5 miles.

I stopped at a bench about half-way back to our car. Rob and I were just chatting. I mentioned to him that my body was buzzing like crazy. “My body feels like what I imagine a vibrating bed would feel like,” I told him. Not just my legs, but an all-over buzz.

My MS lesions have always been located in my cervical spine and sensory changes are one of my more common symptoms. There have been times that after walking a distance, I haven’t been able to feel my feet or legs at all. Totally numb, but tingling like jumping beans or bubbles were under my skin.

Physical exertion is not the only time I feel this “jumping bean” sensation. Sometimes when I haven’t slept enough and am awakened much too early in the morning, my body feels all jiggling, tingling, and bubbly, particularly under the skin of my thighs and torso. My cat is often the culprit of these early morning awakenings.

The tingling seems to be strongest just before I completely wake up. It seems that being fully conscious can quickly overcome the cognitive confusion of feeling like you’re in a swirling hot tub without the tub or the hot water.

Altered sensations, called paresthesias, can be caused by different things. If you’ve put pressure on a nerve for an extended period of time, like while sitting cross-legged for too long, you might feel “pins and needles” when you try to get up. But the sensation quickly goes away once the pressure is relieved. Paresthesias can also be caused by an underlying neurologic disease, such as MS, or traumatic nerve damage.

My buzzy, bubbly, jumping-bean sensations would rank as curious in severity level. They do not reach pain, but they do warn me that perhaps I have done too much or need more rest. As I’m sitting here with my legs up and typing this post, my legs continue to buzz. It’s much less intense than it was on the bench, but still present in a strangely pleasant way.

Not everything about MS is painful or disabling; sometimes MS can be curious and peculiar.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Camp
    8 months ago

    if symptoms are tolerable like mostly tingling and buzzing, then is a general consensus not to use any kind of medication?

  • Lisa Emrich moderator author
    8 months ago

    Hi Camp,
    If you are thinking of disease-modifying drugs, then many neurologists will want to get a patient started on treatment no matter the type of severity of symptoms. If you are thinking of symptomatic medications, then perhaps nothing is necessary for mild symptoms. There is a medication, gabapentin, which is sometimes prescribed to reduce the severity of sensory symptoms such as numbness, tingling, buzzing, or pain. I hope that helps.
    Best,
    Lisa

  • Camp
    8 months ago

    I want advice, I’m not sure what I have. I have not been able to see a doctor yet so I have no diagnosis.

    I am hoping what I have is sensitive skin and not MS. With MS can you have sensations like I mention below on all different parts of your body?

    Coinciding with switching from using coconut oil to olive oil (olive oil has never caused problems before) all over my body as a lotion, for the past eight days when I lie down to rest I feel a crawling sensation on various parts of my body. It’s not all at once. It might feel like a fly is landing on my nose and then my knee, then later on my shoulder back, torso, then on my foot. So it is not the same area where I feel the sensation. I’ve also been under a lot of stress and wonder if it’s just nerves.

    For a few years on and off, when I lie down to rest I will feel some crawling sensations on my face, often on or around my nose. I have sniffed sesame oil to lubricate my dry nasal passages. I have extremely sensitive skin and have felt the same crawling sensations when someone used sesame oil when massaging me and the sensations went away later.

    So I stopped using the olive oil on my body a few days ago but I still have the sensations.

  • Shelby Comito moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi @camp, thank you for reaching out. I can imagine these crawling sensations must be so frustrating and uncomfortable! One of our advocates also experiences this and shares about it in these articles: https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/creepy-ms/ and https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/ghoulish-side-ms/ I hope these help. I do encourage you to speak with your doctor to ensure you get the care you need. I hope you find answers and relief soon! Best, Shelby, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Estelle
    1 year ago

    My left leg is always in discomfort with my MS which I have had for many years. I have more discomfort when I go to bed at night and it keeps me awake however I feel the (pain) all day. I guess one just calls it a sign of MS

  • Lisa Emrich moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi Estelle,
    I’m sorry that you experience so much pain. I know that it can really disrupt sleep. Although you’ve been experiencing this for years, please be sure to mention to your doctor how the pain is messing with your sleep.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Lisa

  • Mascha
    2 years ago

    Thank you for this article!!! I had this a day ago and had no clue what it was. I got very stressed as my whole leg got really numb for a while and then very painful and burning in my leg for an hour. I never had it this bad.
    I also get this when i need to get out of bed too early.
    Thank you!!!!

  • Lisa Emrich moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi Mascha,
    I’m sorry that you had such an intense, painful experience recently. I”m glad that this article resonated with you. I hope that it doesn’t get that bad again, but if it doesn’t maybe it won’t be quite as disruptive since you know what’s going on. Thanks for commenting!
    –Lisa

  • Grandma5
    3 years ago

    I also have this feeling in my calfs. It is so hard to explain to everyone but I like your explanation and think I will start using it. I agree that MS is not always painful just peculiar. Thank you

  • Estelle
    1 year ago

    Yes I find it painful when one gets to 83 years and has no way of helping it go away.

  • Lisa Emrich moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi Grandma5,
    Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
    Best,
    Lisa

  • mbrhapsody
    3 years ago

    My legs get like that after exercise; I think of it more as a “reverb” because it seems to activate a new buzzing sensation each time my foot hots the ground. I sometimes wake with it too and it becomes a restless leg event.

    I tried to describe it to a friend recently. Her little girl –who I didn’t think was really paying attention to my boring health issue–suggested maybe I had “sparkles” in my legs! It made me laugh and it’s a really nice way to think about it..And if re-framing it into leg sparkles doesn’t work, Gabapentin seems to help quite a bit.

  • Lisa Emrich moderator author
    3 years ago

    Hi mbrhapsody,
    Sparkle and reverb are great ways to describe the sensation. You and your friend’s daughter are brilliant. Thanks so much for sharing. And I’m glad that gabapentin helps too. I hadn’t thought about whether I get this “reverb” feeling more since I haven’t been taking gabapentin for face pain in a while. Something to consider.
    Best wishes, Lisa

  • Pat
    3 years ago

    First I couldn’t do that bike ride to save my life! Kudos to you

  • Lisa Emrich moderator author
    3 years ago

    Thanks so much, Pat! I’m still amazed at myself for being able to ride. In fact, my husband and I started a new BikeMS team and plan to ride this summer. We are the “Low Gear Loungers.” 🙂

  • potter
    3 years ago

    I have the buzzing in my legs, it tends to go away if I sit down when it first starts. When I first started having the buzzing I would keep walking. Now it is starting to get painful if I don’t find a place to sit down. You just have to figure out what works for you. Potter

  • Lisa Emrich moderator author
    3 years ago

    Hi Potter, You’re absolutely right. We each do need to figure out what seems to work for us. I’m glad that you’ve found a way to reduce the pain. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Best, Lisa

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