can someone tell me what the ms hug is?

I have had pain in my chest since last night. I know its not coming from my heart. Its a tight pain when I move. Like if its muscular and I have strained myself. I’ve not done anything to strain myself. Its also going straight through to my back. I here people talk about ms hug. But don’t know what that is. I’m wondering If I am having relapse, as had crappy day yesterday at work. Had to leave early took a turn couldn’t walk taxi driver had to help me in to house. Then I had terrible pains in legs all last night. Was pure shattered with tiredness and never eat anything yesterday as had nausea feeling. Was depressed last night and was crying. Most of these are every day symptoms for me apart from the crying. But was like the big relapse I had last year. Couldn’t stop crying then. That’s why wondering if relapse and the chest pain is new thing. I still get confused after 5 years whats a relapse and what’s not.

i’m sorry that you’re feeling so horrible at the moment, i also went through plenty of weepy times. there’s no reason why you shouldn’t see your GP about possibly trying some kind of antidepressant, i was very pleasantly surprised that the ones i tried just gently nudged me back to my normal levels of mood.

i think lots of us have had problems knowing what is or isn’t a relapse, so you’ve got plenty of company. what you’re describing certainly sounds like an MS hug, i’d recommend either regular gentle stretching out the affected muscles, particularly before sleep, slowly develop a sequence of moves that work for you. there’s also trusty baclofen, a muscle relaxant, loads of us use that too, i would think other posters will suggest alternatives.

remember, sometimes we all need to cry, as an outlet.

take care,

wendy xx

Hi Violet,

hope you’re starting to feel better - MS can be a real bitch. Anyway the hug - like many symptoms I can only talk from my experience. When I first presented MS symptoms the hug was joint first along with an inability to lift my leg of the floor. For me it started with an itchy/tingly sensation on the centre of my chest. This then spread to the left all the way round to my spine. I’ve had it now for over two years everyday. It’s something you get used to. It’s worse at night as it interferes with sleep, whichever way I lie. I take Amytriptylin and Baclofen at night to help me sleep.

I’ve had Acupuncture to try and relieve it with some limited success. I currently live a transient life on a boat so can’t commit to regular acupuncture and it’s too expensive for me.

MS can be a real pain but you have to try and find the best way to deal with it.

i hope this helps but don’t know what else to say.

good luck


MS hug or girdle effect

Why does MS cause the hug or girdle effect?
This is a spasm-type symptom that is one of the more unusual effects of MS. Between each of our ribs are tiny muscles called intercostal muscles. These hold the ribs in place but provide flexibility at the same time. If these muscles go into spasm, the result can be uncomfortable or painful. This is sometimes referred to as ‘banding’.

People with this symptom of MS describe a burning or tight sensation which spreads around the rib cage, causing a crushing feeling that can range from uncomfortable to very painful. Sometimes it is accompanied by pins and needles. Most commonly felt around the ribs, occasionally the effect is experienced in the hands or feet.

Individuals with MS who experience the hug or girdle effect do not always have the same degree of intensity of pain. For some, it is no more than an uncomfortable feeling, which passes without the need for any treatment. Others, however, need pain relief to deal with the spasm. Analgesic cream, warmth and painkillers are all used to provide relief. Your medical professional will discuss how best to manage your pain and will bear in mind any other drugs you are taking