Knitting needle sensation through ribs

I’ve had this for well over 20 years now. Sometimes, no rhyme nor reason to it I breath in and get a very painful sharp long knitting needle jabbing pain go trough where my heart is and sometimes the other side (but mainly left)… It’s worse if I try and breath and I end up thumping the area and yelping like a puppy. Lasts on average 15 to 20 seconds and then it might not return for a day… sometimes a month… sometimes longer.

Is this something everyone gets or what?

I’m having to get my head round the fact I was brought up with “Living is painful you know!” drummed into me from my Mother from my teenage years on… it has resulted in me ignoring a lot of painful symptoms because I honestly believed I was just hyper sensitive to as she put it “Your body has to do a lot of things, if you concenrate on it you will feel the pain!”

I told my hubby and specialist this when I went in for tests the other day and they were both gob smacked that I am in pain all day every day and never say anything or take meds.

So now I am making lists of all the things that ail me and when this one came up I wondered if it was normal or should be written down… might be an odd high stitch for all I know!

I should have known Mother was talking bunk really as I gave birth to 5 children at home without pain killers so I’m clearly not a wuss

odd I didn’t hit anon… did I? lol

Oh well It’s me :stuck_out_tongue:

Sounds like the MS Hug.

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

Check with GP.


I don’t know what it is, or whether it is is indeed the Ms hug or anything related at all, but I definitely know exactly the pain you are talking about - it doesn’t happen for very long and comes out of nowhere! Interestingly I often have a similar thing happen in my toes so interested to read about the foot thing in ggood’s post. Leah :slight_smile:

if youve had it for 20 years off and on, then realistically its unlikely to be MS, I do know the pain you mean and its horrible, if I remember rightly (which is extremely unlikely these days!) its something to do with digestion, but I may be well off track on this. Worth mentioning to your doctor though, you can’t take chances with chest pain.

Not sure about the ‘hug’ as it doesn’t hang about too long. There are times I can go a few years without the jabbiness and then other times it happens a few times a week. It’s like someone is getting a long tent peg and driving it right through my chest just under my boobage lol

Takes my breath away and makes me bend towards it to try and ‘protect’ myself I guess… then it will pass but ‘niggle’ throughout the day.

OK so it will go onot my list as a possible ‘thing’

Leloe… yeah I get sharp deep muscle jabs too but they stay longer and I have learned to live with them as they don’t catch my breath like this one.

Can someone please tell me how to search the forum please? No matter which search I use I get randomness … not exact threads with my search term.

For example I wanted to search for Harcombe diet but all I got was Forum FAQ as a result?

I just found this on the LUPUS site!

Perhaps it is Lupus I have and not MS… although that wouldn’t explain the optic nerve thing would it?

“By far the commonest complaint is of pleurisy - sharp pains in the lower parts of the chest (usually round the side or at the back) on breathing deeply in.”

This sounds like it but I don’t have it ALL the time. This doesn’t explain if it is all the time or sudden. I have the face rash, Raynauds and pains too…

Are many MS patients misdiagnosed with Lupus and visa versa?

I laughed when I read about the knitting needle. A few years ago, I had an MS relapse with assorted symptoms, one of which was a witch stabbing a knitting needle into my chest at a single point. It was nasty enough to disturb my sleep, and I took Tegretol to calm it down - worked well. Then it went away when the relapse activity receded. So I would say that the demon knitting needle is certainly something that MS can do, in my experience.


Thank you Alison… SUCH a complicated thing isn’t it!