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"MS Hug" - how does it manifest itself?

Hi there

I was wondering if any of you lovely people could give me an idea on exactly how the “MS hug” manifests itself.

I am awaiting my first Neuro appointment and, among many other things, have started to get horrible pains in my ribs. These pains move around a bit, but are always in my ribs, front and/or back, and are quite painful. I also get this feeling sometimes that I just need to take a really deep breath to fill my lungs with air so I can breathe properly.

I am also experiencing almost constant tingling on my right side, all around where most of these pains are (I have had them on the left side as well, but mostly on the right). I have many other symptoms, including constant tingling/numbness in my legs and right arm, but this pain is really getting me down.

Does this sound like it could be the dreaded “MS hug”?

Hi Purpledot

I’ve only had the MS hug during one relapse and it wasn’t pleasant. I felt like I was being squeezed around the ribs just under where my bra sits and it did feel hard to breathe properly. Mine was mostly across my back and around the sides of my ribs but I believe the hug can be anywhere around the abdominal area. Luckily for me, the spasm only lasted 10-15 minutes at a time and it used to ease off if I relaxed and took a few deep breaths. A hot wheat pack can be helpful too but only for a short while as I overheat easily!

I think if you look on the symptoms section under What is MS you will find some more information. Hopefully someone else will come along and tell you what works for them too.

As you are undiagnosed at present, I would not worry too much about whether this is MS or even describe it to your neuro as the MS hug. It would be best to describe it to the neuro just as you described it to us as they are not keen on self-diagnosis. There are several conditions which mimic MS symptoms and the MS hug is basically a spasm of the abodminal muscles. Hopefully you are on the road to getting some answers very soon.

Best of luck for your neuro appointment.

Tracey x

Thank you Tracey. Don’t worry, I won’t let the Neuro know I spend my life googling symptoms etc these days!!!

My pain seems to be in the back mainly, but in between the ribs.

I will mention it to the Neuro and see what he says.

Thanks again for your reply.