MS Hug?

Hi Everyone,

i wonder if anyone can help me. In the past fortnight I have had to call the ambulance out thinking I was having a heart attack. I know it sounds drastic but honestly the pain was excruciating. So the pain was right in the middle of my chest and all my abdominal muscles were really tight and solid. The pain lasted for about 2 1/2 hours and went as quickly as it came. I need to know how to prevent this and to deal with it if it happens again.

Any help will be great


Hi , I’m not really sure but I had an incident about a year ago where I was struggling to breath and felt very right chest. They sent an ambulance but it was thought to be neurological I’ve not got an official ms diagnosis but I’ve been told my symptoms are neurological. Michelle and Frazer x

I dont think you can prevent this,MS likes to strike just when it wants.It can be very scary when you get the hug a lot of people think they are having a heart attack like you did.I have only had it a few times in the 25 yrs of my MS.I find a diazepam to relax the muscles can help a bit,and trying to stay as calm as i can,easier said than done when you are in agony.

I am undiagnosed awaiting LP results. My newest sympton which started about six months ago is what I call my bear hug. It feels as though my ribs back and front have been put in a vice. The pain makes me stoop over. To tru and work through it I concentrate on my breathing. If I lay down it seems to subside a bit. I get it about every couple of weeks and lasts a few hours. Does that sound like yours Michelle? I go and get in an Epsom salt bath. I hope you are o.k now Regards Kim Sorry that was for Jane

Hi Jane, I know only too well what the hug feels like, I have found that the best thing to do is not panic! Easier said than done, I do take an Amitriptyline tablet but I know these should only be taken at night really, you definitely shouldn’t drive after taking them, if possible lie down on the bed face down, anyway I’m going to paste some information that was given to me from this forum a few years ago. Wendy x

Much worse in heat

· Much worse when fatigued or stressed

· Don’t wear a bra (it irritates the muscles)

· Don’t wear tight clothing… the looser the better

· Avoid large meals… little and often is better

· Lie down in/on bed if you can… and lying completely flat often helps

· Take 2 Paracetamol… if you are not on other pain med’s

· Try controlling your breathing… deep in through the nose and slowly blow out of mouth… and try and relax whole body while doing it

· Stay as cool as you can but don’t have cold shower… luke warm is better

· Rest, rest, rest and then get some more rest (if at all possible)

· Gently rub the affected area. It might feel like it’s bruised… don’t worry, that’s normal

Thanks everyone for all your help. The problem I had yesterday was that as I’m wheelchair bound and live in my own I desperately wanted to get out off my wheelchair and either move around or lie down. My carers weren’t due so I rang 999. I felt really bad ringing them but they assured me I had done the right thing, they were so nice. Anyway after a couple of hours the pain went. I will put into practice all your ideas, thank you. I don’t want to bother the ambulance services again, they are busy enough.

Again many, many thanks. Jane X

You are not the only person to have dialled 999 after a bout of MS hug.