ms hug

can anyone give a description of ms hug please. i think ive had my 1st one - went to my gp who is now sending for blood and heart tests. i dont think he knows about ms.ive recently moved and changed gp . I felt my chest tightening all over and felt a little odd, sat down for a while and rested until it passed. :?

Hi Saffron That sounds exactly like an MS hug. When I experienced my first one I thought I was having a heart attack, and was told by my GP that it was a MS hug- I’d never heard if it before. I just have to breathe my way through it, sometimes they’re so bad I need to lay down until it passes. They last between 2 mins to at worst around an hour. I can get a few all in the same day and will usually have them for a few days, or I can go quite a while without a hug- just like everything else, unpredictable :roll: Hope you’re feeling better Take care Ashlee X

Hi I have had the MS hug twice. The second time it lasted for three days and I had phoned NHS direct ( on the 3rd day ) who told me that they would send an ambulance because of the symptoms I had described. I told them that I was sure it was the MS hug and not my heart and promised them that I would go to the Drs surgery the next day. I did this and was given an ECG It felt like a very tight band around my chest which was really restricting. Jaycie x

…I had the same a while ago Saffron, and experienced it the same way as you described. Thank you for your explanation Ashlee, as I remember how I felt!

Hiya, I had a spate of this happening a couple of years ago - very tight chest,heavy awkward arms, had to sit down until it went away - wasn’t pleasant when it woke me up at night, bt I find with most of my MS things that Nurofen helps. Most of the time when I have these hugs or weird sensations in my skin, my temperature is slightly raised, so the Nurofen helps bring it back down. BTW I was diagnosed asthmatic in my early teens because of symptoms very similar to the hug, but I have never once (luckily) had an asthma attack. It’s only now that I realise what was actually happening - isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing (as well as a pain in the bum!) Luisa x

For me it feels like a belt being pulled really tight, just under my chest. Not nice at all! Xx

Hi, Someone on here said it should be called a MS squeeze as a hug is something nice! For the ladies it feels like your bra is to tight - even if you’re not wearing one! Hope they don’t last long :smiley: Jen

I’ve never heard of this before but I’ve had feelings like the above poster describes as bra being too tight. Last night I had it when in bed and it lasted for a few hours, I’ve had this same feeling many times before but never associated It with ms, and never once mentioned it when I’ve seen my neuro?

I get this most of the time these days and find it hard to wear a bra. Someone suggested going gluten free as this can help MS spasms. I was on a gluten free diet for 2 weeks and the pains did seem better but I gave in as it was very expensive and do you know how much food contains gluten? Well a lot.

I try and keep my gluten intake to a minimum. I take Amitriptyline at night for the hug and have been advised to take Valium. My GP and I did not want to go down that route but some people say it helps.

Wendy x

I’ve had the hug before but it was mostly at the front, but now it’s spread to my back. I can barely turn to the side with the pain and have discovered to my cost that naprosyn and co codamol make no difference whatsover.

I can’t tolerate Gabapentin or Pregablin so my MS nurse has recommended duloxetine and I’m going to my doctor today to see if there’s anything else that could help. And for the rest of the day I think my bed and electric blanket are calling.

What have people tried that have helped, I feel like I’m going mad!

I have had what I think is the hug, a couple of times. Just had it now and had to sit down it was so intense. I only seem to have it on the left side. Does this sound like it? It was a very sharp stabbing pain.

I have had numerous MS hugs. I would describe an MS hug as a corset being tightened by The Rock. For me, I had trouble breathing when this happened. This makes sense as it’s the spasming of the intercostal muscles between the ribs.

I have also had MS hugs that are localized to one side of my body. I would feel this as pain in my ribs or just under my armpit. These showed up as your typical throbbing nerve pain.

But remember that MS symptoms are not a “one size fits all” deal.

I did not have any “specific” meds for my MS hugs. However I did find that regular tylenol did help a bit (although we all know tylenol is no miracle when it comes to nerve pain!). My MS hug would wake me up in the middle of the night a lot as it would typically happen when I rolled on my side. So I’d wake up feeling like I was drowning as I couldn’t breathe.

Aside from meds, I would suggest you get a supportive pillow if you are having trouble breathing (I used one of the contour ones). These pillows help you stay in good alignment and prop you up a bit to make it easier to breathe. But pay attention to what triggers your MS hug and try to work with that.

Secondly, stay far far away from tight clothes!! And rest is a miracle worker. Know your triggers and don’t push past.

Good luck to you and hope I have some helpful suggestions! :slight_smile:


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