MS hug

Can anyone tell me what there experience of the Ms hug is like?

If got like a kinda tightness just under my ribs, like my bra is still there or like ive got a corset on that needs loosening. It goes round to my back which feels like ive pulled it, its really strange and im scared. 


Poppy xx

Gosh how to describe what I get.

I can get the mild ones were it feels just like an anxiety attack.Tightness in the chest and difficult to breath.They usaly last a few minutes.

Or like the past two nights waking up due to stress as if I am being squeazed of my last breath,I was so frightened I thought I best call a doctor.I didnt call the doctor.It lasted each time for well over an hour.I felt dizzy and very sickly as well.


Oh gosh how awful for you! Have you spoken to your neurologist about those? there must be something to help? Ive been feeling dizzy/light headed today and its only today ive experience the 'ms hug' So i guess i could be actually experiencing it??

Poppy x


Hi Poppy x

For me the 'hug' was one of the symptoms that led the docs to suspect MS in the first place and is one of my most frightening symptoms too!

The first time it happened was a couple of years ago when I started having sudden painful spasms and a crushing sensation around my whole chest area. It started with the odd spasm that would last a minute or so then ease off – but it was so severe it would literally stop me in my tracks.

As the days went on the spasms became more frequent until they were coming in constant crushing - agonising waves!!! My poor husband rushed me to A&E convinced I was having a heart attack! This episode went on for around 3 weeks in tota but slowly easing in severity. I think this was my first big relapse - as I had other symptoms with it

The second severe episode was 18 months ago. Again I started with 'flu like' symptoms - extreme fatigue - generally feeling unwell - feeling boiling hot but no high temperature - aching stiffness and spasms in my legs - then came the chest ‘squeeze’ again but this time my actual stomach itself started violently spasming as well. After a couple days I went to my GP who just handed out more painkillers and something to stop my stomach spasm – none of which helped - again it lasted over 10 days. But this time I was referred to various specialists for a variety of tests and eventually after lot's of things ruled out here I am in limboland seeing a nauro!!

Since then it comes & goes but has never been so severe as those first two episodes - thank god!!

I also constantly feel like there is something tight, crushing round my middle and I also get a lot of cramping spasms under my ribs - sometimes both sides which can make me feel short of breath.

It's not nice - very uncomfortable on times and I'm always terrified it's going to 'flare' lik eit did before! Fingers crossed it'll not happen as bad as that again!!

So - basically that's the 'hug' for me!

It seems to be (like lots of MS Symptoms!) the same - yet different for everybody - if you know what I mean!! lol

Neuropathic painkillers and muscle relaxants can help happyflower xxxxjenxxx

Poppy I am waiting for an LP then its back to neuro,my GPS have been wonderfull and I think the stress I am under made the hug worse,hopefully now I can move on.

I am now thinking Jen when the doctor years ago diagnosed Anxiety Attacks that maybe it was actualy MS hug...

Im seeing past symptoms were all possibly MS.


Hey Charlie x they are very scary - but there is no way they are anxiety attacks!! They come from the back and are definiitely muscle spasms - it feels like the nerves are 'over active x it really annoys me when docs make assumptions that then makes you think 'ok that's what it is!!' - then later - when you are learning more & more about the disease you realise that they were wrong - and could possibly have helped you with that particular symptom a long time ago!!

Hope you get sorted soon lovely - it's hard being on your own & having to cope with all this - at least the little ones, friends, family etc keep you busy all day - nightime is always the worst time xxxxxxxxxx


Jen I now think I was missdiagnosed.

I can get them so bad my head feels its restricted and in pain,almost ready to pop,I do feel they are very much like an anxiety attack,I have had them for many years.In times of stress they are very frightening,you do think omg heart attack.

Yes I am certainly learning a lot from this forum and how things were missdiagnosed or missed as being part of MS,I didnt know all these symtoms existed but I now understand.A little shocking though I may say,but now I know whats going on and why I can kinda move on.

Your right about family and friends however even though I have gained a lot of friends family are starting to ignore me.If I moaned all the time how ill I am I could understand all I appear to be is there crutch to lean on when they need me or to lend money when they need it.But they are on higher money than me,I only get a small amount and have to pay towards my rent out of my own poacket,I feel as I cannot be there for them 24/7 and at there beck and call they ignore me,oh well I will remember next time they are on the door step crying for help.

But I have wonderfull friends who mean the world to me.x


Please excuse my spelling my brain acts like I have dyslexia...

Hey Poppy (Hugs)

Hows the tightness? Reading your post made me think of MS hug straightaway. I had symptoms of the hug a few months back and it was terrible. It lasted a week and exactly as you decsibed it felt like an overtight corset or boa constrictor (mine was just on the L).

I almost took myself to A&E becuase it was so uncomfortable to take a deep breath. It was really scary.

I tried breathing exercises, yoga, distraction, hot water bottle, co-codamol, analgesics nothing really shifted it but the painkillers made it slightly more bareable.

Hope you're feeling better. It really is a horrible sensation.



I was asking about the ms hug last week Poppy. I get this horrible feeling that starts under my left rib and spreads round to my back. Really painful. When I went to docs about it last year, I was told prob a pulled muscle. The pain of it made my heart pound too as it was a crushing pain. I also get back spasms that make me stop in my tracks. They are really painful.

Funny when you look back on things how you can see possible misdiagnosis. 

Good luck to you all xx