Tight Chest

Hi everyone. Yesterday I had a really tight chest. I don’t smoke, haven’t got a breathing complaint eg asthma but every breath felt like hard work. Is that what some of you describe as me hug? Everything felt much better by bed time. I’ve never experienced it like that, lasting for so long before, maybe the odd half hour, which I put down to heart

It sounds like a stupid question, but I’ve read me hug somewhere and just wanted to know as if it is that then I won’t worry if it happens again. Thank you and I hope you’re all feeling better now that it’s cooling down a bit.

Cath x

Hey Cath, I’m sure someone with more knowledge will write in BUT if it’s a servere pain I wouldn’t hang about - get it checked. Not everything is MS! On the other side if this, I had a pain in the center of my chest and I was somewhat worriedMy GP just ‘looked’ at me and said that’s anxiety 'you think’Check your pulse rate, if it’s steady - relaxM

I get tightness in my chest too, feels like my stomach has been shifted up a bit so there’s not enough room in there. It only seems to happen when I’m all relaxed. Like Min, I put it down to the hug as I do feel kind of squished, it’s uncomfortable but not painful.

Sonia x

It wasn’t chest pain as such, or even heartburn, just as if I’d pulled muscles in my chest and they’d formed a tight band. Thanks for your responses, it’s much better today, probably just slept funny.

Cath x

Hi Cath and Sonia, yes sounds like MS hug.

I’ve had it on-and-off for a few years and it really is awful… also it comes in various forms which makes it all even more difficult to work out if hug or now. Sometimes painful, sometimes just tight feeling like wearing a corset and sometimes like you say Sonia, as if not enough room there. Also note, it can be on one side only as well.

I’ve got a ‘copy and paste’ list of tips here… some of it might help (hope so). My main tip though is to see it as a sign that you are overdoing it… either physically but also taking on too much stress and worry… although lowering stress I know is much easier said than done!

Anyway here’s the list.

It’s a spasm of the small muscles between the ribs. Here are some tips that might help:

· It can go all around your rib area, or only in part of rib area… up high on ribs or low down on ribs… or it can be only on one side of ribs

· Sometimes the affected area will be extremely itchy

· 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… lying completely flat often helps… although some people find lying down makes it worse… so try different positions to see if one works better for you

· Take 2 Paracetamol… if you are not on other pain med’s… or try one Paracetamol & one Ibuprofin (no more than 3 times a day)

· 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

· Recently I’ve discovered that if I eat something small, eg bowl of cereal, it seems to relieve the hug for a while. Not sure why but it’s worth a try.

· I have read that some people find relief by tying something tight around the affected area (a scarf maybe). So it might be worth trying to see if it works for you.

Pat x

Thanks Pat :slight_smile:

I much prefer wearing corsets tho (another thing I need to ebay!) You’re in control of how tight etc!

Sonia x

Sonia and M and Pat

I thank you all for your responses. I’m still in the early days after dx and all of these symptoms really annoy me. I am very busy and very stressed at the moment, and realizing that the fatigue I experienced earlier and thought was very debilitating hadn’t nearly got this bad. I’m still trying to keep positive and smiling but I’ve a feeling I won’t be awake much longer. I think my chores are nearly done then I can nod off for an hour.

Thanks again and I will definitely make notes from your post Pat and see what helps, you’re a treasure.

Cath xx

Oh bless you Cath, I’ve a new-found love of weekends, I can have a (long as I need) nap 2 days of the week :slight_smile:

Sonia x

Cath - I don’t suppose you take nitrofurantoin as a prophylactic dose to prevent UTIs do you? I do and my GP has told me to come off it as it has been proven to cause pulmonary fibrosis. A tight chest would be a symbol of this! If not, take no notice of this! Teresa xx

Not symbol - symptom! Stupid iPad!

Thanks Teresa. No I’m not on any prophylactic antibiotics but I do take large doses of Gabapentin, Amitriptyline, and Morphine. As I said though I’ve a lot of stress. I’m still fighting my critical illness policy holders, trying to sort out and sell my house and qualify for the new one I want. That’s life though, we all have busy lives and stress of some description. xx

Hi Cath, Cannot believe, you are still fighting your insurance company…they really are the lowest of the low. I imagine they are just trying to wear you down. I recently had a problem with a large company who were being totally unreasonable…after a million phone calls I was getting nowhere…so frustrating…quite by chance I mentioned the local press…hey presto as if by magic it was all sorted out. Maybe worth a try with the Halifax ? Good luck…all extremities crossed for you! Nina x

Not happened to me, yet!, although it sounds pretty ghastly. One tip; have you tried saunas or steam rooms? Most gyms have them, and the steam room really does help with my breathing, which is usually crap all through the summer as I’ve always suffered from acute hay-fever, which MS just makes worse!

Hi Nina, yes I’m still fighting. I went to the Financial Ombudsmen but they keep finding more reasons to delay, I threatened BBC and one of the top dogs phoned me the following day, but they’re still finding ambiguous comments in every medical report. I contacted BBC as I don’t believe in making threats I’m not going to pursue but it’s all too much for me.

I phoned Halifax again on Tuesday and got the usual brick wall and ended up in tears. It’s okay for them to play silly beggars with case xyz, but what they don’t seem to care about is that xyz is a person, me, and I’ve had to put my house on the market but will try to hold off the sale until they’ve paid out. Their treatment of their clients is disgusting, but I suppose the real problem is these selfish lazy individuals who don’t want to work and know how to play the system.

Sorry about the rant but I’m now at the point where I want to slit my wrists, or throat when I have to phone them again, which unfortunately is tomorrow again. I’m not a nasty,violent or vindictive person but I do wish this illness and hassle on whoever it is making my life hell. Thanks for your concern Nina, and I’d be very grateful if anyone in this predicament has any suggestions on where I go next.

Thanks, Cath xx

Cath, I was going to reply as I work in the industry but what with client confidentiality etc. etc. I’ll drop you a PM tomorrow. In the meantime, did the Financial Ombudsman Service uphold your complaint or haven’t they responded yet? The FOS are really backed-up what with the deluge of PPI complaints but I can assure you that they are an amazing organisation, and whilst they are impartial, they look at what a consumer understood they were buying etc. Don’t give up! Gah, my return key is still not working here so sorry for the big lump of text! Sonia x

I am suffering with a tight chest but I also have a cough to go with it . Had a chest x-ray today but not expecting that to show anything up . Diagnosed with MS in 2009 have problem with my legs and pain in my feet .

Hey Anon,

it does sound like you might have a chest infection :frowning: Hope your x-ray result is OK.

Sonia :slight_smile: