To hug or not to hug..

Hey ladies & gentlemen I’ve got a question that I’ve been meaning to ask you’s - regarding the ms hug.
Apologies in advance if this doesn’t quite make sense. I’m finding it kinda difficult to describe/explain accurately.
Anyhoo… I’ve read lots of different peoples experience & descriptions of it on here but I’m still not sure if what I get is indeed said, ‘hug’.
I get this crippling pain that basically takes my breath my away & I can’t do anything but fold forward until it passes. It feels like something is taking a huge bite out of my torso from the inside. It’s not always the same side though, can be left or right & sometimes is only there for a few minutes but there are times it’s there for hours & I end up crying with the pain.
It’s definately not trapped wind. I’ve got & had a lot of gastro problems over the years & this is different from those types of pain.
I duno, is this the hug d’u think?
Sometimes I get super sensitive pain along my rib cage, leading to my sternum. It gets that sore & sensitive it’s almost like when I had shingles & just my t shirt rubbing was enough to send sparks of shooting burning pain off. This one is definately the lesser of the two evils though & I do get this one more frequently than the invisible great white shark yanking on my insides (thankfully) but I’m just wondering if what I’m slevering on about here is the ms hug?
I’m seeing my neuro next week for the obligatory yearly check. I’ll be mentioning it while I’m there, I just know that you lot are better to ask since you know what I’m talking about. Are there any meds I could suggest to try? I’m on tizanidine, amytriptaline, dihydrocodeine & the rest are all thyroid & gastro related meds. Just wondering if there’s anything else anyone has success with & do you’s think this is the hug?

I have no experience of the hug but I just wanted to say get it checked out by your GP it’s too easy to blame everything on MS therefore too easy to miss something else.

Sounds horrendous hope you get some relief soon.

Jan x


Nope can’t help but it sounds awful. Here is a nice hug (@) all the way from Margate XXX Don


Hi Libertine, YES it’s the hug.

I’ve been getting it for a few years and what you describe is definitely it! Can be on either side… or all the way around… and can last from a few minutes to a few hours (& I’ve heard of people having it for days… thank goodness I’ve never had it that long!)

As you probably know, it’s a spasm of the small muscles between the ribs.

Ok… a few things that help. Don’t wear a bra! It irritates those muscles and causes hug.

As with all things MS, keep cool, avoid stress, try not to over-do it.

Lie flat on the bed (although the instinct is to bend over so I know it’s not easy).

Some people find that tying something around the area of the hug helps… so binding a long scarf or something around your ribs is worth a try.

I always used to take 1 paracetamol plus 1 ibuprofin for it… it helps… but then I got baclofen and that helps much more. It’s a drug you don’t have to take every day. I take it only when I’m having spasms and / or hug.

It’s really an awful pain and quite scary so I completely sympathise. Tell your neuro and if you haven’t got baclofen, ask for some.

Oh one more thing, it’s something that can go away for ages. I’ll get it on and off regularly for months and then it goes away for months… and I do think I get it more when something is stressing me out.

Hope this helps,

Pat xx


PS… the sensitivity that you are getting also sounds like it could be hug. Anyway I would say it sounds very MS.

Pat xx


I think because I don’t get it like a constant symptom, like the rest of mine are, that made me unsure if it is the hug but Pat what you said makes sense. I’m not glad you get it too but I’m glad you know what I’m meaning. I’ll try an lie down the next time it bites me like that but when it comes on, it honestly seems to make it worse trying to straighten up. I normally get it when I’m standing up aswell but I’ll really try to get myself onto the couch or bed & see if that helps ease it off a bit. Makes me swear like a trooper when it bites but I’ll give the ibruphofen a shot aswell, thanks for that. The sensitivity I seem to get sitting watching tv. I can handle that one though, It’s nothing really compared to that internal ripping, urgh it’s horrid! I love sharks & cos I’ve been watching the shark series that’s on bbc just now it made me think - it’s like a shark bite! I’ll definately be mentioning it to my neuro next week, always best to keep these little ms gems documentated isn’t it? Thanks for all your replies & your ‘nice’ hugs Don

Rose x


If it’s much worse when you straighten up you better stick to whatever feels better.

Try lying on bed curled up in foetal position.

One more thing, sometimes if it doesn’t go away, if I eat something small, like a bowl of cereal, it will go away. Not sure why but it’s sometimes worked well for me.

Pat xx

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Oooh I never thought about having something small to eat. Even if it’s something light, like a yogurt or muller rice pudding kinda thing? Aye, I’ll be trying that out for sure next time it bites me. I’m the same Pat (thankfully)… It comes on me for a week or so on & off then it won’t happen again for months & I almost forget about it until BANG! “Hello Rosie… you didn’t think I’d forgotten about you did you? Well I haven’t, so here’s a double dose to make up for what you’ve missed - You’re welcome! Your loving little fiend Ms”