unable to breathe at weekend- is this ms hug?

Ihad a bad experience over the weekend when I was away , quite suddenly I could not breathe and felt like someone was sitting on my chest. This lasted for several hours. When I got back to work on tuesday the same happened again I was taken to A&E and it was decided that it might be asthma or something to do with my MS. I have never been asthmatic but the symptoms that I had were extreme to say the least. I have since been told that it could be an MS hug as all investigations in A&E came back o.k. Please advise.

Julie xx

Hello Julie,

I had something once that i put down to ms hug as it couldn’t be explained either.

I had really bad squeezing/tightening round my ribs for several days and i was in a lot of pain. My breathing was slightly affected but not as severe as yours.

I saw my GP who sent me for an ultra-sound scan and of course nothing was found.

I had it again a few weeks later but not as painful the second time. I have not had it again in the last 6 years.

If it persists perhaps you can get some medication for it. Have a chat to your ms nurse as she should be able to help.


Thank you for your comment Teresa,

I think it is fair to say that we put up with a lot having MS but not being able to breathe takes it to a whole new level !

Thanks again for your opinion,

Julie xx

Hi Julie, it does sound like hug I’m sorry to say.

It is always worth getting it checked out just in case it’s something else going on… so it’s good you went to hospital and had tests.

Don’t know what med’s you are on but I find Amitriptyline has helped my hug… I still get it but not so severe.

Below are some ‘copy and paste’ tips that might help. It’s a horrid scary symptom but keep in mind that although very painful it can’t actually harm you.

Pat x

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

· 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