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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 7/13/2006 1:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Everyone
Can anyone tell me what an MS Hug is?? I remember seeing that somewhere in my research, but don't remember the details about it. Reason i'm asking is something very scary happened tonight and i'm wondering if that's what i experienced. Suddenly...VERY chest got very very tight...hurt really bad and it felt as if my breath was compressed. Then the inside of my throat became numb. This only lasted a total of about 5 mins, but boy what a scary 5 mins!! Anyone know what this was?? Thanks everyone!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 7/13/2006 6:03 AM (GMT -6)   

What you describe sounds more like an allergic reaction to something you ate or drank, more than the "MS hug".

The "MS hug" is a sensation which occurs in any muscle group that wraps around -- usually it occurs with the muscles that wrap around your torso, but it can occur with muscle groups that wrap around a limb, or even your head and scalp.

Think of it like this: Your overweight but very loving Aunt Bertha, whom you haven't seen for years, comes to visit. And she is SO pleased to see her dear little niece, she runs up to you and wraps her chubby arms around you and squeezes you a bit...or maybe a lot..too hard. The Hug.

The sensation is a squeezing in, almost equally distributed, all around your chest.  You're CERTAIN your heart and lungs are being compressed -- they're not.  You're CERTAIN your diaphram is being stifled -- it isn't.  You're SURE your internal organs are being squashed -- they're not.

In fact, there is no internal damage at all.  Your ribs and back bone and all that are protecting everything inside.  It's just a sensation, a feeling, of compression.

Folks have run to the emergency room, convinced they're having a heart attack, or cant' breath, or something similar.  Generally if you just recognize that it is indeed the hug, and just let it happen, you'll breathe just fine, and over time, it will dissipate.  Sometimes that'll happen fairly quickly, within minutes or an hour or so; other times the sensation will linger longer.

I always experience "the hug" around my torso.  And sometimes around my head and scalp, a really weird sensation, as it feels like some giant is "kneading" my head, like you'd knead a mound of dough. 


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

got better things to do
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 7/13/2006 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Rhonda I am not to familiar with the MS HUG as you mentioned.Although,I am sure it is a very scary thing.Hope that you can figure out what caused that episode and let us know.I am still learning everyday about all the great features MS has to offer......God bless


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 7/13/2006 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Uppity and Life

Thanks for u'r replies. I think u'r right, Uppity, it may be an allergic reaction, but let me go further with this. Yes, it felt as u described...but only in my chest area. The numbness in my throat is not new to me, but that it happened just after the other part started was concerning to me. The numbness in my throat happened the night before last, but as in last night, it went away fairly quickly. I've come to accept things like that happening and now my attention in on the longevity of the symptom rather than the symptom it'self. This squeeze was something new and scary. The squeeze in my chest felt like i couldn't breath. At one point i could only hold my chest and sit. Of course i got some funny looks from my husband, but i've been getting them from him for awhile. ;) Yes, it felt like something was just under my skin mashing me from every direction...but i said under my skin. I didn't have any numbness ON my skin or other sensation there. It was all contained within my chest cavity, or so it felt. It hurt...but was progressively hurting...meaning a little..a little more...a LOT...a LOT LOT...then it began to subside. All in all in about 5 mins. The throat numbness lasted a little bit after the squeezing stopped, but not too much longer...maybe 15 mins or so. As long as i can swallow something i'm ok with that...and i did check! Went right to a glass of coke and tried it as soon as the other part stopped.

Yes, life, this is a feature filled world, isn't it?! I'm not dx with ms (or anything else) so i feel like i'm in a whirlwind at times. These funky things happen and there is no answer. Thank God for being able to come here and pick the minds of all u good folks. Thanks to u usual Uppity, GREAT explaination!


Post Edited (rhondab) : 7/13/2006 9:38:22 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 7/13/2006 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope you are better with whatever happened. Sometimes all these weird feelings that are going on with our bodies makes us scared and nervous. I try to stop and relax for a minute and then jot the feeling down in my journal so I can discuss with my neuro. Just remember that soon the docs will figure it all out and give us some answers.

Uppity, that was an amazing description. I had the hug a week ago while I was driving and I did think something was wrong with my heart. I did end up remembering about the hug and figured that is what it was. All these different sensations are a little unnerving at times but I'll make it through.

Thanks, for the words of wisdom.

When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

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