Another MS Hug Question

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 9/12/2006 10:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
Weekend before last, I had what I assume was a bad flare (given that I'm not dx yet.) I had horrible muscle spasms and stiffness which felt like a full-body Charlie horse for three days. I also, at that time, had what I think is the "MS hug". It felt like a pressure on my rib cage, like I was being squeezed by a python or something. But it was worse on the left side.

I've had this off and on again since last weekend. Today it's getting worse. It feels like my bra is too tight, only it's further down on my ribs than where my bra wraps around (my apologies to the men on board here.) It's also on both sides now and actually wraps around to my back. It's difficult to take a deep breath (kind of like when you've eaten a big meal and can't breath well afterwards.) But it doesn't exactly hurt, it just feels like pressure. (I'm realizing now that I've felt this before. It was a few months ago, and also either last summer or the summer before, I can't remember which.)

Do you think this is the hug? Or something else? Does the hug hurt? And will it go away?

Thanks and hugs (no pun intended!)

Post Edited (Shashi) : 9/12/2006 10:28:02 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 896
   Posted 9/12/2006 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lisa,
I had to be hospitalized 2 years ago for chest pressure. They thought it was heart related. I had tightness in my upper chest area. Nothing came up, I even had an angiogram, clear. Now, I know it was most likely the MS hug. As long as you're not running fever or having pain or nausea with it, it's probably the MS hug. (are you sure you don't have pneumonia or anything like that?)

When I get it, it usually lasts a couple of days and then it goes away. I haven't found anything that helps. Maybe someone else on here will have some helpful tips. Be sure to keep track of your symptoms in a daily log. :)
Michelle ><>
Don't be so busy doing good
that you neglect to do what's right!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 9/12/2006 11:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michelle,

No, no pneumonia or other lung conditions, no fever, no pain, no nausea. My heart is good too. It just feels like I'm being squeezed tightly around my ribs. Not very comfortable!!

I hope it does go away soon.



Counting My Blessings
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 9/12/2006 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   

Ugh - I feel for you!  The first time I experienced that feeling was about 6 months ago and I was actually pretty scared.  I'd never heard of the "MS hug" before so thought that I was having some sort of stroke or heart attack or something.  I have issues sometimes with anxiety so then I just figured that it was something related to generalized anxiety maybe.  Either way, it is an uncomfortable feeling that's for sure.  I personally didn't find anything that helped (not what you probablly wanted to hear, sorry).  I slept in a recliner though because laying down seemed to make it feel worse for me.  My experience with it only lasted about a week fortunately and I haven't had it happen again since so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I'll be thinking about you though - I know it's tough but just try to stay relaxed as much as you can.  For me, the more anxious I got about it, the harder it seemed to breath.  When it goes away and you can finally take that really deep breath again it will feel great!!!  I never realized how much I use to take something so simple for granted before!

Karla :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 9/12/2006 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I suspect it is indeed the MS hug. Be aware that your lungs (or heart or any other "innards") are in fact not bein squeezed -- it is a muscle sensation on the outside, and all the "stuff" inside is acting normally. It just FEELS like you can't take a deep breath. As Karla suggested, sometimes just knowing that it's the "hug" and not something more serious will decrease your anxiety level, and when that is decreased some, the "hug" won't seem so severe. Very uncomfortable, to be sure....
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/15/2006 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
New to this site. Ms since 93 but only diagnosed in 2000. I was doing a search on MS Hug and landed here. I first expierenced the HUG five years ago. It felt like someone was squeezing my chest and the breathe out of me. Would cause me to start to hyperventilate as I "thought" I couldnt breathe. Went to my nero and he didnt think it had anytthing to do with MS. Sent me for stress test, EKG lung x-rays, the works. And as the story of my life goes they found nothing physically wrong. Now 5 years later, the HUG started again. I know it's the MS but wife and friends want me to go to the doctor to run all the tests again. When I get the attacks now, I just try to relax and keep telling myself that I can breathe and the pressure on my chest will go away. And knock on wood, it always does.

Does anyone know of any relation between Stress and the HUG ?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 9/16/2006 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi dawg,

It sure sounds like the hug from what you are describing but if you are at all concerned, a trip to the doc couldn't hurt just to be sure. Stress can cause problems with MS, as you probably know. It can trigger symptoms or make things worse. The hug can sometimes indicate you are starting a flare and sometimes getting overheated will cause it as well. I hope you feel better, and welcome to the site!

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