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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

What brings on the "MS hug" for you?

By May 31, 2012

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There are times that I am plagued with the "MS hug" all day - the pain on one or both sides of my ribs, also known as the "girdle-band sensation." Then there are days that blissfully pass without one twinge in that area.

However, I am noticing that for me, sitting in certain chairs means that I am more likely to feel "the hug." Also, very unfortunately, at times my daughters sitting on my lap or my husband resting his head on my thigh as he lays on the couch can really bring it on.

What about you? What causes the MS hug to act up for you? Share with us in the comments section - maybe this will help someone else identify a trigger and be able to avoid it in the future.

Read more about the MS hug:

May 31, 2012 at 1:20 am
(1) Ken says:

That’s the funny thing about MS.. My wife has been diagnosed for 20+ years, never had anything similar to an “MS Hug”. She’s never had any pain associated with it, just a lack of ability to walk and a bit of brain fog.

May 31, 2012 at 2:17 am
(2) Rich says:

Low testosterone. When my testosterone starts to get low the MS hug is the first sign. A little Androgel (5g daily) and it gets a little better. More Androgel (10g daily) and it gets a lot better. When I lost insurance and consequently the Androgel, the MS hug was a 24/7 symptom for me. When the MS hug bothered me the least my testosterone tested a little on the high side. So I’ve seen a direct correlation between the two.

Certain chairs do make it worse. Firm is the best. Hard (no padding) and soft (where you sink right in) are the worst. I bought a memory foam cushion for my desk chair that helps a lot but the little bit of added height makes me lean back too much. I haven’t found a fix for that yet. It’s less comfortable but less painful. Tough trade.

I’ve found that if I fix up the couch just so, with a pillow under my legs and pillows stacked so that I’m sitting up and about a 30 degree angle and I stretch one arm around my head and the other arm relaxed up over the pillows I can make the ms hug almost completely go away for a few minutes. I’m sure it’s different for everybody. Maybe my convoluted pose will inspire others to study the science of MS hug contortionism. :-)

May 31, 2012 at 11:20 am
(3) Bryan says:

The MS hug was one of my first symptoms. There may have been others before that, but the hug was the first one that was definitively linked to MS. Although I wouldn’t really describe it as pain. It just feels like I’ve got an ace bandage wrapped around my mid-section. It’s been my more or less constant companion for going on 10 years now. Between flares, it fades but never goes away completely. The hug getting tighter is often one of the first signs that I’m starting to flare.

June 1, 2012 at 10:31 am
(4) Josh says:

I too have yet to experience the MS hug. But, given the sporadic nature of MS, I am always aware that it might be there….

June 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm
(5) Daniel K says:

I had three flare ups before I finally started injection therapy. Each was about 6 months apart. After my second my neurologist made a “Possible MS” diagnosis. After my third there were no more questions on the matter. Unfortunately I waited 1 relapse too many IMO to get on Copaxone, as the MS Hug first appeared for me on that 3rd relapse, and it has stayed with me ever since (6 years), so it is a constant annoyance.

Some days it is worse than others, and I really have no idea why. When I’m still I can forget it is there. But I can wake up in the morning and it can be already at an obnoxious level. Like stiffness or numbness in my toes, it is one of those things that I’ve just learned to live with and mostly not think about all the time, but that’s partly because I don’t physically exert myself (and usually don’t have to).

I liken the feeling to leaning hard against the edge of a table – all the time. My Dad had a case of shingles last summer, producing a rash around his lower ribs area, and what he experienced was in part very similar to the tightness feeling of the MS Hug. That’s also a neurological disease. The cause may have been aided by stress. I can see how that may be the case since my MS Hug sensation will worsen if I’m more stressed out.

June 5, 2012 at 5:05 am
(6) toby.lee02 says:

take a look at all the info on vitamin D and ms at http://www.vitaminD3world.com

June 5, 2012 at 11:20 am
(7) Cathie says:

I was diagnosed Feb of 2011 with MS and the “hug” is my latest symptom. For me it is like a spasm or vibrating feeling. It is mostly in my chest and back but has spread out to my extremities on occasion.
When it is bad my chest feels tight and feels like my breathe is shallower. But if I focus and take deep breaths there is no restrictions.
At first I thought it was my heart and would freak myself out thinking I was having a heart attack. Then my heart rate would increase. But after having it for a few weeks, I can now tell it is not my heart and have learned to calm down and deep breath.
I sleep with pillows propping me up and it helps. Fatigue and stress make it a lot worse.

June 6, 2012 at 11:25 am
(8) Toni says:

My MS hug never goes away. It’s one the symptoms I have 24/7. Which I think if I have to have it then I’m glad it’s constant. If it was coming and going it would make me nuts!

June 6, 2012 at 11:25 am
(9) Leslie says:

I first thought I was having a heart attack…my husband out of town, so I drove like a mad woman to the hospital myself (blew a few red lights and parked in handicapped before I got my own sticker). They called it a panic attack so they put me on medicine. I have gotten a few more of these ‘attacks’ and last week had one so bad, at work – so I shut my office door, took my medication, panted, walked in circles, sat, almost cried and used a heating pad alternating between chest & back. The pain was from my rib cage to my neck…about 1.5 hours later it stopped hurting mostly. I have convinced myself that these are MS hugs, not panic (as I have not been stressed/panicked most of the times these occur).

As much as this is a horrible symptom – it helps me to read about others with the same symptoms – so I know I am not going crazy! Thank you all for sharing – it really helps me a lot (as I don’t really have any MS support – to share symptom stories with).

June 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm
(10) Kathy says:

Wow…this is timely. My “Hug” is back with a vengeance and I always think it may be poor posture or stress or fatigue, but there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. It just hurts. My left side feels like it needs to be stretched, hip hurts, shoulders burn and hurt. Sometimes, it even feels like I have an object stuffed under my ribcage. Aleve doesn’t help, exercise and stretching don’t help. I’m thinking stress is the main trigger for me. I’m much better at controlling stress than I used to be, but it is impossible to eliminate altogether. I notice my fatigue is worse during stressful times as well. It’s much worse in the winter for me too, so I’m going to check out the vitamin D article. Thanks to everyone for sharing….it helps to know I’m not alone!

June 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm
(11) TLDCA says:

I had a blast of “the hug” yesterday after I finished some mildly stressful work. Nailed me on my left side at the ribs. Eventually it went away. I have had this issue on and off for years and never knew what it was.

June 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm
(12) Lori Batchelor says:

Early in my MS “career” (dx 1990) I had several bots with the MS “hug”–before diagnosis, g/p thought it might be shingles but no such luck–it wasn’t something that could be treated! After several years and becoming secondary/progressive, it was not very bothersome, only once in awhile–always at stressful times. However, a few years ago, I started having the familiar feeling of tightness in my chest with severe pain–suffered for several months because I assumed the “hug” had returned but when I started vomiting regularly, g/p investigated further and it turned out to be gallstones! Something that could be fixed! Don’t “assume” every symptom is MS!

June 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm
(13) jack says:

For me one of the triggers for the “hug” (the crush would be more applicable) is sitting at a 90 degree angle. Also the composite of the chair determines the speed of when the hug begins. The best chairs for me are the plastic white chairs you may see on patios. The composite is softer and I allow my legs to stretch. Even in these type of chairs the pain will eventually begin. At home I have a stressless ottoman style chair which helps. I would also suggest any form of movement like walking, swimming for as long as you can prior to sitting will help with how long you can sit. Lastly to break the cycle of pain just get up and take a bathroom break or stretch. It is the most insidious of my ms symptoms. Best of luck to all of you.

June 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm
(14) Kate says:

Reading this I have suddenly realised that the intense pain I felt just a couple of years ago below my bottom right rib was most likely this! I have had “ms hug” but have never associated it with pain, just a feeling of pressure. So this pain I didn’t even consider to be MS related and had a scan to see if it was gall stones (it wasn’t). Although it’s always best to check for other causes of pain before assuming it’s MS anyway! Thnaks for this article!

June 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm
(15) Pam says:

Weird thing…

I didn’t get diagnosed until 2006. But, early in 2004, I had an allergic reaction to medication my doctor gave me. My thyroid went crazy, and I developed Hashimoto’s low thyroid disease (auto-immune!). When I was getting various tests on my thyroid and had a “tight necktie” feeling, I also noticed that my chest was tight like I had an Ace bandage wrapped around me! It was very uncomfortable and lasted a couple of months.

When I got diagnosed in 2006, I had the same chest tightness. Again, it lasted a few months.

I guess I’m lucky that it’s only a “tight” feeling and not pain like many of you experience. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

June 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm
(16) Carol Dallas, TX says:

The Hug was my first sympton in 1981 it disappeared and has not been back.,I do have perpetual tingles in my feet and my left calf. I was not diagnosed till 94. I am lucky no pain just tingles.

June 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm
(17) Nina says:

I have no cure or relief techniques to share – just the comradery of our misery. I get them when I have high levels of stress usually from work (in foreclosure – lots of stress). I take a warm bath, lay down and take ibuprofen but not until it gets really bad.

They come maybe a half dozen times a year and last for days, sometimes a week and they hurt. Feels like my entire torso is bruised. It’s very taxing and can distract my ability to concentrate at work much more than I like.

June 7, 2012 at 1:44 am
(18) Holly Jocoy says:

I am in my sixth year of MS and have yet to experience the MS hug. I just get numb areas, some shaking on my hands or arms.

June 7, 2012 at 2:52 am
(19) Tammy says:

I’m dealing with the hug right now, as I am writing this comment. I’m not sure how long I’ve had this particular symptom, but I know it is at least since early 2010. I wasn’t diagnosed until July 2011. As far as I can tell, the hug never goes away for me. It does vary in intensity though. Occasionally it’s severe enough to make me short of breath. I remember the first time it was that bad, it was shortly after I had my gallbladder removed, and the pain was in the same place! I thought there must be a problem with my liver or pancreas, since my gallbladder was gone. (My doctor at the time, thought the same thing.) Nope. They were both fine. Makes me wonder if the pain in my gallbladder was actually the “hug”, and the one stone they found was incidental. Oh well, there’s no way to be certain now.

I have no idea why it is worse sometimes than other times. I have no idea why it doesn’t go away. I will check back on this later though, to see if anyone else has any ideas.

June 8, 2012 at 12:08 am
(20) CherylW says:

I get it sitting in certain chairs..I THINK when my body has been more active than normal…I do this contortion to get it to stop…my husband is like..what in the world…..and I’m like..the hug again!…lol…I pull one leg up twist my body at the waist and bend over funny…i know I must look crazy..but it works….I can feel it starting to come on and if I twist just right…

Hard straight chairs will do it to me if I’m not careful…i’m back in college and whew….some of those chairs….and then there is one somewhere…hard wood…I don’t remember where, I just remember sitting in it two or three times (probalby out to eat) and it does the same thing…so there are two or three different things that trigger it….

June 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm
(21) Debra Pflaum says:

Thank you all for your comments. I have found the last while that pain/pressure on my right hip may just be an MS hug rather than just my lower back being out, though that may have started it. This can be dealt with as is more of an annoyance and may have to do with my chair, but I has some in 2004 that were very difficult to deal with. My body was transitioning from using Avonex weekly injections to daily Copaxone injections. I would get them at night when I was really tired and one would hit me. A painful tight band would form between my waist line to my knees which is the area most affected by my MS and would not let go. I could hardly breathe and it felt like I was caught in a vise that I couldn’t get out of. My husband rubbed my back and just held me until it lessened which could take up to an hour. I am so glad those days are done.

June 13, 2012 at 1:45 am
(22) milesap says:

get ccsvi treatment and like me your ms hug may disapear

June 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm
(23) Joanna says:

In 2011 I found myself with the MS HUG and it was so bad I was given iv treatment. Since then MS HUG has not left me. I still struggle with it everyday. Having some high peak moments and some where it holding at a constant dull . I was remembering when I got hit with ribcage discomfort more then once back in the days when I was so very active and didn’t know MS even exsisted . I hurt so bad and my doctor prescribe a brace b/c he too didn’t think of MS in me. By time more things were happening and every doctor I went to thought I came from another planet. Then finally found one who hit it right on the mark. So I am still trying to figure this whole MS thing.

July 7, 2012 at 4:26 am
(24) Lisa says:

This starts in my shoulder blade and radiates down my back and arm. It is breathtakingly painful. The only thing that eases the pain is to use my microwave beanie on the areas affected and to relax in bed. I also get very very sick and can’t keep down even water. The indigestion afterwards and throughout is unbearable

July 8, 2012 at 8:57 am
(25) Darlene says:

Sitting or standing in any position, every single afternoon I get slammed, very frustrating.

July 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm
(26) Lizzie says:

Does anyone get them from coughing or sneezing? Sometimes mine are triggered by that even stretching can bring one on. The worse ones are when they hit while sleeping. Thank you..

July 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm
(27) Eller says:

I’ve had many of these through the years and they STILL freak me out. It always feels like “the big one” and then I wonder if I should go to emergency. (I’ve only gone in once–before I knew about MS hugs.)
I, too, think my sitting position helps to bring them on. Occasionally I get “that feeling” and can ward them off by doing deep breathing and stretching. Often there is nothing I can do but get through it.
(BTW–I’m going through one right now–that’s why I’m on this site.) And YES–it does help to hear how others experience this beast!

July 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm
(28) tracy says:

I have had ms for 30 plus years, and I cannot believe that I never knew about the ms hug…I get it all the time…mainly at night..I just call it muscle spasms …it hurts alot but only for a bit..I’ve never shared my ms experience with anyone (except my family)…this feels good…it’s nice to read other people’s experiences. Thank you.

August 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm
(29) Paul says:

I have MS for 20 years now, still doing everything, even skiing a bit, but pain is my biggest symptom, though not the hug, back, legs, feet to a point I have been on every narcotic Rx to help it. They work a little, but don’t like taking too much because theymake me a bit sick if I go overboard.

August 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm
(30) Ruth says:

I will be dreaming that I’m being hugged too tightly by someone and wake up to having difficulty breathing….Does this happen to anyone else?

August 14, 2012 at 12:12 am
(31) Maureen says:

I’m showing this page to my doctor. I just visited him today trying to explain what I’m feeling. Found it hard to articulate. I have had pressure and a vibrating feeling off and on since diagnosis in ’07. Got really bad last week, like someone twisting my insides, affected my breathing, decided I was having a panic attack. THANK YOU all for sharing and giving this thing a name. Between this “hug” and the pseudobulbar affect (another wonderful topic) doc decided I am having a relapse so I am currenlty enduring the lovely Solu-Medrol aftertaste, but if it makes this vibration/pressure/pain “hug” go away (cross fingers), it will be worth it.

August 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm
(32) Jake says:

I’ve had the MS hug for two decades now 24.7. Some days its mild, some days it leaves me breathless. Lifting, sitting too long, and laying on my back or side too long at night are some of the things that can make it worse. Hard mattresses always make it worse. I always described it as a tight corset around my rib cage. The intercostal muscles are so tight I cannot fully expand my rib cage.
Two things help:
1) My wife does muscle work on the intercostals and back muscles (using the golgi tendon reflex to force the muscles to release).
2) After trying everything from muscle relaxants to Yoga with no success on improving the hug, I got desperate and tried medical cannabis. No, I never smoked in my life or did any drugs. If I have surgery I won’t touch narcotics, just deal with the pain. Had all of the reefer madness beliefs so it was difficult to go this route, but I reached a point where quality of life was near zero.

Within about fifteen minutes of using cannabis I can feel the hug’s tightness melt away. There will be some very minor tightness left but my breathing is vastly improved. When its bad (which can last weeks) I wake up at 4AM in the morning because I cannot breath. A nice slow joint and in thirty minutes I am back asleep (it used to take about three or four hours to decrease to a point where I could lay down again). Completely changed my life. Lasts about four or five hours if I combine smoking with edibles.

If you live in a med state, get a card and try it. Just be certain to get high quality cannabis, preferably organically soil grown, and try different strains (cannabis is like alcohol in that there are many different types (strains) all with different effects).

August 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm
(33) Jake says:

I also use cannabis before the muscle work my wife does or the pain from the work would be impossible to bear (I have an extremely high tolerance for pain (I live it with it 24.7) but the muscle work is excruciating. Some strains will completely take the pain away, others it will be there but you are not really connected to it).

And the reefer madness stories are not true. Cannabis is non-addicting. I cannot travel with it, especially to non-med states or risk long jail sentences, so I often have to go weeks without cannabis when I travel–never had any withdrawal symptoms, just the return of my MS symptoms . It also cures everything from cancer to nausea. Some strains cause only slight changes in sensation while giving strong medicinal effects.

Since using cannabis on a regular basis my daily migraines have become mild once or twice a month migraines (it took a month of daily use before I saw this change). A miracle by itself and a total game changer. Unfortunately, it does not help with all the symptoms (such as difficulty releasing the stream which becomes worse sometimes with the cannabis) and it makes the weakness in my legs a bit worse. Oddly, if I use more Sativa strains my brain fog actually goes away and I my cognitive functions become almost normal. If I use a pure Indica strain, which is a more narcotic feeling, I pretty much lose most of my cognitive function. Again, strains are very important with cannabis.

Hope this helps someone. Take care all…

August 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm
(34) Lois Reece says:

I have not been diagnosed with MS but I have the feeling of the MS hug frequently. Different positions sitting do help a very little and certain positions cause it to feel worse. Sometimes it will be very painful sitting in a car and other times I can ride all day with no problem. I have been seen for gallbladder trouble, nothing found. I have some other MS symptoms but they can all be associated with so many other conditions. I have only been to the ER once about this and of course by the time I decided to go and got there it had gone away. Doctors tend to discount the complaint but I think it’s because they’ve never experienced it. The only thing that I find that helps is for me to go and lie down. Sometimes the pain will go away in just a short period of time 10-15 min. I guess I just want someone to validate that this is an actual problem and not a figment of my imagination. I had never even heard of the MS hug until 2 weeks ago.

August 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm
(35) Jennifer says:

My girlfriend has had “hug” symptoms for about 6months. We thought it was indigestion or panic attacks when severe. Yesterday her CSF results came back with an MS diagnosis. This symptom hits very hard when she drinks beer. Does anyone else have this problem? I was initially thinking it was possibly a gluten intolerance. She also gets crushing pain with processed meat and potato chips. Thank You andBless you all.

September 22, 2012 at 3:46 am
(36) What is Ms says:

The hug can be differed man to man. Your experience may help someone. Thank you for sharing with us.

October 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm
(37) Matt says:

My lovely “MS hug” is often brought on by simple standing and walking. It sometimes hits in stores, while driving, sitting, whenever it chooses… which is very regular now. It is quite painful in my upper abdomen, and causes me to be short of breath and subsequently weak in the legs, and then other spasms start popping up! I have recently started having breathing problems due to spinal and lower brain lesions. I’m convinced that the long runs of “MS Hug” were/are just a precursor to the respiratory issues. MS “Hug” (such a deceitfully/ironic term) is by far the worst MS symptom I experience… it and heat.

December 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm
(38) Patricia Stymiest says:

Sitting reclined in a chair.sitting straight up in a chair hurts too much.Allowing,or asking for help to carry my 4 mos old son…lifting or twisting brings it on!

December 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm
(39) Mary says:

I use a T.E.N.S. unit on my side when I get MS hug pain, and it helps a lot!

December 22, 2012 at 7:48 am
(40) gregg says:

Ms hug stayed after flair up went away. Feels like to KS under left rib cage. It waxes and wanes. I have an inhaler for allerges. I drops the Ms hug down quite a.bit.

January 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm
(41) Cam says:

I was diagnosed w/ in 2001. My “hug” appeared in 2009 BUT because I’d previously had gallstones (that never bothered me), it was assumed that my gallbladder was faulty. Needless to say, the pain was worse after the surgery. It took another year of CAT scans/MRIs/ Dr visits before it was determined that MS was the cause. I’ve had a constant hug for 3+ yrs now. The comments make me feel “normal”. Some days I feel like everything triggers a tightening (ex. pushing a grocery cart, the angle that I vacuum/shovel/sweep in, the chair I’m in, the way I lay, the heat…) BUT typically it’s stress that makes it worse. It’s always feels like I’m holding a brick against my ribs but those things make it feel like I have a toddler standing on my chest! It definitely helps to know that I’m not alone…

February 2, 2013 at 10:28 am
(42) Robin says:

I have had the hug off and on for the past 7 years. Before I knew what I was dealing with I went to the ER when this happened and was always told it was an anxiety attack. I’m glad I read this…now I know I’m not crazy. But I agree that stress is one of the triggers.

May 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm
(43) toby lee says:

New vitamin D deficiency test, one drop of blood and result in 10 mins see at http://stores.natural-products-corp.com/-strse-40/Vitamin-D-5000IU–pls-/Detail.bok

June 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm
(44) Cathy says:

I don’t know if this is the “Hug” or not, but if I wear a bra that is a little tight for 4 hours or so, I get a real squeezing sensation. If I take off the bra, it goes away after an hour or so. I have even managed to loosen (unfasten) my bra while on the subway. I just hurts so much I have to. I have also had bra fittings where they keep saying the bra fits, but I can’t wear it. It just feels too tight. Then the bra fitter doesn’t know what to do, because she thinks the bra fits fine. So don’t know if it is the hug or not, but I cannot wear any bra for a long period of time.

June 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm
(45) Mary says:

I really think stress causes my MS hug to flare. And I agree with Cathy, that a tight-fitting bra aggravates it.

June 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm
(46) Kim says:

Exercising will sometimes cause the “hug” for me. Otherwise, not so much.

June 20, 2013 at 12:03 am
(47) elaine says:

I thought I had the hug but they said it was gallstones. After the surgery that constant pain went away. As my doctor said, don’t blame everything on MS. Lucky us, we get everything that other people get plus we deal with MS. :)

June 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm
(48) imdhreeves says:

Lucky me I only had the MS Hug when I was very stressed. Like when my sister was dying in my home on Hospice. At the time I thought ‘You can’t be having a heart attack now, you are taking the attention away from your sister’. Once that stress was dealt with the Hug went away in a few months. I hope it never returns, but severe stress did it to me.

June 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm
(49) imdhreeves@yahoo.com says:

This is to Cathy, #44 above. Recently a 30 year study has finished and it was found that women who wore bras were more saggy than those who went braless. I still haven’t been comfortable going without one in public unless I am wearing a jacket, though I am tempted to find some ‘pasties’ to hide my nipples so they are not as apparent without a bra. I am large breasted so there is the motion issue too. Just sayin, I’m hoping that the future holds less of these fashion driven garments and more comfort for us.

July 2, 2013 at 1:25 am
(50) LinTK says:

For me, the MS Hug starts in my mid-back, & travels around to the front of my ribcage, then feels like it’s going up my esophagus, to the back of my throat. It’s a very tight, burning-ish sensation, which usually lasts about 5 – 10 min. I’ve had it happen at various times – everything from just sitting around, to standing in line at a store, to just getting out of a nice, relaxing bath (like this evening).

I’ve often wondered if it’s actually a heart attack, but it goes away, & I feel fine. The big thing is the feeling of PANIC it causes while it’s happening – “what’s happening to me, is this just the Hug again, or is it something worse?” I’ve had it when I’m having other symptoms of a relapse, & I’ve had it happen all by itself, w/ no other symptoms or signs of a relapse. For me, it can happen every few days, then I can go for a yr or so w/out it happening.

It’s definitely the most un-nerving MS symptom I get. I’ve had MS for 23 yrs, am *very* mild R/R (I’ve even taken Ballet classes – I was a dancer/teacher for 36 yrs), & most people, unless they’ve known me for a very long time, can’t tell there’s anything wrong w/ me. I get occasional wiggles & wobbles, or weird skin sensations (for the past 3 wks, I’ve felt like I have a string laying across my left upper lip – annoying, but certainly not debilitating!), but the Hug is the WORST!

August 28, 2013 at 11:51 am
(51) Tonia says:

I only had the MS “Hug” once since my diagnosis in September of 2008.It happened to me in November of 2009. It was bought on by hot water. I ran my bath water too hot. I haven’t done that since. So mine was bought on by hot water.

September 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm
(52) Linda Gagnier says:

I started having the MS hug non stop about three years ago. All my bras were too tight. I felt constricted. It hurt! My solution which helped was to get expanders for all my bras, and wearing none whenever I could. Three years later, I still wear the extenders. Bra specialists in stores are baffled as to why I can’t wear the bra size they think I should wear. It was baffling at first until I heard about the MS hug. One doctor thought it was that between the ribs tendon thing. No. Not. I am 66. Was diagnosed with MS when I was 60. My symptoms include peripheral nerve pain. Bladder. Fasciculation. Have had episodes of weeks of painful cramping day and night. Cramps where there is no light of day. Female issues. All the nerves down there are messed up. I am kind of clumsy. Get lost easily. I consider myself very lucky. I quit daily Copaxone shots. Take nothing now. Used to take Lyrica which helped some but I got to the point where I wanted to try taking nothing. Mild to moderate pain is something I have sort of grown accustomed to. In the beginning I was frightened. The whole MS thing frightened me a lot. “Over 9 lesions” on my brain, not knowing what tomorrow would bring. The nerve pain rose and rose then peaked and has stayed steady where now after six years I am just used to it. I rather doubt I will get worse. but what do I know. I am lucky I know. And send healing vibes to everyone with MS. ♥

December 18, 2013 at 8:55 am
(53) Gail says:

I was diagnosed with MS in 2002 with the doctor finally admitting that I probably had it for several years before that. I remember driving to my daughter’s home (5 1/2 hours) holding my side because of the pain. I felt like I was in labor as the pain came and went in such a lovely pattern. I finally mentioned it to my doctor in 2005 even though I thought I was crazy. It was a constant, debilitating pain 24/7. I had never heard of the ‘hug” even researching MS. He diagnosed me with neuromyalgia. He started me on Tegratol and I could not believe the difference. I had been in pain for so long I didn’t know how to act without it. Over the years we have had to increase the dose of Tegratol but the pain is so severe if I miss a dose. Recently, he started me on Gabapentin to assist the Tegratol because the “hug” was again taking over. I have had every test known to mankind to make sure that nothing else is wrong and have a clean bill of health (lol). Even with the Tegratol and Gabapentin, last night was a “BAD” night. That is how I found this site at 4 AM. “Hug” is a humorous thing to call this horrific pain but if anyone hugged me that hard I would slap them. Thank you for sharing your stories and now I know I am not alone.

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