1. Health

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://ms.about.com/u/ua/livingwellwithms/user_hug_tips.01.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Financial Stress

Readers Respond: What helps you deal with the "MS hug?"

Responses: 207

By

Updated October 12, 2008

Hug tips -

Two kinds of causes for the MS hug - paresthesia or muscle spasm. I think it's more common to have spasms. If you have paresthesias, I recommend gabapentin or lyrica. If you have muscle spasms, it's better to treat it with tizanidine or baclofen. I have the MS hug and esophageal spasm. A daily maintenance dose of baclofen was enough for most days, and if necessary I took tizanidine for the really bad spasms.
—Guest jensequitur

Horrible Hug

I too have had this but never lasted very long until this past week and it lasted all day with severe pain and trouble breathing. My neurologist prescribed Baclofen and so far so good. Thank God!
—Guest Shebee

tip for what i call "the squeeze"

"hug" sounds like cuddling around the shoulders, rather than a python trying to eat you for lunch. i am fortunate that i don't experience it often, and i usually can dissipate it by (1) KEEP BREATHING, as slowly and deliberately as possible, (2) taking 50 to 100 mg of baclofen, if some is nearby, and (3) finding something to hold onto and hang from (a pull-up bar is ideal, but a very sturdy door frame, shower rod, or something similar will do), letting as much of my weight hang as limply as possible, pulling my spine straight and focusing on slow breathing and relaxing the muscles. i have discovered that it helps to attend to it as soon as i feel the first twinge, and deal with it as calmly as possible. panic and crumpling into it make it worse and keep it going longer. i hope this helps you, too! good luck, friends
—Guest Rob

MS Hug

I have had the hug for three years. Constant tolerable pain which gets worse at times. I have definitely found that wearing loose clothes helps. I have also found that it gets worse when I sit down on chairs or coaches that are too soft. Do much better when I just sit on a wooden chair with no cushion. I was looking to see if anyone has had any relief with massage or even accupuncture. Actually get releif when my wife wraps her arms around my hips and squeezes.
—Guest Keith

MS hug tip

I had one horrible what I believe to be the MS hug, during a past relapse. It felt like a truck tire was on my rib cage and though I could breathe, it was uncomfortable and tight.....after about 20 min, I tried baclofen and it seemed to help or take it away
—Guest Jo-Ann

Mshug

Had this during my pregnancy with 7th child put me in bed almost the whole pregnancy and I believe this saved my babies life. It continued on and off for 14 years and still counting. No one seemed to know what I was experiencing it goes away when I sleep. These last 3 days its been more long lasting. I looked up the ms hug sounds like what I am experiencing it goes all around my torso back shoulder lower rib cage and sternum in the front loosening clothes feels best then I read the modern essentials guide to essential oils it said apply 1-2 drops of frankincense sandalwood and peppermint diluted in 1 Tbs fractionated coconut oil to area spine and back of neck and feet apply to hands cup and breath in deeply my pain reduced almost immediately it's not gone but much easier to handle. So I hope this helps someone
—dotters

MS Hug

Another way that works for me is smoking marijuana. This is the only relief that works for me. I have used baclofen, tizanadin, ibuprofen, Tylenol, anagelsic cream and even percaset but none of these were as effective as Marijuana. I have a license to use marijuana so I have no shame sharing this tip with others.
—Guest Maria

hugs

I was dxs with MS in 2005 and since this time my body been through so much. However, now I have this hugging sensation that feels as if. ssomeone is squeezing me.
—Guest MDA78

MS Hug

My "hugs" started 4 wks ago. I thought I was having a heart attack. So far, the extreme tightness is around my rib cage to my back, as if I were wearing a tight bra. It is 24/7 starting mild to extreme by evening. My concern having read all of your comments is that it may get worse, headaches, etc. So far it affects my mid-drift only and that is bad enough. I really don't have anything to add re: pain relief but I have learned a lot from all of you and pray that soon there will be relief.
—Guest Patti Jason

MS Hug

My "hugs" started 4 wks ago. I thought I was having a heart attack. So far, the extreme tightness is around my rib cage to my back, as if I were wearing a tight bra. It is 24/7 starting mild to extreme by evening. My concern having read all of your comments is that it may get worse, headaches, etc. So far it affects my mid-drift only and that is bad enough. I really don't have anything to add re: pain relief but I have learned a lot from all of you and pray that soon there will be relief.
—Guest Patti Jason

ms hug tips

I found it was helpful to take several VERY deep breaths and expand your chest muscles as much as you can. My pain is around my chest like a tight band is around. I also found that exercise helps if you find do it, then lie down for an hour. Pain medication helps, but I do not want to takr it everyday.
—rhondaward

One day at a time

The days are never the same. If I have a good day my spirits go up high. Thinking oh I'm gonna get better I will kick ms's ass. But that doesn't last. I am tired of it all. :( God bless you all.
—Guest Sherry

heat & sit back

I've never suuffered from "the hug"severely , until last week ! It was terrible , I went into total spasms (luckily it was just around my back & not in front).This went on for two agonizing days & then subsided.I found sitting back with a heated beanbag on the area helps.My neurologist also suggested Degranol or Baclofen !
—Guest Thielke

Deb

I have dealt with MS for over 40 years and have just found, in the last ten years or so, that baclofen, gabapentin and cymbalta have helped me a lot against the MS Hug. No narcotics have ever helped, only caused other problems.
—PatchiePooPoo

m.s. hug

I was shocked when I was dig. with m.s. almost 2 yrs. ago. Resently I 've been getting these hugs. they are so painful.I can't hardly stand to wear a bra. I didn't know what was happening to me. My dr. doesn't explain things very good. I'm on a high dose of Neurontin , and this starts. I take valium for spasms already. I've had 2 surgerys on my neck and found out Ihave a leasion behind c3. I haven't had any test to see about the rest of my back. The side effects from the Avonex are so bad that I want to stop them, the pain from the m.s. , the change in my body, not being able to be a wife to my husband is almost to much for me to bear anymore. My husband has heart problems so I try not to complain to him much, plus he's not very understanding , and we have alot of stress on us all the time. If anyone has any help for the pain I'd love to hear from you. Guess I needed vent, Thanks So Much For Listening Annetta
—Guest annetta
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Multiple Sclerosis
  4. Reader MS Stories and Tips
  5. Tips for Managing MS Hug from People with MS - Multiple Sclerosis MS Hug Tips

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.