Now it's your turn to share your strategies for feeling better when you are experiencing the dreaded "MS hug." Don't worry if the way that you find relief seems silly, ineffective or downright bizarre - you may know just the thing to help out someone else that is suffering and at the end of their rope with this symptom. After all, when the doctors shrug and well-meaning friends tell us that we "just need to relax" when we describe the pain and annoyance of the "MS hug," it is from one another that we can really get support, understanding, and maybe even a little help. Share Your Tip
- I have had the hug on one side for about 3 years (constantly) and have managed it with Lioderm patches which numb the area. It's brought on not total relief but definately makes it more bearable. Also wrapping Ace bandage helps.
- —Guest fellowsuffer
All Hugged Out
- Just last night I experienced another of many "MS hugs." Stress and fatigue usually bring it on. When I get the hug it feels like a boa constrictor is wrapped around my body trying to squeeze the life out of me, this lasts for minutes to hours. I try to deep breathe which itself is difficult. I try progressive relaxation and meditation. I tap into my faith and pray for relief. In other words, I do whatever I can to ease the pain. I have been given Valium in the past which did provide relief. I am fortunate to have a neurologist that understands, he also has MS. His
advice is to rest and eventually symtoms will pass,
- —Guest Anita
Is what I have "the hug"?
- I was diagnosed with MS in 2001. Over the years I have had episodes of tightness and feel like I have a lump between my shoulder blades. Also I have difficulty getting a deep breath. My neuro said she never heard of the hug which surprised me since she is an MS patient herself.
- —Guest Michele
- I have MS for 25 years and the hugs are crazy but I have found the BIOFREZZE roll on helps the rubbing during the spams and the medication does relieve some of the pain they don't seem to last as long
- —Guest Randi
Dealing with it
- Diagnosed in 1999 w/RRMS; I think the "hug" started about 6 years ago around chest, degree of pain varies - more frequent each year, feels like a rubber band being tighened around my chest; trouble breathing, talking, and laying down. Deep breaths, loose clothes, cooling down, and sitting help me; only medication is betasaron. Neuro will not discuss this with me, PCM has sent me through the various test and no problems w/heart or lungs, so I am happy to read your comments and know I am not imagining this pain.
- —Guest CDC
- ihave been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for 20 years. fatigue, muscle weakness, pins and needles sensations, blurry vision in one eye. poor coordination when walking. OMG i have been having the HUG pain for years! it is so painful I just have to lay down. i feel good till about 11:00 then bam it hits me! soooo fatigued and so muuch pain it hurts around my ribs thru to my back. gallbladder came back neg. had an MI in 2010 with stent placement. stress or working brings the HUG on! I finally know what to call. it. I am making an appt with neurologist this week. I believe I have been missed diagnosed. My sig. other has relapsing remitting ms. I usually have the same symptoms. now to find something for this horrible pain. I have it daily. cant eat very much due to increased pain and abdominal bloating. please respond if anyone else has a story similar to mine. Im an RN and can barely work part time at this point!
- —Guest deb
- I too have had the spazing in my head as well as around my middle. I was just diagnosed 5 months ago and seems like it has been one thing after another. Started with vertigo several years ago as well as ibs and other things. Now have right side numbness, right eye blurriness and sometimes trouble walking due to foot numbness. Have been having severe headaches with the spasming and banding feeling in my head. It starts in the back and raps around to the front. Very painful! I feel like I never know what is coming next! I work 40 hrs a week but it is so difficult to get moving some days!
- —Guest Isabel
- i've been on tizanadine since it came out..the 'hug' was totally debiltating at times. Tizanadine 4 mg (7 pills) a day relieve it 90+%.
too many hugs
- I've had 3 major hugs in the last 3 months. 2 of which put me in the hospital. Last night I simply refused to go. You all sound like me - which is great. I've had cardiac tests, lung tests, etc. Always fine. The hugs come on so fast and are so severe I black out every time, resulting in other injuries and leaving me afraid to be alone. I tend to take zanaflex as quickly as possible and try to breath thru it. So far nothing has stopped the blacking out. But it is nice to know I'm not nuts.
- —Guest Abby
- having ms since 1988 & dealing now with ms hug which is worsening is it correct this can be bought on due to anxiety , depression as i have had no family support for many years i live alone
- —Guest calamity
Not the hug I was hoping for
- I am with you. I can't find any relief. Not even understanding from my family. I tried the medical marijuana and it made it worse. I stretch and for a brief moment it does feel better. Deep breaths help. Some say stress causes it, I say which came first the chicken or the egg. I have no idea what causes it, I do know it is excruciating and takes my breath away. Crying does not help. I wear loose clothes and walk bent over then reach for the sky. I am the administrator of silly walks.
- —Guest Terri
- This is no hug but More like someone is trying to snap my ribs and especially trying to break/crush my sternum at the very bottom. This scares me because I imagine those fractured bones could puncture my lungs. I do realistically know my ribs won't break but the panic the hug brings with it is not logical either. I wish baclofen would make it go away completely but it hasn't. I don't know what to do. I have this all day. It seems to be affecting my posture. I don't really stand up very straight anymore. Does anyone else have this problem?
- —Guest justine
New to MS at 65..want to date
- I am divorced after a 38 year marriage
I live in NJ. My children live in Pitts.
I have 2 beautiful grandchildren.
I am walking but not driving for now.
Jordan - a beautiful man
609 332 5578
- —Guest Jordan
- I have had ms for 7 years and the ms hug has been a part of my life from the beginning . I have managed the ms on my own but now that it has progressed o am seeking to get disability and will get some help soon . The strangest thing about the hug is it occurs every other day like clock work . Does anybody else have the hug every other day ?
- —Guest debra
- I was diagnosed in 1979 and had very few flares until I moved to Florida 3 years ago. For the last 3 years I have had symptoms that were always attributed to something else until this year. For the last 6 months I have what I think is ms hug. It does not hurt but I cannot breathe and my esophagus spasms so I can't swallow - makes me panic when I can't swallow saliva! I little spray of sore throat medicine numbs my throat so I can swallow. I dont have pain with hug, just tightness around lower rib cage so I feel I can't breathe! Very scary. It gets worse as day goes by. Any physical activity makes it worse. Only resting lying down helps. My neuro does not think it is ms hug and wants me to see a lung specialist - I don't need another co-pay to find out that I don't have asthma or reflux. I don't know what to do, I can't spend my life in bed.
I am taking copaxone for last 4 months but does not help this 5 month long exacerbation. Any suggestions?