Could my thoracic/chest pain be the MS HUG? I have not been diagnsed with MS, but am looking for possible causes.
Symptoms: Chest/thoracic pain of over a year. Pain involves central sternum and wraps around my rib cage to the back between my shoulders. It has seemingly spread to my lower rib cage as well over the last few months. It is not induced by anything nor can it be recreated. Exercise possibly enhances the already existing pain. It is a deep ache that cannot be touched or recreated by touching or pushing.
At the peak of my pain, I find myself exhausted with general malaise; although the exhaustion could be a coincidence.
The pain is near constant with seldom moments of relief; a week here or there. Ibuprophen and Acetamenophen do not provide relief. My only relief comes from red wine? Strange, I know. Maybe relief from the wine is a coincidence…but hey, I'll take it!
It does effect my life at times by making me too uncomfortable to enjoy activities like running.
I am a 30yrs old, Female, 132lbs, and active. I have no other health issues.
I have had extensive tests and workups to rule out the following issues:
*Cadiac disorders/diseases (stress, echo halter etc)
*GERD/Stomach issues (endocopy)
*Pulmonary disorders/diseases (bronchoscopy, Chest CAT and X-Ray)
*Gallbladder issues (ultra sound and chemistry panel)
*Anxiety (tried meds)
The only thing we have not considered or talked about is neurological. I wonder about the MS Hug I have read about. While I do not have numbness or tingling anywhere, I do have frquent dizziness.
The MS Hug feels like a chest cramp to me - like the muscles in between the muscles are cramping. I also get an esophageal spasm, that feels like there's a chip in my throat.
Sometimes it's just the muscles around the lesion in the back - I have some up top, one below. Sometimes it goes to one side, sometimes all the way around, sometimes just in front. I've had some weird moments when the muscles of my stomach clench and unclench rhythmically... or the muscles at the bottoms of the ribs cramp up.
You've already been checked for the other stuff... I would talk to your neurologist and see about getting an MRI of your torso. Just make sure it's 3T - I think your symptoms warrant using the higher-resolution device.
jensequitur - Thank you you so much for taking the time to respond to my question. I appreciate your detailed explanation of what the MS Hug feels like to you!!
I wonder - how long do you/people have this pain? Does it come and go, linger, or remain fairly constant?
With as many tests as I have had with no diagnosis, I am begining to get embarassed when I visit the doctor. I feel like I am chasing a ghost; something that isn't there. BUT, I think I probably should at least ask my doctor about getting an MRI.
To me MS hug doesn't feel like a hug. It hurts like the dickens. Sometimes it wraps around my entire belly and ribcage then around to my back. Sometimes it is only on one side. It can last days or weeks. It just feels like a tight band that won't release.
Hey, Lillie - when I start having the spasm around the chest, I take a Flexaril. I used to sit out the pain, but I've found that these days it just doesn't go away without medication. I'm on Baclofen (60 mg) per day, but it doesn't always stop the spasms.
My MS hug comes and goes. Sometimes it feels like someone has a band around my ribcage and they're tightening it along my sides. It does feel painful to me. When I'm really tired, I think that I notice it more. Sometimes it makes it feel like it's hard to breathe. I've even gone to the ER twice thinking the squeezing may be a heart attack. They do all the tests and just say it's probably the muscles or something spasming inbetween my ribs. Then I feel stupid for going - except what if it was me having heart problems and I didn't go to the ER. That would be even stupider. :-)
Kelly, I've to the ER 3 times for my chest pain too - only to be sent home with no answers. It's scary to have chest pain without answers - your mind wonders to unsafe places. BUT, I agree with you, it would be stupider to ignore it and potentially have a life threatening situation. Taking precautions is nothing to feel silly about.
From the descriptions I have read, my chest/thoracic pain seems similar; especially the way it wraps around the ribs. At least it's similar enough for me to ask my doctor about getting an MRI done.
Thanks everyone for the great responses. While I have not been diagnosed with anything yet, I can see the value and comfort in a support community.
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