429700 tn?1308011423
MS Hug
Can the MS hug cause death?  When I saw the Oprah show with Montel Williams, Dr. Oz mentioned that the leading causes of death in MS were suicide (which sounds very likely) and the MS hug were the leading causes of death.  Is this true?  If not can you die from MS?  I will certainly pay more attention to those chest pains if this is the case.  Not worried, just would like to know to make sure I get myself the proper care . . .

Don't throw rotten tomatoes if you all have discussed this topic earlier . . . I've looked around on the forum and didn't find anything.

Deb
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i forgot to add to my post that there have been times when i have been eating with friends when i seem to just 'pass out.'  one minute i am there, the next i am waking wondering what the h-ll just happened.  it can last from a minute to several hours.  my thyroid doc asked why i never went to the ER when it happened and i told him i just thought it was exhaustion.  he suggested it could be my heart, so i had it checked out and it isn't.  then it was possibly narcolepsy.  did a sleep study and it concluded i had central sleep apnea with no known cause (59 apneas in six hours). doc put me on CPAP, dextroamphetamines, and daytime oxygen,  II have still had episodes and just had one earlier today that lasted about 10 sec. (even taking Adderall),  i am frustrated that no one really knows what the heck is wrong, that the diagnoses are subjective, and i just keep on keeping on the best i can.

thanks guys
jana
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
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666513 tn?1256921055
Jana,

I get pains in my ribs every once in a while that feels like I'm breaking my ribs when I breath in. This can go on for several hours.

I don't know if this is what you were feeling, but my Internist at the time I first started experiencing it, said it was due to spasms of the intracostal muscles. No explanation why these muscles would spasm, however.

Mar
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Hello all,

I happened upon this post while researching ms hug. I had a tumor removed from my spinal cord about 9 months ago.

I get these exact symptoms and someone on the spinal cord tumor site suggested that this is what I am feeling. He was right... this pretty much sums it up.

Is it possible to have this without having MS. Would removal of a tumor in the thoracic spine cause the same thing? Can you all please tell me what you do or take to help with this. I have it all the time and some days are so bad that I can't function. I also have been to er and heart test done thinking it is a heart attack

Thanks so much for you time... Dawn
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1198091 tn?1267418363
Hi Dawn, my name is Dawn too!!! high 5!!! I was wondering the same thing, I asked on a newer post. So we shall wait and see... I am not dx wit ms so far only bulge in my cervical spine!! Haven't  had t spine MRI and that was why I was wondering.  I will let u know what I hear!
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High 5 back... I am so happy to hear that others are feeling this too and I am not crazy. Please do let me know if you get any information on this. Tonight the pain is extreme and I went searching for answers.

What is the bulge? where in your cervical spine is it? Is it in the cord or on the outside.

Thanks for posting back to me and I hope we can both get some answers we need..

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Hi all! I just wanted to say that after a really bad hug to make sure you get checked out! I had a severe one that lasted for about a month and it ended up giving me a hair line fracture on one of  my ribs. I can say that even my doctor was surprised!
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1260255 tn?1288658164
I'm reviving this old post because it has a lot of information in it that is very descriptive.

Several posts here cite sources that say the MS Hug is caused by lesions in the spinal cord. How many of you who experience the MS Hug have spinal lesions? Do you know where they are?

I'm in Limbo Land and just had a repeat MRI of the C spine; I have the film, but will be picking up the radiologist's report this week. My untrained eye does not see any lesions on the cord, but definitely could see them on the brain. Way too many to miss.

In any event, based on what I've read here and on other sites, the MS Hug can range from being very mild to very severe.

Within the past 2 weeks, I developed a pain in my ribs on my right side, just below the bra band (sorry guys). It started on Thursday and kept coming and going and was still there on Friday morning. It was in one very specific place and the pain would last for up to an hour, subside and then start again. Pain did not increase with deep breaths. I was also light headed. Given that I have a history of DVT, I was concerned about a pulmonary embolism and went to the ER.

Everything checked out fine. No heart attack, no PE and my oxygen saturation level was 100%.

So I guess this is another thing that I will have to report to the neuro during my visit at the end of the month.

Curious to know other people's experiences, including the milder form of the beloved MS hug and whether or not you have lesions on your spinal cord.

Thanks for helping me and others!
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I was wondering about this...Everyone is talking about their ribs being squezzed.

what I felt (if anyone has been pregnant this might be my best analogy). I was working and the bottom of my abdomen started aching and then bamb...it felt like i was having contractions! I was obiviously not pregnant or anywhere near giving birth to a child but thats what mine felt like.

It was my lower abominal area that reached around into my lower back and down my legs. It was very painful..I couldnt catch my breath but i figure it was because it was so painful ..even to breathe perhaps not because i couldnt.

I dont know ..i did let it go...i wonder..how long does an MS hug last?
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147426 tn?1317269232
An MS Hug would only be caused by a lesion in the thoracic spinal cord.  Lesions there are hard to image because of the narrow diameter of the cord and so much pusling CSF around it.

The "Hug" has many different sensations described with it from encircling (all or part way) pain and pressure, to a tight banding that doesn't let you take a breath easily.  It can last as long as it lasts - days to months.

I seriously doubt that the Hug is what leads to death.  More typically it is failure of the breathing muscles, paralysis of the vocal cords with aspiration and infection, and problems swallowing.

Quix
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1394601 tn?1328035908
I have something like the MS hug.  It is a tightening right between my ribs.  I do have spinal legions (is where MS plays her song).  From what I understand with heart attacks if changing positions, massage or drinking works...heart attacks don't respond.  I have found every time that getting water fixes it.  During the times it happens I also have a hard time swallowing.  My sinuses don't drain well.  I just keep lots of liquid on hand.  Unfortunately during the night I will dry out again and wake with it.
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I have been having the "hug" (agree that we need a new word for it!) on and off for a few years.  When I'm stressed out, it gets worse/more frequent/intense, which unfortunately is right NOW.  Mine is usually focused on my left side, right over my heart (not IN the heart, but ON it in terms of the muscles), and at times goes up to my scalp and down my arm.  Periodically it will pop up on my right side, too.  I take neurontin at night, but if I take it during the day I have trouble working/focusing.  

Luckily, I'm seeing my doc tomorrow.  Hopefully she can make some suggestions about how to deal with it.  Good luck to all of us out there who have so much "fun" with this thing!
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1312898 tn?1314571733
I does sound like each of us has a different experience.

My MS Hug is like a 14 inch wide industrial strength rubber band that starts middle of shoulder and goes down to below my elbow.  It is exactly the same all the way around and is perfectly horizontal  My arms are stuck to the side of my chest with the squeeze over arms and chest  The squeeze takes my breath away due to the pain level and makes breathing painful.  It can last from hours to weeks.

I also have had pain as you describe in and behind the sterrnum as others describe but finally realized that it is heartburn.  It caused a great deal of anxiety until I figured that out.  

That being said, if there is any doubt, I think you should go the emergency to make sure.    

It has really helped me to tease these symptoms out to know what is coming from MS and what is from something else.  

This is a good thread and am glad that it was bumped up

Red

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1382889 tn?1505074793
  Thanks for bumping Red. I found this very helpful.  I too have experienced this to a small degree.  Found that pushing on the area that was squeezing me helped relieve the pressure of the 1/2 hug (never had a full one).

   I heard that you don't have to have MS to have the hug, as it can be caused by any kind of nerve damage along the spine.  

   Anyway, great info to have. Another thread that is helping me understand what MS can fully do to my body.

  Blessings to all,  Julie
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1496330 tn?1288871899
I too have had many variations of all of these types of spasms. In the beginning went to ER many different times and of course been attached to all the usual heart machines, blood pressure etc... As I am sure all of you know the drill

. Been told everything from panic attack to gas to reflux (before dx) Echo on my heart even quite recent, anyway I have been having severe spasms in my lower back both sides, One side. Woke up today with the crushing rib pain started on one side then progressed to the other and in my chest,


I know my heart is healthy and All I can figure is this is just the variation, I haven't  had and MRI for a few months due to still paying off the last one so I don't know if there is anything new

. Was dx'd July 10. 2010 and have spent my time on IV Solumedrol. Never been told it is the HUG but after research and all the testing for other like my heart I know it is.  

Anyway I was just sitting waiting for my Klonopin and Percocet to kick in and thought I would share my experience. Thanks so much all.
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1453990 tn?1329235026
The HUG is thought to be spasticity of the costal muscles between the ribs.  If you were to get spasticity of the diaphragm at the same time, you would stop breathing (for the most part.)
A hiccough is a kind of slow repetitive spasm of the diaphragm.  So I can see a way that MS  could cause respiratory paralysis.  I'm not sure if this is common in the ambulatory MS population.  Might  be a good question for the MS Society.

Bob
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429700 tn?1308011423
I have a hard time breathing when I am experiencing a hug and feel quite light headed.  The hugs I get now last a lot longer than they used to.  They used to be gone within 15 or 20 minutes.  

Whenever I get them now, they can go on for hours.  I get them while I'm at work and I try to calm myself down and pretend everything is fine.  It does seem to help--keeping the anxiety level down.  I try to breath lightly, keep my cool, and sit in a place where I don't draw attention to myself.  When I panic, it makes things worse.  I've had post-injection reactions after Copaxone shots, and staying calm helps with this as well.

I wonder if there's a medicine to prevent this.  Does anyone know?  I've not had trouble with this in months, but when I do, it seems like I get several days clustered together within a short time frame.  If there's medicine to help with this, I would take it.

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1253197 tn?1331212710
Well this thread started eight months ago and it is such an interesting topic. I am fortunate that I have never experienced the MS hug, but it is discussions like this that help us all understand what it really feels like, rather than reading the theoretical information on web sites.  Thank you for all your really interesting posts.

Sarah
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This is indeed a highly informative topic.
I am almost certain now that I have been bothered by this MS hug for years.  Althought so far I have not received the MS diagnosis.  I have periods of paralysis. The first one was 2004 and labeled as psycho genetic or something like that. I was transferred to a nursing home (age 50 at that time) and stayted there for 1 month untill I could walk again.  The torture I went through with a psycho lable is still tough to describe for me.  Nurses who itterally would make fun of me because they believed me to be faking this paralyzis.

Since then I've switched health care providers, and have had a few more episodes of paralysis. My sister and brother both have Chronic Progressive MS. (Brother 4 years older then me just got his diagnoses about one month ago).

This last March I had one of my chest squeeses, and this was the first time I went to the ER with this.  PE ruled out, heart attach ruled out, must be heartburn I was told. Yeah right, I kjnow the difference between a burning sensation or a vise grip like feeling.

My MRI does not show spots on my brain, and stil I have had this MS hug feeling for quite some time.  I also have been bothered for years now by spasms throughout my whole body, including under the bottom of my feet.  But they can happen in most any part of my body, I have not even discussed thihs with my Neuro Doc.  Right now my Neuro has givcen me a diagnoses of Migrain hemipalegic, since I have a top on the head severe type of head ache at times.

Thanks to all of you who have posted in this thread these past 8 or 10 months. I'm seeing my Neuro on the 20th. and I think it is time I'll have a frank discussion with him about these MS hug type of symptoms and spasms I have had for way to long.

***Susanna***
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1225331 tn?1333369369
I was in the ER on Sat - it was the 4th day of pressure, tightness, stabbing pain when I breathe in, and shortness of breath. They did an x-ray and blood work to rule out a blood clot, heart issues, or a collapsed lung. The doctor there said everything looked good, so it must be muscular in origin.

I called the nurse coordinator for my MS neuro and left her a vm about everything. She called me back today and said it didn't really sound like an MS hug, because they're not usually painful and people don't normally get stabbing pain.  I thought about forwarding her this link....

-Kelly
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1655815 tn?1306934062
This is the first time I visited this blog and am amazed at what I'm reading. I think it was in November/December when I first started having sharp shooting pains in my chest, followed by a mild constant pressure. I went to dr.'s and he sent me for an chest xray that came back normal. On Feb. 5th I ened up in the ER for an unrelated issue but mention that I had been having this consistent pain in chest and of course they ran all the usual test to be sure you're not having an heart attack & all my test return normal. My dr thought it may just be inflamation between my rib bone & chest bone. I was inclined to let that be the end of it, but shortly after that I began having other MS sysmpton, even though I did not connect the two. Later I exeperienced a pain in my lower back right at my waist line that was excruciating! I could not bend to sit. I ended up with my arms wrapped around my husband, holding on for dear life, and breathing through the pain as if I was in labor until it passed ( or rather until he helped me sit down). Once I sat down & remained in an upright position, the pain subsided. I was eventually able to lay down, which is where I fell asleep. I woke up with the pain in my back just above my waistline. I had never heard of the MS hug and did not think that the pain was even MS related. It was not until later when I was doing some research that I came across this sympton. The pain I felt in my lower back, after I read about the hug, I've assumed that is what it was. Now I'm believing that the pain in my chest is also related to the hug. I've had other symptons as well that I'm now am beleiving is related to the hug. This blog has been soooo helpful! I have an appointment w/ my nuerologist this afternoon and am now better prepared to discuss my reserach as well as the symptons that everyone on the blog has described. Thanks All!

lilbit1986
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1225331 tn?1333369369
Well, I'm glad that it has helped you.  This forum helps me a lot, too. We can share our experiences with one another here and come to a better understanding of our health.

Thanks,
Kelly
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Hello Everyone
I had my first  MS hug before I was diagnosed. At home alone, the pain hit across my chest, it squeezed me so tight, being a nurse, I knew the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
And knew I was not having a heart attack. I am having a mild one as I post this, and it is
miserable. Thank you all for your posts, it helps a lot.

JayJay
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my first MS hug was at work, that was my "falling" years, and the ER doc dx as costocondritis....hmmm.........but have had them while driving on trips and very scarey, mine last about 2-3 hours but never thought to bring it up to neuro, but will now, its a hug for me like being squeezed from behind by an overgrown bear

Il've also been told its panic disorder but its not that, I cry when I get a panic attack
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Reading this is so interesting.  I haven't been diagnosed yet but this "hug" is something that is really familiar to me.  My ribs hurt and almost feel tender, it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest and I can't get a full, deep breath unless I really concentrate on breathing deep into my belly.  I also have the feeling of pressure under my breasts and sometimes have to take my bra off because the pressure is so tight.  When I have this my shoulders and shoulder blades are usually really tight and really really sore.  Doctors have always told me that this is do to stress and that I just hold my stress in my muscles.  I keep telling them that I wouldn't be stressed if I didn't have all of these weird symptoms!
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Someone please tell me if you've experienced neck pressure (like a vise around your neck) while having this hug.  I am not a ms patient but a lupus patient and this feeling is exactly what I am feeling but also involves the neck.  I want to run screaming, CRAZY screaming.  It's been ongoing for almost 6 weeks.  This is the only place I have seen anything that describes this feeling almost exactly with the neck exception.
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Very interesting!!
Last April I had to go to the ER because I woke up having severe chest pain that seems it went all the way through my back. Cardiac workup was negative. Pain decresed somewhat, but hung around for about 2 weeks. I was miserable!! I have eposides like this for many years, but this time I was scared; so I went to ER and would not think twice about going again because there is no way you would know if this was cardiac issues or MS hug.



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The hug is a complex sort of thing, and is experienced differently by different people. We have had lots of discussions here about whether or not it can really be a cardiac issue. When in doubt, always go to the ER. Plenty of people here have done that, with very few learning it was a heart problem, but better safe than sorry. It's also good to find out our hearts are in good shape.

I don't think the MS hug can be experienced in the neck area. Similar things can be, though. It's possible that paresthesias could produce a squeezing feeling that would be pretty awful. Either that or muscle spasms could have the same effect. A brain and cervical spine MRI would certainly be indicated under the circumstances. I don't know a lot about lupus, but it's possible that another disease process could be going on too. So again, when in doubt, get quick medical care.

The best to both of you.

ess
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Hmm...some of you may recognize that I've been posting a lot of long what-if rants now that I am in my second "season" (literally) of very pronounced MS-like symptoms.  I haven't been diagnosed with anything yet but anxiety and depression...but the medication doesn't help when my left leg doesn't want to work of I have double vision or vertigo...go figure.

Anyway, probably like most of you who first started thinking you might have MS, I've read everything I can find about it, and I kind of overlooked the "MS hug" because of the way it supposedly wraps around from the back to the abdominal area.  But I read one account of a "chest hug" and ended up back here again...and I recall a mystery that I never addressed and thought was probably related to acid reflux (because it occurred two of three times while I was eating).  About a year and a half ago, within a couple of months, I had three identical and really scary and painful sudden, crushing chest pains.  All felt like, I don't know, maybe a cannon ball had landed square on my chest (although I was sitting up), crushing my bones from my sternum all the way up to the bottom of my throat.  The first time it happened, I was eating out with my parents and I literally thought I was having a heart attack.  I sat perfectly still for 5-10 minutes until it felt "safe" enough to move, and then I was just shaken after another five minutes or so.  Then it happened again while I was in bed weeks later, and then about a week later while I was out eating (and drinking wine) with friends.  And never again since then.

Could this describe a "hug"?  I hope not because it was one of the scariest and most painful things I've ever experienced and I'm hoping my antacids will keep it from happening again...but it's fascinating how all these disparate "quirks" I've had since I was 25 or so are falling squarely (most more than this) into symptoms for MS.
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987762 tn?1331031553
What your describing sounds more like how my mother describes her reflux problems than the MS Hug. You also can't forget because of your anxiety issues, the posibility that it was panic attacks, im asuming your heart was racing too if it was as you say "one of the scariest and most painful things I've ever experienced".

The MS Hug is a squeezing or banding feeling that goes fully or partially around your trunk area. Think of when you have your blood pressure taken at the dr's, the cuff goes around your arm and gets tighter and tighter (banding feeling) the pressure stops when the test is over but with the Hug it often starts squeezing again and can keep on repeating the cycle for hours or days or weeks. Its that type of experience but around your trunk area, what your saying isn't really the same thing and probably is more in line with reflux.

My youngest was dx with panic attacks but it turned out to be a side affect of his anxiety medication, once he went off them they stopped. At the time we didn't realise it was his meds until he went back on them, and within a couple of days the panic attack sx were all back. All i'm trying to say is that often the answer is the simplest, and not necessarily a more difficult situation or "falling squarely (most more than this) into symptoms for MS".

Cheers........JJ  
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338416 tn?1420049302
I've had esophageal spasms since 1999.  I think they're related to the lesions in my upper spinal cord.  They started out as simple throat spasms - it felt like I had a chunk of chip or something caught in my throat.  Drinking an entire glass of warm water would help relieve the spasm.  Since my diagnosis, they've continued, and now the spasm will include my torso as well as my esophagus.

That's not to say that you have lesions in your spinal cord.  When I first went to the doctor about it, they thought it was acid reflux.  For a long time whenever I had one, I would take a acid reducer and drink a glass of water.  Then I found out one day (when I ran out of acid reducer!) that all I needed was the glass of water.  

The key is when these attacks happen - are they at night, or during the day?  Are you in bed and reclining, or are you sitting up?  Did you go to bed after eating a big meal?  That sort of thing.  
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It's definitely not a wrap-around boa-style "hug," then.  It's only happened a few times, all more than a year ago within a few months of one another.  I'll assume it was acid reflux/GERD.  Happened every time while I was sitting up, and twice while I was eating dinner.
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I have to thank you for the drink of water suggestion. I've been plagued with these very painful spasms right below my sternum off and on since early May. After reading this thread, I tried the drink of water when one would come on and 3 out of 4 times so far, it's worked.

I'm waiting to hear back to get scheduled for an upper GI and small bowel, but in the meantime, the belladonna that was prescribed isn't touching them. Nor does the baclofen or Tramadol. They're so powerful. Even though they lasted for about ten minutes at a time, my ribs were very sore in the back this morning. It hurt to take a deep breath.

In the meantime, it's good to have a way to shut these down. It's such a gripping pain.
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338416 tn?1420049302
Mine have never been all the way around.  They were usually centered in the esophagus, and only within the last year have they started to try and go around.

Jumpinjiminy - you're quite welcome!  Try hot tea or coffee too - if I start having one, I'll take a Flexaril and have a hot cuppa joe.
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1704542 tn?1307509184
I experienced my first MS hug yesterday. I was feeling fatigued with the house cleaning (daily thing nothing unusual), when I sat down at the computer... When my phone rang I jumped up to grab it and it hit me so hard, my brain went blank, i don't even remember the full phone conversation, it felt like so much pressure around my chest my heart was going to explode out of my throat/mouth. It was excruciating, i couldn'/t breathe, or talk. When I sat down I felt disoriented almost like my brain wasn't working properly, I thought I was having a heart attack! My mother drove me to the hospital as I had both of my little girls with me alone at home. After a CT scan, EKG, cardiac enzyme tests etc. Heart issues were ruled out, I was sent home with a pain-pill prescription and the theory that it as a "MS HUG". My lungs feel raspy (chest x-ray was normal :ruled out bronchial spasms), My chest and back muscles are sore (excruciating pain in shoulder blades as well yest.) And I'm completely exhausted physically and emotionally, can anyone relate to this experience?? What is YOUR opinion? MS HUG?? Does this mean I have more lesions??? I see my neurologist monday (have to travel an hour away)...Please help- my email is ***@**** with any questions/support/comments etc! Thanks!
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1382889 tn?1505074793
This is an old thread. May I suggest you start a new one with your question?  I think you will get some responses.

Julie
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1793575 tn?1315412970
I recently had an attack, and i thought it was my thyroid acting up, but clearly after reading this article and reading up on the myclonus and myoclonic seizures i was diagnosed with last october and the low lying cerebellar tonsil as well, i'm realizing that it is MS. and the attack i had is exactly like the "MS Hug" but when i had the attack it went from my neck to waistline and then all the way up and to my throat and all the way back down to my waistline again... i'm really scared about this.. i'm doing my best to stay calm being as whenever i get really upset or anxious my throat starts to enlarge (which is where it decided to reside when it calmed down)...
Also, i have been having these same seizures (myoclonic seizures) since i was 16 years old, but they've been getting progressivly worse, and the attack "MS Hug" i had on Aug 25th, 2011 i believe, was the worst its ever been... when it calmed down i couldnt walk and i felt and looked like i had MS.. and i stuttered as well.. and i've never stuttered that severly before.. it wasnt until last october when i was hospitalized for a week and diagnosed with myoclonus and myoclonic seizures that i started stuttering a little bit and getting confusion...
anybody have these symptoms? any hope?
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1793575 tn?1315412970
Also, to add to my post, it stayed active in my throat and upper thoracic spine for 3 days.. and slowed down.. but i still have a lot of difficulty swallowing. and difficulty breathing and moving around. i'm extremely weak, especially my arms and legs (worse from my knees down)...
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1225331 tn?1333369369
Have you been to a neurologist and do you have a diagnosis of MS?  Maybe they can run an MRI on you, on your spine if they haven't already.  If you have MS, then they can start disease modifying drugs, so you have less disability in the future.  

You should definitely talk to your doctor about all of this, especially if you are still having problems.

Also, this is a very old thread on this forum.  You could post a brand new question, because I don't know how many people are still watching this thread.  

-Kelly
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2084539 tn?1332374626
i agree death hold, boa constrictor hold, there has never been a hug that felt this badd to me . I wander if the fact that i have been off of my Lyrica for 6 months this could of caused this to be so bad? Im scared to do solumedrol again caused i had a difficult time on it , and it caused me to have nitemares, hot flashes, and deep dark depression... and i had chest pains behind it .
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572651 tn?1333939396
Hi and welcome to the forum. You may not notice that you have posted on a very old thread and many people won't take the time to read your words. I hope you will start a new thread and introduce yourself to everyone.  

Now, for that darn  hug - we really wish there was a different name for it.  No way does it resemble those nice gentle hugs that we give to others.  We have talked about this and cursed and moaned about it, too..  I'm so sorry you are affected by it.  Hopefully someone here will be able to answer your question about Lyrica and the hug.

I hope we see you around,
lulu

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Wow, this is the first time I have heard someone describe exactly what I experience for a MS Hug and that I found out that a cold glass of water makes it go away faster. I think it "calms" the diaphram and chest or shocks it somehow. Before I would pop an ativan under my tongue as the theory is the muscles are so tight they need to be relieved. But it never really worked, had to wait it out for 15min to the second. Water, cold, within 30seconds.
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Wow I just joined Medhelp specificly to ask everyone questions about my symptoms and if they coincided with MS. Wow I just posted a question explaining all of my symptoms I've been suffering from for years now(Im 27) and just came across this question. I honestly almost 100% believe I do have MS now. Since I was approx13-14 I started getting these episodes out of no where and I literally felt as if I was dying because I couldn't get a deep breath. I would take a breath and it just felt like my lungs wouldnt expand enough to get the right oxygen supply. Needless to say panic of course set in next and Im sure my gasping for air and freaking out didnt help matters much. And then within a hour or two I would be fine. My doctors gave me inhalers and even pills to help what they said was Asthma and it would be months to even years before the next episode. I never thought a thing about it. The last severe episode I got was when my daughter was a baby, I actually thought I had pneumonia or a colapsed lung something very severe. It came on as a normal cant take a deep breath and within a couple hours my chest started to tighten I was having pain around my heart(it felt like), it lasted through out the night. Every position I tried was worse than the last the pain took away my breath and the anxiety of feeling short of oxygen was a whole other nightmare in itself, but them combined was unbearable. It was scary!!! I went in at 8am to my Doctors because I really believed I was having a heart attack or low on oxygen(even though I didn't feel deprived). Something I knew was wrong. My ECG was fine, Perfect! So of course it was ruled out as GERD. NO WAY!! I have had GERD since I was 10 and it was nothing like GERD. They gave me a GI cocktail and a script for an inhaler and sent me home. i always wondered why the inhalers NEVER EVER worked. Thank you I think I know why now. I have always been the one diagnosing myself which at first was somewhat amusing but now its just tiring.
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429700 tn?1308011423
I too have gone to the doctor about them before my MS diagnosis and was told that they were esophageal spasms.  I've even gone to the emergency room because it felt like an elephant sitting on my chest.  All my vital signs were fine, so they sent me home with a referral to a psychiatrist!  

Since my MS diagnosis, I still don't have answers, but they are getting worse.  I can't breathe, they are so painful!  They last longer, too.  I can have an episode for a couple of hours.  I have no idea what they are, but the doctor assures me it isn't my heart.  I guess they are MS hugs.  Whatever it is takes the air right out of me.  

Are you seeing a neurologist?  
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Oh my gosh! I can't believe I am reading this. I have been having this huglike experience for years. The pain drops me  to  my knees. No doctors can ever explain it. I my gall bladder out years ago, still happening. I have been having leg pain and strange buzzing, tingling, electric sensations in my legs and feet for a while now. The pain in my feet and legs at night is sometimes unbearable. I have fibromyalgia, sarcoidosis, migraines, ibs, GERD, you name it. They have called it autoimmune disease unspecified. I am seeing a neurologist next week. What do I say, I want to be checked for MS? Not one doctor has ever mentioned any of this to me? Needless to say, this may help explain the horrible attacks I get under my breasts that doubles me over and takes my breath away. I haven't been able to wear a regular bra in years.  HELP!
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1373852 tn?1307846648
I had respiratory failure two years ago...I am in the process of being diagnosed with ms...I wonder if it was ms then or if it was like they say status asthmaticus...funny but my chest xray was clear at the time of admission for status a. I am so confused about all of this the neuro says I have space but not time...I have 4 periventricular lesions that are 3mm and two occipital horn lesions that are a centimeter. I have mirror pattern o bands(serum and spinal fluid). I was paralyzed from the status a as they called it but wonder if it was ms all along.
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I get pressure on both sides of my neck when the pressure starts in the middle of my chest.  I have told this to 5 different doctors, and they all sent me to have neck ultrasounds, but have found nothing in my neck.  I have lesions on the brain but they do not see any lesions on my spine, and I read that the MS hug is due to spinal lesions.  I also read that it is very hard to see a small lesion on the spine.  I have several lesions on my brain.  MS is suspected, but no confirmation yet.  
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Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

I've been experiencing what I think is this infamous MS Hug since a few days and I thought I was going to die or go crazy.

First, a bit of info about myself : 37yo female, diagnosed in 2007. I usually have cognitive problems (memory, orientation) and my hands aren't as strong as they should be, I lost dexterity and strenght but that's about it. I consider myself VERY lucky.

From what I see tho, I started a crisis with new symptoms a few days ago and it was triggered by acid reflux. What started with burning under the sternum and burping (I have no doubt it was heartburn as it went away with proper medication after 2 days) ended like heart-attack symptoms in a matter of 12h : heavy pressure in the ribcage (left side), on the sternum and along the collarbone (left as well). I also had sharp pain in the left arm, kinda electric shocks. I ended at the ER, plugged all over for my heart to be properly checked... everything turned out fine. I got an Xray and blood tests as well... I was sent back home with the usual ''it's stress'' comment even if I mentioned my MS.

*long sigh*

Four days later the heartburn is gone (hopefully for good) but I still have a very sharp pain on the left ribcage (under my armpit and along the side of my breast.... it also goes down my back at night when I'm tired) that won't go away, pressure on the left side of my chest, and my left arm feels numb. I also have episode of pressure on the sternum and I have a hard time to breath when it happens (thankfully it comes and goes and is less and less severe... a few days ago it was HORRIBLE). My throat feels tight but that could be from the heartburn. I also have parasthesia on both arms, shoulders and back that come and goes.

At first I was convinced all these weird feelings where from some sort of anxiety like the ER doctor said, but thanks to your comments I will call my neurologist next week and set up an appointment. I don't why I didn't think all these symptoms could be MS, but as I said above, I usually have cognitive problems and I'm not used for my body to overreact and experience such pain. *knocks on wood*

This thread was VERY helpful even if it's a few years old. I wish you all feel better by now!




P.S. Sorry if my english is weird at time, it's my 2nd language :)
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572651 tn?1333939396
your use of the English language was great! I am so glad to see you recognize this was an old conversation but even happier to read that you found it helpful.

So many of the MS symptoms are crazy difficult to explain to others and can't be tests by doctors- they have to take our word to it.....  hence the often used suggestion of anxiety.  jeeez!!

One suggestion - I don't know if it is up there in this thread - is try to expand your chest when you breath so it moves right and left, and not up and down.  Stretching those ligaments and muscles a little bit at a time might give you a touch of relief.

good luck with the doctor and I hope we see you around more ,  Laura
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How long did it last?
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667078 tn?1316004535
I have been having diaphragm spasms for years and I bounce back. They hurt a lot and they are scary but no fear of death.

I use liquid valium and Zanaflex.

Alex
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