I've probably asked this before but I can't remember the answer. I am a limbo lander, BTW. Can you have an MS hug without an exacerbation? I know I did a lot of work outside yesterday, but I'm having this same pain that I've had like 3 -4 times before. It is always in the exact same location, and it feels like a tight squeezing pain in my back, basically from the bottom of my ribs to my waist. It is mostly on the right, but I can feel it somewhat in my left, too. I've felt it once in my chest as well and it feels like I'm got a boa constrictor around me, but now all the way.
I think so. Basically an MS hug is caused by damage to the nerves in the spinal cord at the level of the hug. So if you're getting that banding pain, then it's probably an MS hug or something similar.
I've had several of those in the last week, as well as leg weakness and more myoclonus. I found that the muscles at that level were really sore and kinda spastic, so I got hubby to rub on them for me. It definitely helped!
The answer to your question is a DEFINITE YES! You do not have to be in an active flare to have the "Hug"!
Like many MS symptoms, the “MS hug” feels different for different people – it also feels different in the same people on different days or at different times of day. It can be:
As low as the waist or as high as the chest; rarely it can be felt as high as the shoulders and neck
Focused in one small area (usually on one side or in the back) or go all the way around the torso
Worse when fatigued or stressed
Present in “waves” lasting seconds, minutes or hours or can be steady for longer periods of time
Described as sharp pain, dull pain, burning pain, tickling, tingling, a crushing or constricting sensation or intense pressure
in fact a lot of the MS symptoms when felt are not in an "Active Flare" but just dealing w/ the constant ,or residual affects of a previous flare.
Hope this has helped and makes sense.
Hope you feel better soon.
I've had a spine MRI that shows no lesions. The problem is, it was done at .7 Tesla, so it was basically useless. My leg weakness, the MS hug, the myoclonus in the back, the spasticity, all point toward spine lesions.
I've heard several theories on this. Some will say that the damage in the brain is causing the problem. Personally I think the simplest explanation is the best - the reason your MRI didn't show lesions in the spine is because it missed them. The MS hug is similar to L'Hermitte's sign - if you've got the hug, there has to be damage at that level of the spine. It may not be a lesion, but it's definitely nerve damage.
What Causes the "MS Hug?"
It is caused by a lesion on the spinal cord and is technically classified as a neuropathic pain called a “paresthesia,” which refers to any abormal sensation. The sensation itself is the result of tiny muscles between each rib (intercostal muscles) going into spasm. These muscles have the job of holding our ribs together, as well as keeping them flexible and aiding in movement, like forced expiration.
I would have to say yes, you can have the hug and not be in an exaserbation. Tonya gave you the information that i have regarding the hug, so i dont have much more to impart. From my experience though those intercostal muscles are pesky little critters, i didnt know i even had any until 08 when my entire left side front to back went into spasm. I havent screamed since i was a girl in pigtails, but there was no stopping me that day, omg the pain was incredible!!
I havent had it that bad since, though i'm finding it hard to recall a time since then, that i havent still felt these same muscles spasming though not all together thankfully!!! Early in the year i posted a question regarding chest cracking, pain and sounds, from what i've been able to work out, which hasnt been much lol. The flexibility that these muscles usually bring to your ribcage, can become spastic, they tighten but dont relax as easily as they are suppose to, so when they get stuck thats what i'm thinking causes the pain and tight restricted feelings.
I hunted and hunted for an explanation, found its common for body builders lol so unless your in a habbit of putting that level of strain on your ribcage, then the only other thing i've found is MS, and as already stated the MS hug seems to be linked to where on the spine the lesion is, even if the MRI doesnt pick it up, its a clinical sign of a spinal lesion.
Thanks guys! I can add that symptom to my list for the doctor! I am really glad I found this forum. I never really understood what that tightness was from, wasn't painful, just uncomfortable and almost felt as if I was limited on lung expansion, being squeezed.
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