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what help the "hug"
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what help the "hug"

Is there anything doctors can do to help you with the pain of the MS hug?  Are there any at home remedies that people have used that has worked?

Idk if I have the hug or not.  I've been doing some research and it seems, like with anything having to do with MS, no one is sure what it is or what causes it.  Some say nerve pain.  Some say intercostal muscle spasms, etc.  

I definitely have intercostal muscle spasms.  They hurt like a "B"!  It seems to be getting worse.

I've been experiencing this for over a week, as well as other sx's.  Could this be a relapse?
Thanks for all responses!
Laura
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667078_tn?1316004535
Laura,
   What helped me was my private pain clinic. I know not everyone can have a place like this. I first tried Duke Pain Clinic and hated it. It was like a big factory where the doctors did not really listen. Each doctor only dealt with one kind of pain and it was expensive to go to all of them. I got in with a private pain clinic. My first appointment was two hours of the doctor asking questions. I go once a month. I usually see the Physcian's Assistant. I really like her and she really knows her stuff. I see the doctor every six months. They work on the whole person as well as anxiety and depression which often goes with chronic illness and pain.

They figure out as best they can what is causing pain and then start slowly working on it. I have tried a lot of medication. I was taking Baclofen for muscle spasms and turned out I work better with Xanaflex. I was on four anti convulsants for nerve pain (at the same time). I ended up getting off of them when we realized they were making things worse. Everyone is different so no to MS patients need the same exact drug regiment.

This place thinks outside the box and is up on the latest things in pain management. They have taught me it is not what you take but taking it at the right times.

I would give up my Neurologist and Oncologist before I would give up my pain clinic. They make my life worth living. Being in unnecessary pain is the worst.

Alex
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1710955_tn?1309450073
Alex,

I've looked into pain clinics in my area, and apparently they are all quacks. There was one doctor, but it took 6 mos to get in!  Grrrr

Since this is a new sx for me, is it possible that I'm in a relapse?

Laura
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382218_tn?1341185087
If it's a new symptom and has lasted > 48 hours, yes this would most likely be considered a relapse.  You should let your neuro know.  The only thing that alleviated the hug for me was steroids.  Avoiding overeating and talking excessively might help....as these things made it worse for me.  Seemed to make it harder to breathe.  
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1710955_tn?1309450073
Here's my predicament. I just had major surgery almost 2 1/2 weeks ago. My surgeon won't let me take anything that will compromise my immune system for at least another 6 weeks. The reason being, taking something like that will slow down the recovery process of the internal stitches.

What am I suppose to do? I'll obviously call my neuro, but if steroids are out what is there left to do?

Laura
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382218_tn?1341185087
Darn it.  Well so much for that suggestion.  I wish I had something useful to offer, but like you I had a hard time with this symptom.  At its most intense, I would say it's been my worst symptom, even worse than the ice pick pain of optic neuritis, but only because the O.N. episode was shorter lived.  Neither one is a picnic.  

Other than the advice about not overeating nor talking too much which made it worse for me, perhaps a long cool bath, actually try to stay as cool as possible as much as possible, and get lots of rest.  Get a bunch of pillows and prop yourself into the most comfortable position possible, and just rest.  I've read that some found relief with a heating pad, though for me this seems counterintuitive.  Maybe try an ice pack off and on around the affected area.

So sorry you are suffering.  It truly is a miserable symptom.  Hopefully others here, and your neuro, can offer other ideas.
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987762_tn?1331031553
Hi and i'm sorry this is happening, the timing su_cks, hope its not a relapse!

From everything i've researched, the Hug is another muscular issue, (spasms,spasticity) its usually the intercostal muscles but it can affect anywhere on your trunk. The intercostal muscles are the muscles that are between each of your ribs, there purpose is to create flexibility of your skeletal frame, so your rib cage expands and contracts whilst breathing, bending, twisting etc. Quix once told me that intercostal muscle spasms/spasticity (Hug) is associated with spinal lesions, it seems that when a sx is trunk/torso, its relating to spinal issues rather than brain.

I tend to think that when my intercostal muscles flutter (mini spasms) or suddenly contracts then its spasm but if it gets stuck and doesn't release from the contraction or just feels tight (banding) then thats spasticity, not sure if its that simple or if it actually matters much in the grand scheme of things.

to be continued.....
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987762_tn?1331031553
part 2:

Anything you try is probably going to be hit and miss, even medications so I suggest you play around with the anacdotal tips and tricks to see what works for you, finding any triggers that set it off will help too. What helps me most is laying flat, as soon as i stand i usually set it off again, it may not seem like it but just standing up, is actually putting a lot of pressure on the skeleton frame, I can't wear a bra or anything tight on my rib cage anymore.

I honestly dont know if this is more my comfort than anything else but when i first experienced it, it was half my ribcage, the left side all way around from front and back. I was getting desperate after 3 days none stop agony, nothing was touching the pain of it, and i probably would of tried just about anything, DH found these large stick on heated cloth bandages thingies at the chemist and i think they did help a bit. They were expensive and i still wore them long after the heat aspect died, it probably helped more by reminding me not to move around so freely.

I've tried alternating hot and cold packs, to me warmth is more tollerable because cold is a bit of an issue with my tremors, and anything warm makes me sleepy and sleeping can give it enough time to settle for awhile. I know thats not much but thats all i've got thats not a medication, if you search this community you'll find we've talked about tips for the Hug, there might be something there that works for you.

Cheers.........JJ  
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