is a term we use,which it feels like a hug ,also known as a girdle,to me feels like a bra the is to tight around my rib cage ,or squishing me in that general area and can be painful at times,as i also feel like it is spasming or tightening,alot of the time a exurbation can bring it on,or stress i believe,but here’s a little more info on ms hugs!
How Common is the “MS Hug?”
This is hard to say. Up to 75% of people with MS will experience pain as a symptom, but statistics on the MS hug are difficult to find.
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.
What Does It Feel Like?
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
How Severe Can It Get?
Some people experience difficulty breathing or painful breathing, so severe that it is often perceived as a heart attack or panic attack.