The MS Hug

“MS Hug” is a term used to define a symptom that is generally experienced as a tightening, in spasm, or burning sensation that affects the region of the body anywhere from under the arms to the waist.

Discomfort associated with the MS hug vary from person to person.  It is possible to have a localized bout or to feel it around the entire torso;  and to experience this symptom in waves that last from minutes to hours or longer periods of time.  The pain is described by suffers as being; crushing, dull, sharp, burning, or constricting.  The constriction can sometimes cause a perceived difficulty in drawing deep breaths which can lead to a panic attack.

MS hug is reported to be non-life threatening; though, it is important to bring these symptoms to the attention of your doctor as these are also possible symptoms of sometimes life threatening conditions unrelated to MS.  Your neurologist may run tests; such as an MRI, to see if you are experiencing an exacerbation of MS.  Tests; to rule out other conditions, such as; heart problems, gastrointestinal issues, lung problems, or chest infections may also be performed.

Treatments for MS hug sometimes include one of the following; anticonvulsant medication, antidepressants (this modifies how the central nervous system reacts to pain), and over-the-counter acetaminophen.  Some patients also find comfort using warmth; such as a hot water bottle.  The most important and effective thing you can do is to remain calm; stress will almost certainly aggravate it.  Self calming techniques such as listening to calming music, visualization and meditation can provide some comfort.  To further provide comfort; wear loose fitting clothing, apply pressure to the affected area, increase your fluid intake, try deep breathing exercises, and apply massage.  Analgesic creams sometimes bring relief to some patients.

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About Kotori_kim

"i owned the world that hour as i rode over it. Free of the earth, free of the mountains, free of the clouds, but how inseparably i was bound to them." ~Charles Lindbergh
This entry was posted in alternative therapy, chronic disease, chronic pain, Disease, Health, ms, MS and Working, multiple sclerosis, Pain, physical pain, RRMS, Therapy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The MS Hug

  1. Great Blog! Looking forward to following you!

  2. Jim Brennan says:

    More great information. Glad you brought up the deep breathing exercises. Keep up the good work, you are doing a great service…jim

  3. Mark Lavelle says:

    Good post, but a minor quibble: Dysesthesia is a generic term for any unpleasant distortion of the sense of touch. The hug is at best just one kind, but probably not even that – I’ve never seen it described as having an effect on the sense of touch. Sounds like a symptom I’m happy not to have, though… 😉

  4. foxfires71 says:

    Dysaesthesia comes from the Greek word “dys”, meaning “not-normal” and “aesthesis”, which means “sensation” (abnormal sensation). After your post I researched a bit further and it seems the more appropriate term is paresthesia which also means abnormal sensation. 🙂 Thank you for the heads up. I am removing the term from the title of my post. I am not a doctor so I rely on personal and others experiences as well as research. I value input from others to give the content more quality.

  5. Terence Belew says:

    Analgesics, also known as “painkillers”, are medicines which relieve pain. Most analgesics are safe to use when taken as prescribed or instructed by your doctor or pharmacist, in conjunction with the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging. Some extra precautions may apply to patients with pre-existing medical conditions such as kidney failure or gastric ulcers. ^

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