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MS hug, shingles or some other symptom?

I've had an unusual (for me) new symptom for about 10 days now. It's a bit of a mystery, and I'm really curious whether anyone else recognises anything like this. I did report it to the MS nurse, and she said it may or may not be MS, and the thing she seemed to suspect most was shingles. She said I should keep a really good look out for a rash - but I definitely still haven't got one! It's a kind of nerve pain in my left torso, which seen seems to go in a band around the lower ribs. The skin is numb all around the left side - but with reduced feeling, rather than none at all. (It's strange for me to have something on the left, as I normally only feel MS-y things on the right.) It started as a kind of 'phantom itch', which I couldn't actually scratch if I wanted to. (I hurt the skin at the beginning, before I realised what was going on.) It's developed into more of a dull pain now, which can be concentrated either at the front or the back. It varies in intensity from being hardly there to quite painful, and can wake me up in the night. It tends to be better in the morning and worsen as the day goes on. If I do try and scratch, or even just feel around to see if it's changed, it quickly becomes more hypersensitive and painful. I'm getting used to it now (although hoping it won't stick around for too long) but I don't much like the element of mystery. I was reading up about MS hug, which can apparently be one-sided, but the descriptions are so varied it's hard to know. It would be brilliant to hear from any of you experienced people how 'MS-y' (or not) it sounds to you. Thank you very much for reading!

@jerbil , well, it does sound MS-y, doesn't it? On the basis that MS can effect anything and everything, I would say it's MS. And, yes, it could well be the "Hug". The present hypersensitivity could just be that area of skin getting fed up with being touched more than usual. It could well be your body "talking to you". Your MS is objecting to something that is going on in your life, be that an increase in stress levels, being over-tired or even a change in diet. Whatever it is, try and lighten up a bit and allow this to pass.


I recently had the shingles. It was on the right side of my back and wrapped around the side to my torso. It started with an itch here or there that I didn’t think of much because I already have a neuropathic itch or what they call the “ms itch.” I don’t remember tingles, but shingles do cause them and I already have tingles everywhere so I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Now that I think of it, my tingles got worse. I noticed what felt like a deep pain in my right side. Some of the worst pain I’ve been in. I already have back pain so I wouldn’t have noticed if it was dull, but then I started getting a dull pain on the right side and front torso. I went to the ER because my GP couldn’t see me. I still did not have a rash and I had the pain for at least a week or two by then. All they could find was a UTI that they figured had spread. 2 days after I went and started antibiotics I was itching on my back and went to scratch and felt one bump that I figured was a random bug bite. Then, later that same evening the rash appeared on my back and I thought it was an allergic reaction to the antibiotics because I’m allergic to most of them so went back to the ER because it was late on a weekend. It was shingles. They immediately started me on an antiviral. By morning the rash wrapped all the way around to the front. I’d definitely keep an eye on it because it does sound like that’s what it could be. I now still have worse tingles in areas and some of the back pain on my right which is residual from my shingles. We’re still hoping it goes away with time. Sorry for the long answer! Hope you feel better!