Last reply 1 year ago
MS Hug? Or something different

If you have MS I’m sure you know we have scary symptoms at times and don’t know if it’s emergent or just our brains playing tricks on us. Well…. some of you may have experienced the MS “hug” tightening feeling around chest? I’m not sure if I’m having a true flare but my right hand has tremors started two days ago it’s slightly better now but I have had strange feeling in my chest particularly my right side. Last night I woke up gasping for air as if I was inhaling water. Choking on air is what it was. And today sporadic sharp pains and slight tightness in chest. Anyone having something similar ?

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1 year ago

Hi @megan_compton-rodriguez and welcome.

Yes, the “hug”, or banding, is one of the nasty symptoms of MS. It’s caused by the intercostal muscles going into spasm.

There’s more details here:-

It would be worthwhile keeping a note of any new symptoms, so that these can be reported to your medical team.

In 2015, 2 years before my MS diagnosis, I was taken to cardiology ER, where I have been diagnosed with pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart). Couldn’t breathe in properly, or sit straight, couldn’t lay down flat, couldn’t drink, couldn’t eat. Now I know it was MS flare (MRI shows multiple thoracic lesions). Maybe it would be worth talking to your Neuro about spinal cord MRI?

Ok thank you so much for the feedback !!

1 year ago

@valentina_haritonova, you’re experience is so similar to mine. I was diagnosed with MS in February 2014. A year before, I went to the ER and was diagnosed with pericarditis. I didn’t feel the doctors were convinced of this diagnosis. It was more of the sort, everything looks fine with your heart, it must therefore be pericarditis.

Last week, I went to the ER for the same symptoms: occasional pain in the rib cage at different places, tightness, shortness of breath. I was diagnosed again with pericarditis. The ultrasound did not show any fluid or abnormality. They gave me NSAIDs for 10 days until it gets better. I am wondering if it is the MS hug that I hear about that’s been confused with pericarditis.

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