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MS Hug??

Has anyone else experienced this? Is this a MS hug? It hurts in my sternum, esophagus and ribs especially if I take a breath. It feel like I cant get a full deep breath. I have done this more than once so I dont think that its viral or heart related but a little scary when this happens. It last anywhere from several hours to several days.


  1. Hi Beth and thank you for reaching out here.
    If you haven't done so already, please don't hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional about this, especially when it comes to shortness of breath.
    If they determine that it is an m.s. "hug" there may be ways they can help you with it, but you'll want to be absolutely sure that that's what it is first.

    1. Hi Beth,

      I experienced a MS hug recently. It was really weird. It had been so many years since I had one and didn't recognize at first what I was experiencing. I have never heard of anything that can be done to help with them or prevent them.

      1. Hi Beth,
        I thought these articles might be of interest to you:

        I hope you can get to the bottom of this soon, and if you do decide to consult with a doctor, hopefully something in these articles will help with talking points that will help you to get some real answers so you can have some peace of mind. This has to be very diconcerting, ( and painful!)
        Please keep us posted, will be thinking of you...Janus

        1. Hi. I've had MS for 44 years now, and about 4 years ago I started having the MS hug. Mine feels like a thin rope is tied around me just under the ribs and under my diaphragm. It feels like it is going to cut me in half. Then other times it feel like my abdomen is going to pop open and spill my guts! Sometimes my kidney area is very painful.

          With the smoke we have been having from wildfires, I notice I have trouble during this time with breathing. At first the hug happened occasionally. Now it is with me every day.

          Saw the neurologist, tried all the latest medications which I was either allergic to or made everything worse, so I am on pain medication which I can take less of sometimes by taking Ibuprophen first. I also find using a "rice bag" (rice in a sock) heated only a minute in microwave on my back area that hurts or on my stomach/diaphragm area while reading/relaxing helps take the edge off so I can then do what I need to do.

          Someone else stated to relax, deep breathe and focus on something else, don't worry. I find this helps along with my rice bag. Don't worry is a big factor. My mantra is "this too shall pass", which almost all my worst symptoms do. Then when one or more of them come back, I am surprised at first until I remember, oh yes, that is part of MS. I will not let MS be the focus of my life; I have too many other things to do!!

          I wish the best for you, hang in there, and focus on the blessings in your life.

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