Is it possible to have MS hug but not have MS?

I have experienced sensations which match the MS hug descriptions for over 10 years. I assumed they were the result of having reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy about 15 years ago until I talked with someone who had the same procedure and then checked with the surgeon who performed the reconstruction – neither knew what I was talking about. I have a friend who does have MS, and she knew exactly what I meant. I have no other symptoms of MS, though I do have occasional dysphonia (confirmed diagnosis), gastritis with GERD (also confirmed), and take weekly prescribed B12 injections (? of pernicious anemia, but that’s a difficult diagnosis). The girdling/banding sensations have become constant and increasingly uncomfortable; however, when aggravated by certain activities, the sensation is quite painful. Muscle relaxants are of no help. Otherwise it’s rest, pain meds, and NSAIDs. I still work part-time and would be devastated if I had to quit. I don’t know where to go from here, but would welcome any insights or suggestions.


Community Answers
  • Erin Rush moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi EllieK! I am sorry you are so familiar with the dreaded “hug”. If you haven’t done so already, please notify your physician about what is going on. While I am not aware of other medical conditions that can cause a “hug”, that does not mean it can’t occur outside of MS.

    Either way, something is obviously going on in your body and it deserves examination. The diagnostic procedure for MS is quite in-depth, so you may want to rule out other conditions before subjecting yourself to a battery of tests. And again, it’s best to discuss all of this with your physician. Here is some information about the diagnostic process for MS — https://multiplesclerosis.net/diagnosis/tools-your-doctor-will-use-to-make-a-diagnosis/. Also, here are conditions that mimic certain MS symptoms and many physicians like to rule them out when attempting to reach a diagnosis — https://multiplesclerosis.net/diagnosis/ruling-out-other-health-conditions/. I hope this information is helpful for you AND that you can get some answers very soon. Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.

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