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  • Summer1
    Lately, I've been having chest pain and tightness so incredibly strong where its painful even to breathe. It lasts for about 15 minutes and then goes away. This has happened to me before and its not a heart condition, I'm assuming its the "MS hug" or maybe anxiety! Has anyone ever felt this and how do you deal with the pain?
  • ErinNicole
    Hi Summer, I have not experienced it in my chest but right below my chest through my abdomen. It usually happens when I sleep or I e been still a long time. I have it every morning. What helps most is stretching and very low impact exercises. I start with a very poorly done vinyasa pose and it hurts at first but it works. If you try this and it hurts too much, stop. We all have to find our own ways of working through our symptoms and don’t want to make it worse 
  • MS_Navigators
    Hi Summer1,

    If you're concerned about your level of pain, please do mention it to your doctor so they can be sure it isn't being caused by something else.

    I hope you feel better!

    Jess, MS Navigator
  • maria1
    Summer, maybe it is ms hug and anxiety, we all go there. Next time it happens try breathing from your diaphram, small breaths, you already know it will go away so stay focused on breathing and forget about being anxious. Sometimes WE make thing more difficult than they really are. Most of the ms stuff we go through we make worse by being scared instead of just observing, we seem to always react to something new by being scared, I wonder why? With ms it is always something new and alien, if it lasts too long we go to the doc and look for new answers but if we just roll with it for a while as just a new(but ugly) experience it goes away, and a new one pops up. Reminding us we got a lotta nerves.!
  • maria1
    ALSO, check the side effects of the medications you are on to be sure it is not a side effect.
  • golgotha
    MS can and does impact the heart, so you want to talk to your doctor(s) and ensure it's not that.

    Has anyone ever felt this and how do you deal with the pain?


    Yes, the pain from the MS hug is impressive, isn't it?! When my "hugs" started they're not just the inter-costal muscles in the rib area, but various pains and spasms and spasticity in much of my back and torso -- not fun. :(

    My neurologist put me on an increased dose of baclofen and I've developed all sorts of tactics and gimmicks to deal with the issues.

    For example, as silly as it sounds, I can get some dramatic relief from using an inversion table. That $120 spent was well worth it. I don't have back problems, but a short 30-second or 2 minutes upside down on the inversion table will "reset" the pain level -- sometimes for 10 minutes or sometimes for 10 hours.

    Also doing opposites -- "pushing the envelope" ideas -- seem to help. If I was active before the pain started I'll spend time sitting or doing nothing. Or if I was inactive when the pain started, I'll get physical and find something to do.

    Things like medical marijuana (depending on the particular strain) can help, but TBH that's not a whole lot of help.

    As ErinNicole mentioned stretching is a key!

    Stretch multiple times a day if needed. And don't forget exercise during the periods when you don't have the intense pain. Yes, we all know the problems of exercise and MS, but the reality is "use it or lose it" -- or "use it or get stiff and 'harden'."

    Here's hoping that this is a case of "this too shall pass" for you!
  • Summer1
    Thank You all, for your kind words and advice!  I will mention these symptoms to my doctor and will definitely try to relax and rest more when the pain happens. I have a toddler that keeps me very busy and running around. The table is actually a really great idea, thank you! :)
  • joeysdad
    Hey Summer, I use to get the HUGG quite regularly. Only my wife thought hug was too good of a word for it, so we call it "the squeeze" first time i had it, I was about to tell my wife to call an ambulance. Once I realized what it was it wasn't AS bad. My wife quickly learned to notice when I was having one, and when I was, she would pull up some kind of funny thing on her phone or the computer and it would quickly take my mind away from it! My Neuro prescribed baclafen and my neurontin is at the max I can take. Those have helped quite a bit. Have not had a squeeze in awhile!
  • ErinNicole
    Curious... I could your wife tell you we’re having one?

    My stomach swells like I’m in early pregnancy or bloated, but the professionals I’ve talked to say they’ve never heard of that before 
  • joeysdad
    She could sense it in my face. When you are married for 24 years you get to know each other quite well.