Do y’all know what the worst and most unwelcoming hug ever is? The MS Hug is definitely the type of hug none of us really want! It is anything but loving and comforting causing a lot of discomfort and possible pain. The MS Hug is a collection of symptoms that is caused by spasms in the intercostal muscles. The muscles that are involved are located between the ribs. The MS Hug got its “nickname”, so to speak, from the way the pain wraps around the body basically like a hug or a girdle. The involuntary muscle spasms are also referred to as girdling or MS girdling. This not so exciting hug can last anywhere from a few seconds to hours at a time! The good news is the MS Hug does not mean the MS has progressed; it is just having what I refer to as a temper tantrum and will go away!
What exactly does the MS Hug feel like? Like Multiple Sclerosis itself, the MS Hug is very unpredictable and experienced differently by each person. Some that have experienced the MS Hug have pressure around the waist, torso or neck instead of pain. Some people encounter a band of tingling in the waist, torso or neck. Others that experience the MS Hug have a sharp, stabbing pain or a dull widespread aching feeling. During the MS Hug some may also experience a sensation of squeezing, crushing, crawling feelings under the skin, hot or cold burning or even pin and needles.
How is the MS Hug treated? Considering the MS Hug is a result of muscle spasms, the pain that is felt is neurologic in nature. This basically means this is nerve pain which can be difficult to resolve. Believe me I know how frustrating that is to hear, but sadly it is true! I have dealt with the wonderful MS Hug many times and it is never a pleasant hug! Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen are not likely to bring any true relief. According to the National MS Society the drug classes approved to treat the nerve pain from the MS Hug are: antispasticity medications (ex. diazepam), anticonvulsants medications (ex. gabapentin) and antidepressants (ex. amitriptyline). Please remember that I am not a medical professional, I just have personal experience with the MS Hug and this is what was recommended to me previously.
What are possible triggers of the MS Hug? As with everything else involved with Multiple Sclerosis, triggers vary from person to person. However the most common triggers are: heat, stress and fatigue, all times when the body is not running at 100%. This could be an indication that rest needs to increase, take time to cool off from the heat properly and find ways to de-stress. We all know that excessive heat is very unhealthy and that too much stress is detrimental to all of us!
My personal experiences with the infamous MS Hug have been limited, but they have happened WAY more than I would have liked! I have actually been dealing with this hug on and off for a few days now, but of course was trying to just ignore it as I always do. I have not done the appropriate things to help heal, like finding ways to de-stress. Of course I know better, but I continue to take on more stress instead of brushing it off! It is so important to know there are somethings in life we have NO control over, so why bother allowing that into our lives? I ask myself that question daily, but yet I do always try to help others that do not seem to appreciate or even really want my help! I guess I will learn my lesson someday!
Just out of curiosity, have any of you experienced the MS Hug? The name makes it sound so sweet and wonderful, but my goodness it has never been welcomed or enjoyed! I am hoping that considering I am doing what is necessary this hug will go away soon and NOT come back anytime soon. I feel like MS does not understand personal boundaries. Unwelcome and unwanted hugs definitely invades my personal space!
I sincerely appreciate you visiting my site today! I look forward to any comments you may have and I do promise to respond as quickly as I can. Thank goodness we are half way through the week and the weekend will be here soon! I hope y’all have a great and relaxing evening!