MS Hug or Kidney Problems? That is the Question!

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Well this past week I was having massive pain in my lower, left back where the rib cage is. Mind you, I have had the ms hug way too many times to count but holy moly it was bad. Nothing seemed to work as quickly as previous times.

The pain started last Wednesday but was mild and bearable so huh no problem. As the days past the pain started to intensify. However, I have so many body pains I tend to ignore the smaller things so I just happened to overlook the pain until Friday when I noticed it was inflaming more.

By Saturday, I didn’t want to move I was in so much pain. It was so bad, I was actually considering going to the ER and I never do that unless I am in dire straights. Because if I went every time something was wrong I’d never leave … sad but true. So because I was unsure what was causing the pain I began drinking cranberry juice and cherry juice for the kidney which normally takes the pain away or minimizes the pain within hours of drinking but I didn’t notice a difference. Then it hit me, it may be the ms hug.

The ms hug can literally hit anywhere in the rib area. It can be on one side, or a lower part of the rib cage or the whole rib cage. Believe me the whole rib cage is excruciating. So with this in mind I started placing ice packs on my breastbone and upper spine. By placing the ice packs on these areas it helps calm down the ms hug greatly compared to just meds alone. Think Of the breastbone and the upper spine like piano keys when it spasms it effects areas of the rib cage that is why placing ice packs on those areas help reduce it quicker … it helps calm it down.

I first laid down and place the ice packs on those areas for about an hour and a half during the day which isn’t long but I have a family so that is all the time I had. Later that night when I laid back down I placed ice backs on my breastbone, upper spine and on the area that hurt just in case it wasn’t the ms hug. Also, because I was unsure what the pain was coming from I did continue to drink the cranberry and cherry juice throughout the weekend.

You may be asking yourself how does cranberry and cherry juice help the kidneys. The cranberry juice is what cleans and rids the toxins from the kidneys. The cherry juice works in a similar manner but with regards to the liver. That is why I do both to help them stay healthy to avoid future complications with them. Mind you I have been doing this for over 20 years since I was 16 years old … that is when my kidney problems started and presented with pain. Also, with me having chronic EBV it can effect your liver and causes it to enlarge so a ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.

By Sunday morning, my kidney or the ms hug was a lot better than Saturday. On Saturday I was in so much pain, I felt as though I was going to collapse, my legs felt weak and wobbly and I had the shakes very badly along with the kidney / ms hug. But by Sunday the pain was greatly reduced but still very painful but bearable … Amen!

Today is Monday and I did the same routine yesterday and last night. I drank cranberry juice and cherry juice and later in the night packed myself with more ice and now this morning I am doing a lot better. It only hurts when I twist my waist but a lot more bearable. Thank you God and for all those who prayed for me. It was greatly appreciated.

So hopefully by tomorrow, the pain will be completely gone. Keeping my fingers crossed. Big hugs to all and have a beautiful week.

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CEBV and The MS Hug … Ribs Squeezing Pain

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The MS Hug, not just for MS (Multiple Sclerosis). 

Do you sometimes feel as though a gorilla is giving you a huge hug around your rib cage and the result is PAIN! Yes, that is the MS Hug. You may experience this pain around your entire rib cage or just part of your rib cage.

Here is an excerpt from About.com on MS Hugs:
http://ms.about.com/od/signssymptoms/a/ms_hug_pain.htm

How Common is the “MS Hug?”

This is hard to say. Up to 75% of people with MS will experience pain as a symptom, but statistics on the MS hug are difficult to find.

What Causes the “MS Hug?”

It is caused by a lesion on the spinal cord and is technically classified as a neuropathic pain called a “paresthesia,” which refers to any abormal sensation. The sensation itself is the result of tiny muscles between each rib (intercostal muscles) going into spasm. These muscles have the job of holding our ribs together, as well as keeping them flexible and aiding in movement, like forced expiration.

What Does It Feel Like?

Like many MS symptoms, the “MS hug” feels different for different people – it also feels different in the same people on different days or at different times of day. It can be:

  • As low as the waist or as high as the chest; rarely it can be felt as high as the shoulders and neck
  • Focused in one small area (usually on one side or in the back) or go all the way around the torso
  • Worse when fatigued or stressed
  • Present in “waves” lasting seconds, minutes or hours or can be steady for longer periods of time
  • Described as sharp pain, dull pain, burning pain, tickling, tingling, a crushing or constricting sensation or intense pressure

How Severe Can It Get?

Some people experience difficulty breathing or painful breathing, so severe that it is often perceived as a heart attack or panic attack.

Hope you find this helpful. I was experiencing the MS Hug for years so I thought you may find this helpful if you are experiencing the same pains.

Side notes: you may still experience MS Hugs without having MS. It’s called Costochondritis.

How to Get Relief from the MS Hug aka Costochondritis!

The best way I have found to  calm it down is with ice packs (I prefer the gel kind) on the breastbone and upper back following the spine downwards. This is the best way I have discovered to relieve it quicker. You can also take one or two of your muscle relaxants such as; gabapentin, valium, flexeril, robaxin … whatever meds you have to assist the process but ice packs is a given with it or you will be waiting a lot longer for it to subside.

Good Luck and Big Hugs! Stay Strong!

UPDATE! As of 2017, I recently was made aware that fibromyalgia can also cause costochondritis … just FYI.