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Muscle Spasms

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I am having severe muscle spasms in my lats. Mostly on left side, but occasionally on both sides. i had cervical fusion 2 years ago and still have severe neck issues, but are these spasms related?? When the spasm hits, i am literally propelled forward and i make funny grunting noises (cuss sometimes). the pain is so strong even with new meds doctor gave me (Amrix). this is horrible...HELP, they wont stop.


  • ....and Welcome.....☺

    I can't tell you if your spasms are related,but my problems are cervical as well and I also suffer terrible spasms..so odds are that they are.We have to be careful that what we say here is not misconstrued as medical knowledge,but only personal experience.Having said that..I would feel it safe to say that it might be related.My spasms get increasingly worse at the very smallest of temperature drop.Have you noticed that?

    Try a heating pad with your muscle relaxer and see if that gives you some temporary relief...and enjoy reading and posting here..it can be rewarding... :)
  • i guess you can tell im a newbie to this site...yea, im trying to relax, but these spasms are killing me. i have tried the meds and heat, but they arent going away...UGH. i literally holler and sometimes cuss. looks like i am being tazed. i cant go in public like this.
  • Have a DR???Well,of course you have a doc if you have medication...maybe you should call your Dr before they close?

    Goodness........You can't let them(spasms) get the best of you like that.I mean shouldn't...sorry...my words come out wrong at times.What I mean is that we have to stay on top of our pain and control it-not the other way around.It can be like a game of tug of war at times.
  • Jen, I have suffered from muscle spasms for years, but they worsened last year after a Functional Capacity Evaluation for my LTD company sent me over the edge.

    I have tried heat, ice, deep tissue massage, physiotherapy, trigger point injections and a million other things..... Most recently, my doc put me on 20 mg of prednisone, SHORT TERM, for pain and spasms that got completely out of control, and I could not believe the difference. I know it's an ugly drug and we don't want to resort to it very often, but it literally changed those spasms in 24 hours. I have now tapered it off to nothing, and the spasms are just barely coming back; I'm hoping the relief will last a while. I know your frustration with it, and can sympathize!! :''(

    For a long time I took high doses of magnesium and malic acid, which is a great combination for muscles; if it doesn't interfere with your meds, it's an easy enough supplement to take.

    Hope I've given you some food for thought....good luck, and keep gritting those teeth!! :D

  • Hiya, well its 5am here. I am up early again, woken up by those all so painful, teeth clinching muscle spasms. It goes from the middle of my back all across and down to my lumber area, down both sides, into both hips, and then i have the siatic pain that radiates down my right leg to my foot. Also down my left leg to my knee. I am in so much pain. Normally as the day goes on the pain eases, but yesterday , it got the better off me, and just would not let up. I tried the cold then hot method, it didnt help. I try to move but it hurts to much, to move backwards, forwards, side to side, the basic things in life we take for granted become such a task. I get tired real easy to, but thats because of the fibro i think. Anyway i just thought i would elaberate on the topic.

    Angie x
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,726

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    Its difficult to take a stab without some more details.
    Where were your cervical fusions? Did you get relief at all after surgery? How long his this current problem been going on for? Are you taking any other medications? And last, what treatment plan are you under? Physical Therapy, Traction, Heat/Cold, Massage, Ultrasound, etc?

    When it appears to be more muscular, its Ice for the first 48 hours and then heat afterward. But that is just the guideline, you do what feels better for you. If this is the case, you should at least discuss the idea with your doctor about muscle relaxers... But again, that is something your doctor has to see based on what he sees in you.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • How are you doing?

    Are your spasms under control yet?

    I sure hope so :)
  • Hi Jen,
    I am sorry to hear you are suffering such nasty spasms. I suffer from these too, really bad ones that stop me in my tracks. All I can offer is sympathy. I take diazepam when my spasms are really bad, and use a heat cushion which does help. Usuallly though, I just have to lie still and wait for the spasm to pass, and sometimes that can take hours :(
  • I had ACDF just last month so I'm still early in recovery. I too have spasms between my shoulders. I already take valium for them but find when that isn't quite enough I thank the good Lord that they invented those Therma care pads for various parts of your body. You could try them if you find they give them some relief then great. I use them because they are portable and I can take them to work with me. If I were you I would definitely talk to your doctor about your medication as it doesn't seem to be working for you.
  • ......any of the heating tools? The reason I ask is because I saw them in the drug store and they are pretty expensive.I would like to have SOMEthing to use in the winter months b/c as soon as I step outside my entire back and neck gets in spasms.

    I don't go out much,but when I do it doesn't matter if the car is warmed up or not..it only takes as long as getting into the car for these to start and sometimes it lasts a long time.
  • That's a good question. I'm in Physical Therapy now and they use something called Hydrocollator Heating pads. I LOVE these things. I feel so much better after I leave PT. Unfortunately I have to endure the spasms between PT sessions and this is not an item that you can just pick up in a drugstore. So now you've got me thinking. I wonder if my insurance would cover the cost? At this point I really don't care. I'm buying them on my own but to be reimbursed would be nice.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,726
    heating pads. They are just not as large as the ones generally used in PT sessions. But they are heated up the same way. (warm-hot water). I have about 4 of them, 1 designed for the cervical area, the rest for any spot on the back. It is also important to purchase the heavy duty pad that those hydrocollator slip into.
    The Therma heat pads are good also, but all the ones I've seen are one time useage. So, they would be fine for a car or plane trip.

    For heating, those mentioned above are good as well as many of those pads filled with rice. You put them in the microwave (2 minutes) and you have heat. Just a word of caution, I used one of them, under my back and with a sweatshirt on, went to bed, when I woke up, I had a 3rd degree burn that eventually required surgery to remove the eschar and plastic surgery to cut away a flap of skin to cover the gapping hole.

    For Icing, a simple bag of frozen peas or corn! Take them out of the freezer and they will mold to your contour.. When you are finished with them, back into the freezer they go. Last a very long time, or until you decided on having a meal that requires those peas or corn.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I was wondering if I'm using too much heat now. I seem to be depending on it more and more instead of less and less. I just bought one that is so comfy and turns itself off if it doesn't feel pressure and automatically turns off after a certain amount of time. So I'm glad I picked this one after reading what you went through. What also fascinated me about this one is that I can spray water on it and use it for moist heat. It's still lacking in the hydrocollator dept though. I still want one of those for my neck specifically because this one I still have to manuever it around my neck to get it to where I need it sometimes. Ok. so after this very long winded post do you have an opinion about using heat too much? I'm 2 months post op almost. Is there such a thing as using heat too often? Am I doing any damage to my muscles by heating them so often? I come home from work and head straight for it for at least an hour before I move again.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,726
    there is NO limit to the amount of heat that you can use.
    And of course, as long ast that is not too hot (ad I am the victim of that)
    For about 7 weeks in a row (before my burn), I was using moist heat every night. I set it up on one of my form rollers (I would be lying on that) so that my chest would be open and take pressure of my thoracic area.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Well I feel much better reading that. I take Valium for the spasms but it wears off and I find relief between with heat. I stick to my schedule with the Valium but I still need heat for those really bad moments until it kicks in. So it's good to know that I'm not doing my muscles any harm.
  • Hi, newbie here
    First off, I am 56 years old with osteoarthritis lumbar facet syndrome and disc issues, have had both knees replaced, a shoulder replaced, a spinal fusion with cages and a messed up thorasic spine with spasms like you.

    I first looked at this site trying to find out what they do at these functional capacity evaluation tests but now realize we all have more in common; the spasms.

    I had a spinal fusion in 2001. They used cages. After the long drawn out recuperation time, I suffered from bad pain and the surgeon (god in his eyes) said he didnt know why I had so much pain because his surgery was perfect. To cut this story short, I ended up going to a spine center where I was told I had facet syndrome. They use Radio frequency degeneration to kill the sensory nerves in my lumber. The nerves in the facets are only sensory so they grow back after a time. I was getting terrible spasms in my left leg and would have to sit down. My leg would actually give out.
    The RFD does help and last up to about a year. You can have this done over and over. It doesn't stop the disease process but is like taking pain meds without the weird feeling. If you were to rupture a disc or do more that you should or can do you still feel it, but its better than constant pain.

    Now my second issue. I like you started having terrible spasms in my lat area. The spasms get so bad, it becomes a hard knot and my husband can feel it (the size of a baseball). I went to a spine center.Well, the doctor was very nice. This spine center believes in agressive PT or bootcamp PT. I tried it. The doctor said I would never get rid of the pain but he could make it bearable with excerise.I went to the 2 month boot camp. I was still in constant pain but no spasms. The therapist gave me a program to do on my own at my local gym. My program consists of flexiblity, strength and cardio. I have done it on my own for about 1 year and now all of a sudden out of nowhere I have a flareup and a huge spasm. Now I have been on vicadin and valium at night for a long time in order to sleep. The spasm I just got was T6=8 area and hard as a rock. My doctor gave me skelaxin, a muscle relaxer which didn't do anything.

    What my doctor explained to me is that when you have osteoarthritis or another back problem where your vertibrae is not working correctly, the muscles try to over compensate which leads to the spasms.

    I had this spasm for 2 month before I went to my doctor hoping it would go away.

    What is working for me is that she sent me to PT where they are using ultra sound, manual massage, and e-stim. After 1 week, I could actually feel the spasm dissapear, so please try this for your spasms. I still have a ways to go but hanging in there.

    Now, my question is my LTD company tried to settle with me (after 8 years)with a lump sum way below what I would get if I continued to receive monthly payments. My contract with them is that I am unable to do any type of work even sedentary. After I refused, I get a letter that they are sending me (paid by them) to a function capacity evaluation. Does anyone know what this, what happens or what is up with it in general. I cannot sit. This is what brings on the spasms according to my doctor so what are they going to make me do, sit in a chair for 8 hours until I spasm??? Any help appreciated.

    For those having the spasms, ask your doctor to try this type of therapy.

  • in one of my rock hard spasms and it worked like magic but sadly never to be repaeted.

    The spasms are so draining too, don't you think?
  • Welcome to S~H :-h

    I don't have a lot of time to post tonight,but wanted to say hello and welcome.You will find a lot of people here with a lot in common...and lots of support!

    I had to laugh when I read where you said
    Rosebud326 (god in his eyes)
    That was funny :)

    Please keep us posted.
  • I have leg spasms and thats sciatica from L5-S1 herniated disc. I take lyrica and flexeril and heat helps too. Maybe you should see your GP and see if you need another MRI. Take care. Charry
    PS I got an infrared platinum heating pad with a script so I didn't have to pay taxes on it. My insurance doesn't cover anything except braces and orthotics.
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Don't know if they are related, but man, muscle spasms can be just absolutely horrible. I am going to receive Botox injections later this week for my back muscle. I have had trigger point injections in different muscles, but recently from a new doc, and he had the touch. I finally felt some relief, and am looking forward to the Botox now - it really gives me some hope. Not sure if something like this may be helpful to you

  • Hiya >:D< Welcome to Spine Health :) The site is full of information and friendly members you can chat to O:) Who are in the same situation as yourself ;) I hope you enjoy as much as we all do, and will look forward to chatting to you >:D<

    Angie x :H
  • Hi. My name is Nancy. I have the same muscle spasms that are described on this forum. In my lats, inner thighs, feet, calves and even right under my chin. I'm 49, loaded with arthritis in the neck, back shoulders, knees. I've not slept thru the night in forever it seems. But even if I'm exercising in the pool at the gym, my feet will go into spasm. If I turn my trunk, my lats cramp up. It's really embarrassing when it happens at work because I'm a physical therapist. What do you guys think works best for this? Meds? The MD mentioned either baclofen or neurontin. Would like to avoid them if possible. Anything else?? Thanks
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