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extensive muscle spasms

baffledbbaffled Posts: 375
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Chronic Pain
wondering if anyone has gotten a dx of extensive chronic muscle spasms and rigidity...or something to that nature. Doc truely beleives all my pain is a result of the chronic muscle spasms (since 4/07) - 4th round of pt (a lot more details - he wishes to speak directly to the pt person) and a ms muscle med.

I am game for anything that will help improve my quality of life. Fortunely, this hospital recently built a med center right up the street from me - yae for me! and i won't have to travel the 1 hr to get to the hospital like I do for doc appts!

Just wondering who else has had chronic muscle spasms and how things went for you...what helped, what didn't and so on.

He said he wasn't surprised the botox did not work for me, but we had to try...2-3 wkly pt sessions for 4 weeks, here we go....maybe this will be the ticket.



  • The only thing that helps me with my neck and shoulders is an anti-spasmotic every 4 to 6 hours and lots of moist heat (hot tub). I started off with Baclofen but maxed it out so fast it started to lose effectiveness. I switched over to Zanaflex which is better for me than the Baclofen, but it is very sedating if I'm not careful. If you have the opportunity to be evaluated by someone in muscle med, go for it.

  • that is exactly the same med he put me on - Zanaflex. Sounds like it helped but to be careful. I am starting out slow - one at night for a few days, then add during the day until i max at 3 - ty again for the heads up - read the litature and that seemed to be one of the side effects is the drowsiness.

    Good to hear from you - how are you doing? You should give classes to new members to the back pain system - you have had to try it all - and you have such a wonderful way of presenting your experience and knowledge.

    tc - C
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure) with the Zanaflex. It can drastically reduce your blood pressure and catch you off guard. It took me a while to adjust to it. I have to strike a balance between getting some relief and the sedative issues. I also have to be careful not to take the Zanaflex when I am eating or have just eaten! It's almost like getting hit with an extra dose all at once. So I take it at least 30 minutes before or an hour after I eat. Oh and the same thing can happen if I take it with a soda instead of water.

    I monitored my blood pressure every day for the first couple months and now every few days. There are times I wish I could tolerate a higher dose, but at least it is better than nothing. It does help and I'd be a basket case without it.

    Thanks for the kind words Patti. I hope you find there's some relief with the Zanaflex. Moist heat is a great help for me too! I use the hot tub and also a heating "bag" made out of brown rice and a pillow case.

  • Thanks for the information on the Zanaflex. We were looking at meds for my spastic leg problem and the doctor was thinking of Baclofen or Zanaflex, and was leaning more towards Zanaflex. It is good to know it may work. Just have to get by the 30th and then see where things are after this surgery.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    I totally agree with Zanaflex. It has been the best muscle relaxer that I have taken. Right now, I am using it only at night (4mg), but prior to this I was taking 2mg during the day and afternoons. It works, but it does always make me a bit drowsy... Not the best choice if you need to be up and around and alert.
    Zanaflex also can do a job on your liver. Since I've been using this, my doctor has me going ever 30 days for blood work, just to make sure that the liver function results are within norms. So far, no problem with me.
    I like and do what "C" says about moist heat. Two years ago, we purchased a hot tub and I use it almost every night, it does wonders for your spine and muscles.
    Last thing to consider is massages. At this point, just massages that are not the gentle Swedish type of massage, but not as agressive as Deep Tissue. Somewhere in between
    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
  • hot tubs are definately the ticket pappa, best thing i ever bought.
  • I actually use Soma for my muscle spasms in my lower back. Doctor had me try it and it works great. He also referred me to a site where I can purchase the Soma for cheaper since I don't have insurance. Thought I'd share! It is www.nowhere.com and you don't have to have a prescription as they have U.S. licensed doctors and pharmacies who will review your request, fill and ship your meds.

    I have been getting my Soma here for about six months now.

    Post edited to remove URL. Solicitation on Spine-Health is not permitted

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health Administrator 03/20/09
  • If you don't mind telling my your dosage - I am to build up to 3 - 2mg daily. My doc didn't mention the blood pressure or liver stuff - just the dizziness and drossiness...so to build slowly and let the body get used to it. Just wondering, if he had me starting out low - and that is why he did not mention the blood pressure and liver stuff.

    I get hesitated about take new meds...not sure how they will effect me and I really have respect for what they do and can do to your system...and sometimes, uninvited side effects come along for the ride.

    thanks for your input from the both of you,
  • pain a horrible word for everyone and i am suffered from this muscle spasms and i tried almost all tablets to reduce my pain but there is no result and one day my frend told me about EDITED he said its a reliable pill for treating pain once you try it u will see the result automatically then i take it regularly as my doctor prescribed me n within some days my pain reduces and now i m very happy n fit and fine.

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  • pfm

    How many sessions of Botox did you have? How many units??
    I have muscle spasms as well in my back and I have a right sided pelvic off set because of spasms. I've had Botox 4 times now 200 units the first time and 300 units the rest.I have it every 2 months.The 4th time I got the most relief. I go back again in 2 weeks for more. I also take Baclofen orally. He's using the botox as my "last resort"
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    taking 1 4mg Zanaflex at bedtime. Before that I was taking 2mg during the day and 1 at night. For me the 4mg is strong enough to help with any muscle problems and allows me to get to sleep easier.
    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 have suffered for years from muscle spasms, and have had so many diagnoses that I don't really know WHAT it is!! I am currently being treated for ankylosing spondylitis, and have been injecting methotrexate since the fall. That has eased my spasms off immensely; prior to that, I didn't have much luck with anything else. I have been on 10 mg of Baclofen morning and night for several months, but I don't honestly believe it helps a lot. I've just gone off Clonazepam (Klonopin), as I know IT didn't help either, so it was pointless to keep taking it.

    When I suffered from terrible leg spasms a few years ago, the one thing that did make a difference was high doses of magnesium and malic acid, along with lots of water, of course. I've stopped taking it because I have to be careful about supplements with two of my current meds.

    When my spasms get completely out of control now, I take a four to seven day course of prednisone, which is obviously not the best choice in treatment, but it usually works well for me.

    Hope you get some relief; I've gone to physio steady for years, as it's the only way I can keep a lot of issues under control, but my PTs have been baffled by my body.

  • I received the botox only once - to be honest with you I do not remember the amount - one vilal - maybe 100 - he doesn't wish to do it again, because I am actually worse than before the botox. I received it in the trap muscle, 2 shots in the neck (ea side) and 2 more lower into the thoracic area (ea side)

    He said he was not too surprised it did this to me, since my upper back and neck muscles are a mess. he changed me from baclophen to the zanaflex as well.

    work has started, so I really am not feeling any better...neck and upper back is tight as can be and rotation and movement is limited. I start another round of pt this coming fri - i am interested if this will help out at all.

  • I too suffered from leg cramps for years and have tried everything the Dr. has up his sleeve. I use to wake up screaming in pain with my muscles hard as a rock in my thighs and calves.....even my feet and toes, back and tummy. Nothing at all helped. Magnesium, muscle relaxers...nothing until I tried drinking water....several glasses a day.
    Now if i forget to drink my water and stretch my leg muscles and I feel the first twinge of a spasm I run and drink a glass of water. Wonder of wonders...it works for me.
    Oops....almost forgot...I can no longer run but i do go as fast as i can and drink water.
    Sometimes my big toe would be sticking streight up from a spasm and i would have to get out of bed and step on it with my other foot to get it to lay down like it was supposed to. LOL
    I read in a medical book that muscle spasms last only a few minutes. That is a bunch of crap!! I have been up all night as wave after wave of spasms hit me.
    Drinking wwater may not help you or anyone else that has this problem but it sure works for this hillbillie and my brother-in-law.
    I prey you get some relief. My heart goes out to everyone who suffers chronic pain.
    Hugsssssssss >:D<
    Patsy W
  • I take 6mg every 6 hours. Some days it's not enough and other days it's fine. I have to balance things out so I don't make myself too drowsy or drop my blood pressure. My neck is so asymmetrical now, that without the Zanaflex and SCS I would be up a creek.

  • Had the monthly doc appt - he has me keeping on the same meds and continueing with PT - and I have an EMG scheduled -at the beginning of May - I had something similar with my carpel tunnel back in 2005. I just hope that the test show how my body feels - such pain thru shoulders to my fingers. Have to say I am still at that point of not feeling validated and wishing for more from my doctors. I just am not convinced, as he is, that all this pain is muscle in origin. But I guess this test will either prove me or him wrong.

    take care all - patti
  • I have DDD and spinal stenosis and I think the nerve compression and damage is what causes my muscle cramps, which I've had for years. I have had multi-level fusions in both my neck and lumbar spine, with the lumbar surgery only a few weeks ago.

    I get frequent, severe, and very painful muscle cramps in my hands, legs, and feet. These are horrible cramps that ball my hands into a claw shape, prevent walking, and make my toes stick up vertically. One time a cramp in my foot was so bad it resulted in my toe breaking -- the cramp caused me to fall, and during the fall my toe broke. I'm not sure if the cramp or the fall was the reason.

    I would not think that lots of physical therapy would help with these cramps, because I've noticed that my cramps often become worse during or after exercise, especially after things such as bike riding and swimming. Swimming in cold water is especially bad. I also get more cramps when I'm very tired. I live in a hot, humid climate and think part of it may be due to lowered potassium levels caused by sweating a lot.

    But I have a quick way to relieve the cramps -- ice. If I have only a single cube of ice, I use that single cube until it melts. Otherwise I pack several ice cubes into a baggie, and rub this on the cramped muscles of my legs, feet, hands, or whatever is cramping. I have to move the ice around, rubbing it on various parts of the cramped area, and if I find just the right spots, the cramps immediately start to go away. For the best and quickest results, the ice must be applied as soon as the cramps begin. A delay in applying the ice causes it to take much longer to relieve the cramp.

    Ice almost always relieves my cramps. But sometimes the cramps recur shortly afterward. I think these cramps originate from injured nerves in my neck and back, so I sometimes put ice on my neck or back, too, when I'm getting lots of cramps, or else I use a moist heating pad on my neck and back and ice on the actual cramping parts of me.

    The ice always works great for me. To prevent the cramps from recurring, I take Soma, which seems to help but it takes the Soma a long time to begin working, so I use the ice in the meantime. Muscle relaxants such as Flexeril provide no help for me. My mother read somewhere that putting an opened bar of soap in your bed prevents leg cramps. It sounds crazy but she swears she has not had leg cramps at night since doing this.
  • Thurs the 14th we see the doc again - the pt is preparing a report for him - and i assume from her discussion with me the report will end my pt sessions - I hope she includes her opinion that 2 years of conservative meassures is enough and can I move forward.

    Anyone who has gotten to know me thru my posts/replies knows that i have not ever pushed for anything beyond the conservative treatments - I have tried all that has been suggested, always hoping that the next thing would be the right combination to improve my pain levels and ultimately my quality of life.

    I want to say thank you to all of you - your advise and wisdom is much appreciated - you help put words to my feelings and giving me much to ponder. It isn't that I got into all of this to have surgery - but i think i am running out of options - and my quality of life, my ability to make a living is being seriously threatened! I beleive I understand the risks (but having never had back/neck surgery maybe I am fooling myself) -

    I hope that the docs can see their way to getting off "it is all muscle" to really think about the question "if it is all muscle, why hasn't anything helped in 2 #$%@& years? And Why did they get so $%#@ bad in the first place?" They know there is a herniation and bone spurs - and i swear I feel like the vertabrae on right on top of one another (though I am sure they are not) - but I am telling you there is no way for me to tilt my head back - it will not go backwards - the pain and the lock feeling is incredible.

    anyways, wish me luck on the 14th and thank you all again for everything
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