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what issues keep muscles from healing

baffledbbaffled Posts: 375
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Wondering if anyone has any ideas that cause the muscle to become rigid, contracted and in constant spasms. I am just wondering...my pt (a seasoned 12 year practictioner) said that i won the award for the tightess, most contracted spastic, rigid muscles that she has ever encountered. It has been over 2 years since this all began...when she stated this she was working on my trap muscle (the one that had the botox injections less than 3 months ago).

She has multiple times encouraged me to seek another opinion if my current doc doesn't proceed with a less conservative approach...her report to the doc will state this. My question is this: what are some reasons that the muscles are unable to heal/relax - is it the herniation at c56 or the bone spurs or is it something else? Perhaps, the docs and me are going down the wrong path...are there issues with the muscles that create this situation of constant contraction - and when i say constant i mean for over 2 years!

thanks for any ideas


  • Hi patti,

    I can feel you on the constant muscle spasms. I have been in them for 3 1/2 years now. They call the condition chronic now and is called chronic myofacial pain syndrome. Chronic referring to the length of time they have been going on as well as chronic radiculopathy. Has your doctor tried any trigger point injection and then messaged the meds in. I have the posterior surgery done twice and that muscle has atrophy in it. So it seems the other muscles are in over time. I also have another level that is flattening the cord as well. I have been in surgery 5 times and at this point and time am sticking it out as long as I can.

    Once you do a fusion surgery the mechanics of the spine are forever changed. So you have to retrain the muscles to work the new way as well. I find that if I don't stretch every morning they are worse by days in. I also use a ball, i got from physical therapy to aid in the trigger points. I can place the ball between the trigger point and the wall and press in. Although it hurts at the time it does provide some relief as it somewhat breaks down. If you have other levels going bad this could be causing your muscle spasms. However i couldn't really tell you that is the case. If you don't feel comfortable with your doc, by all means seek another opinion. Hope this helped somewhat sorry I don't have a better answer.
  • thanks for your response. I saw the doctor yesterday, emg is normal - so he is at a loss of why my muscles are in the state that they are. I am certainly at the crossroads with him as to continue with me as a patient...He feels that I am legite in my complaints (not drug seeking - I am not on any narcotics/and not seeking to get out of work) - he is running some blood tests for my muscles.

    I did disscuss with him the possiblity of another mri - he is reluctant, but said, if i am in the same boat in 2 months, he will agree to it. He said that he doesnt know what has created my problem (which impresses me for humility) and doesn't know exactly who to refer me to. The arthritis in my neck is not diabling - so he is at a loss.

    I am not sure what to do....but I have had 3 medical professions (pt, and 2 er nurse friends) tell me to seek another opinion. I don't wish to doctor shop, but i may try a nuero doc (not surgeon) during this 2 months before i see him again.

    thank you again for your input
  • If you see a neuro ask to be tested for fibromyalgia, it effects muscles, tendons and ligaments.
    Faith M
  • aches and pains is one thing - i do heavy labor for a living so I am very use to having lots of discomfort and aches - but what i am feeling in my neck and upper back seems to be something more intense. And outside of some radiation into my elbows and fingers, i don't have any additional issue.

    I know that i have arthritis in both knees and right ankle, family history of it to the point of deformity....before my graves disease was diagnosed - I had the symptom of joints hurting (whick comes with untreated hyperthyroidism) - so i do feel for those who suffer from Fibro - but once my thyroid was undercontrol that disappated. Don't think this time around it is that.

    I do understand the doc's reasoning for the muscles being the culprit of my pain - but can the muscles has and 'issue' that they don't heal after tears or are so imflamed, etc. Just looking for some other ideas, why my muscles are so messed up and will not respond to any medication or therapy of any kind.

    The doc said he had one more type of med to try with me, but it was toxic...so he wanted me to give Zanaflex some more time with a differnt daily routine.

    It is one of those situation where I just feel like something is wrong - only had this persistance 2 other times in my life with a mystery thing - one time they found a 3 cm lipoma inside my hip cavity and the other was the graves disease....just wish we could have a resolution to this one
  • One of the blood tests that a neurosurgeon or neurologist will run in severe cases is a GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase) anitbodies test. It is a way to help diagnose a very rare condition which typically effects the lower limbs. Stiff man's or Stiff Person Syndrome. However when they are at a loss to explain the situation, it is not uncommon for them to order this blood work.


  • I'd suggest that you see someone who treats muscles exclusively, like a remedial massager.
    They have an intimate knowledge of the muscles, what they do, what goes wrong, and how to fix problems.
    Doctors wouldn't have a clue.
    Muscles are a vital part of your body and must be given the special treatment they need.
    Try also a magnesium supplement, and muscle relaxants.
    I've had a dramatic improvement from my muscle problems using all of these things, plus some gentle stretches and exercises from my physio.
  • where do you find a remedial massager,i've never heard of that before.
  • The regular massage is the 'feel good' one for relaxation, and requires little training or competence.
    It is all about touch and attention, with some massage, and this can sometimes be a bit brutal.
    Remedial massage is by professionally trained people who must qualify, and they have a very thorough knowledge of all the muscles, how they interact, the problems they can have, and how to correct them.
    As in my case, she gently teases the knots out over a few visits, does some gentle stretches, and works on tight muscles to relax them. Mine takes about 40 minutes as she follows a particular routine.
    It is very gentle and cautious as she finds the problems, and as you improve she will gradually increase the level of treatment.
    A good place to start is with a recognised body of masseuses.
    Cannot recommend this treatment highly enough!!!!
  • Hi Patti,
    Your tag says you have an "osteophyte complex". I think that an osteophyte is a fancy word for bone spur. Does complex mean you have lots of them? If it does, perhaps these little buggers are digging into your muscles enough to mess things up. Make sense?

    Keep us posted. I hope you get some clear answers. I think my muscles are a big part of the problem contributing to the daily pain I deal with.

  • the blood work he has ordered is a CPK - on the dx for the tests he has written in Myalphia ? and cervical spondylois ? on the spelling.

    Anyone familiar with this blood work?
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