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Tense muscles

sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Chronic Pain
I can't relax when I go to bed. I have to keep telling myself to relax. It's just like all of my muscles are tightening up. I take Norflex twice a day and tramadol about seven or eight a day. Do any of you have this problem?


  • I have had that problem! I thought my pain management doctor was going to think that I was crazy when I told him. It is totally "normal" for people with chronic pain to experience this. I take soma (muscle relaxant) or lyrica (nerve medicine). It all depends on if it's just my muscles bothering me or nerve pain along with the spasms/tightening. I have never taken the medication that you take, but I would look into something else for night time flare ups. Talk to your doctor. The way it was explained to me is that normally when you lay down and relax your muscles are supposed to relax. In chronic pain patients, the muscles try to relax, but are unable to because of various reasons. I have chronic low back pain so I'm sure what you feel is different than what I feel. Good luck and let me know what your doctor says.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I saw my doctor today and I told him about this and like you I thought he'd think I'm crazy (well he kind of does anyway) but he acted like its kind of normal. He just told me to start taking flexeril along with the other stuff at night. I have a lot of lower back pain (constantly) so I do know just how you feel. Maybe that's why I feel so tired during the day because my muscles don't relax at night? The dr ordered bloodwork to test for muscle diseases and vitamin defeciency(sp?). I hope you're doing well today. Take care,
  • I had an epidural today because there was a ton of inflammation around my left sciatic nerve. I had a very rough week with the muscle spasms/shooting pain down the leg and lack of sleep. I hope the flexeril helps you. I used to take it for the spasms, but it made me zombified. I am very sensitive to "benzos". It should help you sleep better which would be awesome! Let me know how you are feeling. Hope you're having a good weekend =)
  • Can't say I've had that, but sometimes I dread going to bed when I'm having a painful episode as the nights are so long and I wake up a lot.
    If I take a quarter of a muscle relaxant an hour or so before retiring, and another upon retiring, I find that works better than just a single dose.
    I suppose it lets me wind down step by step.
    A hot bath is also good for relaxing muscles.
    Magnesium is also helpful for tense muscles.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Hi. How are you feeling since the epidural? Better I hope.
    I haven't been taking the flexeril yet. I hate to take it when I have a lot to do. It makes me a zombie too. I've had a rough week with my back pain also. I've done too much yard work plus I had to go to my son's senior awards and sit for four hours...it was torture but I wouldn't miss it. His graduation is Friday night so I'll double up on pain meds first.
    My dr said my vit d is extremely low and gave me a high dose to take for four weeks. I really hope that helps. Anything is worth a try at this point.
    I hope you're having a much better week.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Thanks for the advice Peter. I've been taking the Norflex an hour before bed but it doesn't help.
    How are you doing? Hope you're still improving. Take care.
  • completely understand on not wanting to take the meds if don't have to . i have to do stretches and mentally try to relax my muscles (progressive relaxation) but taking lunesta also helps along with the normal crap we take everyday.lido patches help the nerve pain. good luck
  • Hey! I am starting to feel much better since the epidural thanks for asking. I get the weirdest sensation a few days afterward. The best way I can describe it is it almost feels like the nerve is very angry from being "woken up" once the inflammation goes down. It's a very painful week, but things are starting to look up. Let's see how long this one lasts. I hope things get better for you soon. Congrats to your son! I feel your pain...sitting for any extended length of time is horrible.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad you're feeling better and I hope it lasts for a long time. Forever would be great!
    Well I survived graduation. It was painful but worth it.
    Take care and let the epidural do its thing.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I can't find anything to help me. I do sleep pretty good after I get to sleep. I'd like to try the lido patches. I think I'll ask my dr for a script. Are they very expensive? I'll have to check to see if our insurance covers them.
    I hope you're having a good day and are feeling good.
    Take care,
  • I thought the lidoderm patches were expensive. I got 3 boxes. Each box contained 30 patches, but can apply up to 3 patches at one time. Even with my insurance they were $75.00. In order to extend them out, I have been cutting them in half. Seems to work okay. They can really help. Good luck.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Thanks. I'm afraid our insurance won't cover them but I'll check and see. Then to try to get my doctor to prescribe them! He only prescribes the Tramadol, Norflex and Flexeril. He says he can't give me a narcotic like Lortab and yet they say the Tramadol is very addictive! How long have you taken it and does it help control your pain very well?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Tense and tight muscles can cause a wide range of problems and can cause additional problems for spinal patients.

    When our muscles are so tight that the prevent normal movement, our discs have additional strain. When that continues it could eventually lead to disc problems that most of us have already experienced.

    Now, once we have had spinal surgery, we can be left with many tight muscles. Lumbar patients generally have very tight ham strings. Cervical and Thoracic patients are left with tight neck and shoulder muscles.
    If those muscles are not taken care of (by Physical Therapy and/or Muscle relaxers) disc problems can persist. In my situation, my deep rhomboid muscle was left without valid treatment for over 10 years.
    As a result, that muscle became like a piece of wood, which preventing fluid movement in my upper back. As a result, too much stress was placed on my thoracic discs and slowly but surely and with some physical mistakes, I've herniated 5 thoracic discs. No Physical Therapy or medications helped with this. For almost a full year, I had very limited movement and a lot of pain. It wasnt until I had Deep Tissue Massage and the rhomboid muscle was taking care of did I have some good thoracic pain relief. But again, this is my case, I am sure its different for others

    So why the Chicken or the Egg?

    What really came first? I wish I had an answer that I could medically back up and substantiate, but for now, I just know that we all have to take care of tense and tight muscles.

    If we dont, we open ourselves up for additional spinal problems and that doesnt even address the
    stress and headaches that can result.

    Any good doctor will know the relationship of muscles to disc and should take the corrective steps
    in helping their patient.
    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
  • Just got home from work a little bit ago, after I get my comfies on, the first thing I do is start taking the pills. Tramadol and baclophen first. I have been taking it for over a year now. On weekends, when I'm not driving, I can take 2 every 4 hrs, and it keeps ahead of the pain. During the week (I drive 8 hrs a day for my job) I can't take it until I get home at 10:45pm. By then the pain is severe, and takes a couple of hrs for it to improve, if it does. Then I put on my TENS for 20-30-min. Then take that off and put on one of the patches. I do have vicodine for BT pain, but I hate to take it too often. After the pain pills start taking hold, then I take 3 neurontin, and celexa. I'm keeping the drug co's in business, along with lots of us spineys. :D I hope your ins will cover it. Your dr shouldn't be opposed to it, because they contain a deadening agent, not a narcotic. Good luck, hope you get some relief soon.

  • Yeah my muscles have been locked up tense ever since my neck pain started. It runs down my back, and even my lower back too but I think that's from weightlifting wrong years ago.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I agree that muscles play a large role in spinal problems. I don't get any relief from the muscle relaxers though. I'm going to ask for a different kind when I see my dr. again. I can't take it and function very well though. Thanks Ron. I hope that you're doing well.

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I hope to try the patches. You have to take so many meds before bedtime that I bet you have a terrible time getting up don't you? Also doesn't it take it a long time to help since you can't take it until so late? That's rough not being able to take it during the day. I don't drive very much at all anymore. I try not to take as much if I know I'm going to drive.
    I hope you've had a good day.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Do you take any muscle relaxers or anything? When I was in PT the therapist said I have the tightest muscles she's ever saw. After heat, tens, and massage they still never relax. Sometimes a heating pad will help some.
    I have a nephew that's really into weight lifting and I keep telling him to be careful because he'll pay for it years down the road. Of course when we're young we think we can do anything without repercussions don't we?
    I hope you're having a good day. Take care,
  • Ron, this is such a good post that it needs to be made into a sticky.
    It is one of the few non-medical treatments that can be suggested with confidence.
    Muscles must be looked at as part of any spinal-problem treatment, yet this point seems to be missed or deliberately overlooked by many forum members, so it would be good to continually remind them of it.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I could not take tramadol for that same reason. The P.M. Doc. gave me valium to counter act it. But opiates do that to me also. But to a much lessor extent.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • If you still haven't found a muscle relaxant to help you try Soma. Corisopridol is the generic name. I don't know if you've ever been prescribed it before, but it was a lifesaver for me. My body reacted very strangely to most muscle relaxants where most wouldn't work and others made me sleepy, but never calmed the spasms down. It's worth a shot, but shouldn't be taken long term because it could cause liver damage. In other words, take it only when the spasms are really bad. Let me know how you make out! Glad to hear that you made it through graduation. Take care!
  • The same goes for my muscle relaxant which is methocarbamol or brand name robaxin. It doesn't mess with my head at all like how some are describing feeling like zombies. I definitely know it's working because I ran out on Sunday and my pain has been climbing badly without it. That might be another option to discuss with your doctor if your current muscle relaxant isn't agreeing with you.
  • "The best way I can describe it is it almost feels like the nerve is very angry from being "woken up" once the inflammation goes down. It's a very painful week, but things are starting to look up."

    This is a very good way to describe how it feels after an epidural or any of those other procedures that involve needles in the spine. At least this is the same way I felt. I got more pain for the first 2-4 days and then it gradually decreased and sometimes got a lot better after that.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I need to make a doctors appointment and have them give me something different. I'm not doing myself any good by putting it off but I get so discouraged at times I feel like giving up. I guess we all feel that way sometimes.
    I hope you're having a great day. Take care,
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Hi. I will ask about the Soma. I did take it once years ago but I don't remember how it affected me.
    How are you doing? I hope that you're feeling good.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I will ask about the robaxin also. I'm going to try to make an appointment soon to talk about my meds. I'm going to have to do something soon. I can't keep on like this.
    Thanks again. Hope you are well.

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I will ask about the robaxin also. I'm going to try to make an appointment soon to talk about my meds. I'm going to have to do something soon. I can't keep on like this.
    Thanks again. Hope you are well.

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