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Sever muscle cramping/knots anyone?

My C 6-7 are herniated, and dscs above and below are degenerating. I have severe muscle knots and cramping in my neck, shoulders and thoratic area. I am having my husband work the knots out as much as I can handle (the pain can be excutiating.) Has anyone gone through this? Is there a muscle relaxer out there that actualy works? I have been on many- flexeril, zanaflex (sp?) skelaxin, valium, did triggerpoint injections. They help, but the problem is, the doc cant inject all the areas that cause me the worst pain at the same time. I have lidocane patches, which once the muscle knot is worked out seem to help, but even cutting them into strips I cant use as many as I need. Please bear with my typing and spelling. Chronic pain is bad today, and I'm having a hard time.


  • I'm really interested in the responses, Jodi. I'd guess about 50% of my current pain is due to muscle spasms, and even the physical therapist wasn't really able to relieve them. I suspect the muscles and tendons are just damaged and not coping with the new shape of my back.

    I use a lot of heat. Probably too much. I tell people that if they want to find my addiction, it is the heating pad- I can run out of any of my meds for a day and not panic, but when my heating pad breaks I send hubby out for a new one!

    I also take a couple of supplements that are supposed to help. I doubt they do much, but makes me feeling like I'm at least doing something!
  • Jodi,

    There are several vitamin deficiencies that can cause the issues you are having. Even if you are on the low side of normal it can be a problem. I would have all your b vitamin levels tested plus your iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Lidocaine patches are good, but you can also use capsasin... which you can get in any drug store and it has a similar effect as the lidocaine patches but it is a cream and your hubby can use it as he is working the knots out. He should use gloves though cause if he accidently touches his eyes it will burn. There are several other things you can try but I would start there. If this doesn't work and your vitamin and mineral levels are okay I can give you more suggestions. Good luck!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Jodi, If you read the pharmacy print out. Or look it up on Rx.com. You'll see that you can use up to 3 patches at a time, 12 hrs. on and 12 hrs. off. For me a extra dose of vitamin e and 1 aspirin help. I think I take all of the other vitamins. Or a hand full anyway in the morning.
    The only muscle relaxer that has ever worked for me is diazepam. I think I've tried them all.
    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!
  • Muscle spasms are a problem for me as well. My doc took me off of the Flexeril, as he said they are not for long-term use. Ever since I have been worse off. I go to the doc today and am hoping he may have some suggestions because these muscle spasms/tightness are killing me!

    My husband tries to work mine out too, mostly in the trap area, and it can be pretty painful. happyHBmom I did not get relief from physical therapy either, she tried working on the knots/tightness everytime I went and it would loosen up some when she worked on me and then tighten right back up.

  • Hi Jodi,

    Like you I have been through the muscle relaxers, for the spasms. Now for myself I am currently using Soma, which they say is only for short term use, but I have been on it now for 2 years. Another thing you can try on those trigger points is to get a tennis ball and place it between you and the wall and push into it. This will help break them down. Also a ten's unit will help break them down.

    Here is a good video to watch in reference to chronic muscle spasms. http://www.spine-health.com/video/myofascial-pain-syndrome
  • Have you considered dry needling? It is just like trigger point injections but without the anaesthetic so they can do as many points as needed. I wonder if they could hit all your trouble spots in one session if that might help break the cycle? I've had both dry needling and trigger point injections and while it is certainly more pleasant to have the trigger point injections the dry needling is really not as bad as it sounds. It's uncomfortable, but tolerable...

    As far as muscle relaxers, I don't know much about it but you may ask your doctor about baclofen. I know others on the board are on it, and unlike soma and flexeril it is designed for long term use.

  • Be careful when first trying this one.
    Some people are overly sensitive to it. ME :(

    I tried to get through the break in period, but could not make it. It was like adding fire on the outside to match the fire on the inside! ouch, ouch, ouch....

    If you can get past the first few days it is supposed to be good for many people. I never made it.

    I am on flexeril and valium, appears to be long term, so...that's all I have to offer, sorry
  • Hi Jodi,
    After my 3rd back surgery is when I realized how bad a spasm can be (lower bk)Mine would knot up and I could actually feel a "wave" like sensation up my back.. For me the only thing that helped was Soma, I tried several other MR's because my ins doesn't cover Soma, then I realized with WalMart that I could afford it on my own. Soma accompanied by heat and deep massage really helped me. I hope you find relief as I know what you're experiencing and I sure feel for you. But my first dose of 2 350migs of Soma then maintance @ 1Soma 3xday is what my Dr. prescribed. Good Luck!!!
  • I know how painful and hard to treat those knots can be.
    I have remedial massages every 2-3 weeks, but really need one every day.
    The muscles have a memory and go back to what they were doing, so it takes a long time to retrain them.
    You can get stronger muscle relaxants from the doctor.
    or try taking the OTC ones throughout the day, especially before bed. You may get a gradual relaxation this way.
    Try hot baths, heat packs.
    Magnesium supplements are said to be very beneficial for tight muscles.
    Also Vits B and D are important.
    A lot of this type of muscle tightness is caused by our reaction to daily stresses, and even though you may not think you are particularly stressed, all of the little things add up.
    So apart from taking meds and supplements, you need to work on cutting your stress levels.
    try meditation, have a regular quiet time, and generally try to make your life quieter and calmer.
    takes a bit of thinking about, but we can all make these changes when we have to.
    Keep plugging away, but do it calmly.
  • I personally get tremors from Flexeril, so I am on Tizanidine but semi-worried about liver issues it can cause - esp. given the Tylenol I take.
    I am with TamTam on the Tennis ball in a long sock pressed up against a wall - hold firm (yes it hurts) with deep breathing.
  • Nothing seems to help permanently. Massage helps but my PT says we must first breakdown the existing muscle spasms before new muscles can be rebuilt.

    Use of the tens units at very high levels helps in addition to using the capsicum cream and rest. Hit showers help to get moving. I've tried using the lido derm patches but if I use the patches I can't use the cream. If I use the cream I am not able to use the tens unit.

    I have tried all types of muscle relaxers yet I don't see any difference. Ortho wants to do surgery on L3. This will only make my back weaker.

    I work and sit all day. That is killing me plus the stress. Trying a new muscle relaxer called orphenadrine ER hope this helps. using patches that has capsicum and menthol. Helps but our body gets used to it and it doesn't work as well. PM thought I should switch from lido derma patches and the capsicum. In addition oxycodone and oxycontin and Valium. Aleve anything go help ease the pain and keep working. It is very depressing. A crazy cycle. Exercise helps but I am so tired from all the meds I just want rest. I use a softball in the car and press my back into the ball ands it hurts like crazy but its a good hurt. Same at home I use a weight to roll on my knots. Prozac for depression and sometimes take klonopin for anxiety. I walk at lunch and stretch on the floor in my office. Use an exercise ball to help. Next I am ready to try acupuncture. Life has lost joy. Its only thru playing and loving on my grandkids that gives me joy. I know what each one of you is going thru. To add to this government wants us off meds. Hello. Only God gets me thru each day going up and down the stairs all day. Pressing forward one moment at a time. Thank you for letting me share. Time go stretch and rest
    11/30/2010- 360 bi level fusion L4 L5, L5 S1
    7/5/12-Revised surgery. Remv of loose hwdware, replace 6 pedicle screws and 5.5 titanium rods. Inferior laminotomy R L5 and facetectomy to deep ligamentum.
    2014 MRI indicates L3-L4 disc bulge,
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    After trying every muscle relaxer known to man they finally put me on Valium. Actually I was put on Valium after the death of my mother and it brought a wonderful surprise of helping with the neck spasms. I take 10 mgs 3x a day and it has been a god send. Do not get me wrong I still have spasm but not near the excruciating that I had before, the meds make them tolerable.
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