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Hello and thank you

Hi, I'm Kallie. I wanted to say thank you, I was feeling quite desperate earlier on from lack of sleep due to muscle twitches every night. I fractured T6 and 7 back in 1992 and for years have had what I call a hunch - recently discovered they are compacted discs in my neck. I fell at the end of 2013 - on my coccyx down some stairs and I think that triggered the twitches. I have fortunately (until now, that is) never had much pain in my back or neck despite the old injuries but since Christmas I have developed weakness in my arms and hands, pain in wrists, shoulders, elbows and neck and upper back as well as inflammation in fingers, wrists and arms. But for me the muscle twitches are the worst because I can't get any sleep. My doctor tested all sorts of things and said it was my thyroid and put me on Ethyrox, and prescribed Celebrex for pain (which didn't have any affect at all). She looked at me like I was a nut when I described the twitching which at that time was limited to my chest and upper arms. I had to go out of town and the pain was so bad in my neck I had to see another doctor there who prescribed Vimovo (also didn't have any affect) and she also didn't know what I was on about regarding the twitching. I was reading "Hands Of Light" by Barbara Brennan and in there she mentions a patient who fell on his coccyx and then developed weakness, pain and inflammation in his wrists so that's when I realised a chiropractor might have an answer. I found a good one but he worried me a little because he said that I would either have a "miraculous healing" or he wouldn't be able to help me and I would struggle. I am trying to stay positive (working towards my miraculous healing of course) but it is difficult when I am so tired and freaked out about the twitching (which tonight moved down to my stomach, butt and thighs as well.) which is why I am still awake at 4am! However, finding this website and reading so many past posts about muscle twitching and spasms has made me feel much better. It is just good to know I am not alone and not losing my marbles. I will try the magnesium as suggested. Thank you all. I'm sure I will be able to get some sleep now.


  • Tired of the painTTired of the pain Posts: 197
    edited 03/21/2014 - 4:48 PM
    Forget the chiro, get an MRI before you let anyone move your spine around. Those twitches and pains can be from pinched nerves and the twitching can be muscle spasms because when we are in pain the muscles around the spine tighten and contract to try to protect the area. Then they start twitching in spasm and cause more pain.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 03/21/2014 - 9:34 PM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi Sharon, Thank you for your advice. There is a hospital close to where I live and my doctor says they have a very good neuro guy. Liz, thank you for your welcome.
  • I have to agree with the others.......seeing a board certified ortho or neurosurgeon is a really good idea. When you suddenly experience new or worsening symptoms, or something like what you're experiencing comes out of nowhere, and is disturbing your sleep or ability to function it is always wise to at the very least, see your GP doctor for evaluation if it doesn't go away within a few days.
    It may be nothing so don't worry yet, but it is far better to find out and be sure than it is to wait and see.
    While chiropractors may be helpful for simple muscular problems, they should not be first in line for treatment until you are sure that there isn't something else going on in your spine . Doing otherwise can cause real damage .
  • Hi Sandi.
    Thank you for your advice. I am very concerned. Tonight was definitely worse. Once again I have been awake all night from the twitching. These symptoms have been around since Christmas and are definitely getting worse. I have been to my GP several times but she is convinced it is a thyroid thing. I am convinced it is something else. I have been reading and researching to try and figure out what is going on. I thought that a chiropractor dealt with bones, I didn't realise it was more of a muscle thing. I understand that an MRI is going to be necessary. I'm just a little freaked out. It is so much worse at night. As soon as I lie down it starts. I have lived alone for almost 20 years and I love it but this is the first time in my life I have missed having someone there to hold my hand. Anyway, I will make an appointment as soon as I can. Thanks again for talking.
  • Have you had any recent blood work done to confirm the thyroid might be an issue? One suggestion that I might make if I were you would be to record the muscle spasms on the video of your phone and show it to the doctors that you see.
    If it is related to something in your spine somewhere, it would help to be able to show the doctor what it is that you are experiencing, and what it appears like when it is happening.
    Good luck. If you don't need a referral from your primary, I would contact a board certified neuro and then see what he or she recommends as the next step.
  • Yes I had a number of different tests over the last 3 months and my thyroid is definitely underactive so I understand why my doc thinks that that is the issue. When I checked the various problems you can get from it an underactive thyroid they did match so I went ahead and started the medication. However, from the beginning I was concerned that it was something else, I just don't feel right, if you know what I mean. This has been confirmed by the fact that the only change the medication has made is that I have lost some weight (not that I am complaining about that!) Also, the symptoms have gotten progressively worse, especially the tremors. I spoke to my mum yesterday and she said she will help me out with getting an MRI and seeing a good neuro (unfortunately as a struggling artist I don't have medical aid or a huge amount of cash and the national health in South Africa is pretty scary) so I am going to take that step a.s.a.p.
    More good news is I actually got a little sleep last night. It was only about 3 hours but I'll take it and the best part is when I woke up the tremors were not nearly so bad. Straight away that made me feel better. It is a good idea about the phone. Mine does not have a video but I can always borrow my mum's and take it that way.
    Thanks Sandi, hope you have a great day.
  • KallieKKallie Posts: 17
    edited 03/23/2014 - 5:43 PM
    Hey Sandi,
    My post has somehow mixed with someone else's? I typed you a response and when I hit save the message reads what is that? What IS that?
  • I just got bumped off the internet!
    My message was there in the preview but when I saved it something else got saved. I can't retype it all so I will make it brief.
    Yes, I have had the blood work done to confirm the thyroid is a problem and am taking the medication for it. My mum's phone has a video function so I can borrow hers - thanks, that is a good idea.
    My doctor doesn't work weekends but I am going to call her about the referral this morning and get an appointment for an MRI a.s.a.p.
    I do feel better because I actually got a couple hours sleep last night and when I woke up the twitches had softened into kind of a vibration, if that makes sense.
    Take care Sandi, hope you have a great day.
  • KallieKKallie Posts: 17
    edited 03/23/2014 - 5:55 PM
    I don't know what is going on. My posts keep getting mixed up with someone else's.
  • Yes Kallie it happened to me. I wrote a long post recommending potassium foods like bananas and spinach. I also suggest you look at sleeping on an incline wedge, and maybe trying a muscle relaxer. Even when I typed this it was missing stuff. The last post got lost completely
  • I was also told back in 2002 after my 1st Discectomy to NEVER have chiropractic treatment. I agree with the above statements to consult with a spine specialist first. And a good question was raised, were there labs performed to back up the thyroid theory? Hopefully you can get a referral and my guess would be the ordering of an MRI. Good luck to you.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • so when you get the chance Kallie, repost your reply to me so that we can continue the discussion we were having....
  • KallieKKallie Posts: 17
    edited 03/25/2014 - 9:19 AM
    Thanks all for your responses. Yes, I did have lots of labs and my thyroid is quite underactive. I am on medication now for it. Although the pain in my arms and hands has decreased a little, the inflammation in my arms and hands has not decreased at all and I do have quite a lot of neck pain now which I didn't when I first started experiencing symptoms. the tremors got very bad for a few nights and then decreased again to what I can only describe as a vibration. This sounds so weird, I know. At night they pick up again depending on how I am lying (if I bend my arm above my head - my normal sleeping position - they get stronger and stronger until I am full on twitching again). The only thing that makes sense to me is that the compaction of my top thoracic discs (I'm not sure what the correct technology is or where the cervical ends and thoracic starts) is pinching a nerve and that is aggravated by the position of my body.
    The last two nights have been better - I don't know why - just mild vibrations, and I have actually been able to sleep, thank goodness!
    Thank you all for your advice about the MRI and finding a specialist. I will definitely do so.
    Have a good day (or night depending on where you are).
    Take care.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 03/25/2014 - 11:54 AM
    You might also want to consider that you may be suffering from ulnar nerve compression as well since you sleep with your arm above your head and bent.......the ulnar nerve is located on the outside of the elbow, very near to the surface and if you tend to lean on your arms or bend them while sleeping, you may notice that tingling, numbness or weird neuropathic sensations occur.
    Are the fingers from your half of your middle finger, and the ring, pinky fingers the ones effected?
  • Good morning. I had read about that and thought it possible in the beginning because all the symptoms seemed to be in my arms and hands but I since then the tremors have moved to my abdomen, back and thighs as well so I didn't think so. Apart from some pain, inflammation and a little weakness, I haven't had any tremors in my fingers. Do you know if it is possible for the Ulnar nerve to cause tremors in the rest of the body? I will do some more research and see if I can find anything.
    Sharon - I missed your post somehow when I was reading before but I just spotted it now. I appreciate your advice about the potassium foods and I will definitely try that. I will do a search about the wedge and see where I can find one in South Africa. With regards to the muscle relaxants - they don't seem to work. I took two about four hours ago and they haven't made any difference at all. On a good note - I had an acupuncture treatment on Friday morning (I have never had one before and don't know anything about it) but for some reason that seemed to work and afterwards I didn't have ANY tremors for about 36 hours which was amazing.
    Hope you all have a great day.
  • It works really well for me, but my insurance doesn't cover it. It cost me $85 a session and I need at least two a week. It doesn't take all the pain away but significantly cut back the need for narcotics.i think the next thing my PM and I are discussing is facet joint injections. It was a procedure that the clinic I went to for a second opinion said I should be evaluated for. My PM doesn't"t think it will do any good, but we will talk about it next appointment after I do some reading.
  • Hi, hope you are well.
    Yes, I was amazed by how effective the acupuncture was. I didn't even have a full treatment, just needles in four spots on my back and even that made a significant improvement. Unfortunately, as you say it does require regular sessions and they are out of my price range too. I have been reading "Hands of Light" by Barbara Ann Brennen and have a clearer idea of why things like acupuncture work and why we get sick or have pain in the first place. Please forgive my ignorance - I realize it is a doctor of some kind but what does PM stand for? What will the facet injections do? I think it is important to trust your instincts. Doctors don't know everything. I am annoyed with mine at the moment. She put me on beta blockers which she said would completely stop the twitching (it keeps me awake, literally ALL night). They did absolutely nothing so I went back to her practically begging for a few sleeping pills. I only wanted a few to get me through a couple of nights until the beta blockers kicked in. She gave me a lecture about addiction (in the twenty years she has been my doctor I can count on one hand the number of times I have requested sleep meds), asked me what my name was! (like I said - 20 years) and then reluctantly gave me a script. I didn't realise until I got to the chemist that she had prescribed me NINETY! That doesn't even make sense.
    Good luck with your research. I hope you find the info you need to make your decision.
    Have a great day.
  • In this context means pain management, so ur doctor who treats you for ongoing chronic pain. If you don't have one u might consider it. I used to use Benedryl for sleep before I got involved with these pain meds.now I take Klonapin which is not a sleep med but Antianxiety that is time released so it lasts through the night so I can sleep through the night.
  • Thank you for the information.
    I am going to see a specialist on Wednesday who will hopefully be able to shed some light on the matter. I haven't been able to get an MRI scan without a referral by a specialist and it took a while to get an appointment with one. Decent doctors are incredibly hard to come by here. Most of them are so busy they don't take on new patients, Anyway, I hope she will have some answers.
    Take care.
  • miriannammirianna Posts: 4
    edited 04/06/2014 - 10:17 PM
    Hello from me, my name is Marina :)
  • Clara Lewis 420CClara Lewis 420 Posts: 1
    edited 04/07/2014 - 4:37 AM
    Just finding this site, This all happened very fast for me, I got my MRI on 2/5/14, and was seen by a specialist on 2/9/14. This Dr. highly recommended surgery asap. This is what he said I needed done, Bilateral laminectomy & decompression with discectomy, Bilateral foraminotomies & lateral man fusion of L4, L5, S1. What a scary thought, to have someone open your back, work around your spinal cord, and nerves. My wife, children and I prayed about this, and decided it was the best thing to do. Before I had seen the Dr. I hadn't been able to walk for almost a month. My wife dealing with breast cancer, and now me with back surgery, all income has seized. And yet we are still very happy, and content. Well back to what the Dr. suggested I needed. We agreed and I was scheduled for surgery on 3/5/14. It is now 4/7/14 and I am doing great, not a single bit of pain like I had before the surgery, I have soreness and sensitivity around the surgical site, but that is it. I get my X-rays in 1 week to see how well I am healing on the inside. I haven't been allowed to start PT yet. But was told by my Dr. that I could walk as much as I wanted, 5 days after my surgery I was only able to walked 100 yards, and I am now up to 2 miles a day. Walking is the only thing I am aloud to do, no bending, stretching, lifting, or sitting for prolonged periods of time. The Dr. says it might take anywhere from 9 to 12 months for recovery. I use a lot of ice threw out the day, it helps when things seem tight, or sore around the surgical site. I am used to going 100 miles a minute, none stop. This has been very hard to do, but I do know that if I don't obey the Dr.'s orders, I will screw everything up, so I am trying so hard to obey, even though I want to go back to work so badly. I know that back surgery is very scary, and a lot of people wont do it, but to live in pain, is not living. I put my faith in the Lord, and asked Him to guide the surgeons hands, and that is just what He did. TAKE CARE ALL
    Clara Lewis
  • Where are you writing from?
  • I was very interested to read you post. You hear such horror stories about surgery, especially spinal surgery, so it is good to hear one with positive feedback. I am also so pleased to hear that your marriage is going strong despite everything. Sometimes these situations can destroy a relationship especially when money troubles come into it. I'm sure your strength as a couple, your positive outlook and your faith played a huge part in your successful recovery. You also gave me something to think about - I have been trying to carry on with my normal life plus I have been trying to get fit (I thought it would help things) but perhaps I just need to stop all the bending, lifting and stretching. I don't think I am doing myself any good at all. Thanks for the advice.
    I wish you and your wife a continued, speedy recovery.
    God bless.
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