When I was 16 years old I got diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis. During that time, the facets (or joints) in my upper neck were also affected. The inflammation was great, and faded out my jawline insomuch so that when I wore loose clothing people thought I was fat...when in reality... I was 5'2" weighing 92ilbs, nearing anorexic because all the pain killed my appetite.
The inflammation in my neck went away when I was 19, and with it, came the muscle spasms. On a day to day basis, I notice that mostly it's the sternocleidomastoid that will spontaneously contract while at rest. The spasms never happen while I'm in motion, intentionally moving my muscles. That being said, symptoms worsen when I sit for long hours. However, they don't worsen sitting for long hours anywhere near as bad when I lay down to sleep at night. This is the killer!
Occasionally throughout the day I have some other symptoms linked to my neck and muscle spasms also. The first being that when I tilt my head the wrong way, I feel pressure that radiates to the back of my eyeballs deep inside my head. The second: I may yelp out too, so my symptoms appear very tic-like. However, the spontaneous sounds I make are linked directly to my diaphram forcing a hiccup....if you will. Sometimes it's very painful, and while trying to sleep I sometimes just yell in pain instead. Not that I care, my whole bodies in pain...but.... One thing that happens ONLY WHEN I TRY TO SLEEP is spasms of the semispinallis (muscle along the spine that goes from the cervicle area of the neck to about the mid back). I normally don't think about it, or even remember it happens, until I try to sleep...like tonight. (I'm typing this at midnight. BLEH! Can't sleep)
Oh! And yes, I can't turn my head left to right without resistance when I do it slowly. If I do it quickly, it's fine...but..... Hmmm
In addition, Yes, my neck has received other trauma from some hard falls that I took. And yes, I always have to pee a lot. I frequently have Dry mouth, dry eyes (especially in the morning). I do wake up frequently in the middle of the night. At least once to go pee, but not always. Never too hard to fall back asleep as long as I'm quick about it. Been that way since I got arthritis 9 years ago really. I have pain literally everywhere for that long too. Joints, muscles, everything head to toe. My body's a reck! So I don't care about the neck pain really because everything hurts. BUT......
HERES MY QUESTIONS:
Will I ever have to have surgery in my neck for this? And if I do have to, is there a way they can prevent the spasms from affecting the healing process? I'll probably just have to live with this....won't I? GRR!! It's so annoying!
The muscle spasms have been going on for 6 years now, and they're only getting more frequent. Not to mention affecting more muscles, as the semispinallis being affected also was a newer development from 2 years ago.
I've already seen a Neurologist. The muscle relaxers aren't working. I'm trying to get an MRI approved. But augh! I feel at a loss. What's wrong with me? What can I do to make the spasms stop?!?! THeY SUCK!!!!!!
No one on the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice. You need to discuss this with your doctor, they are the only ones that can provide you with detailed information about you, the patient. Everything you read is based on the personal experiences and/or research done by the individual member. Comments should never be taken as pure medical facts.
Liz, Spine-health Moderator