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Muscle spasms out of control.

So it's been 4 months now since I have had this cervical neck pain. I guess I tweaked it or aggrevated it lifting weights. But i stopped lifting but it wasn't that bad and ive been resting. The MRI showed disk bulge in c5 -c6 well just about 2 months ago I started getting this pain in my left arm it would go from my shoulder down to my forearm. The pain would come and go. Same as the neck pain. So my neurologist recommended I did physical therapy for 4 weeks twice a week. I did that. No improvement. I actually feel my symptoms are getting worse. My left chest muscle, tricep, bicep and my forearm all go haywire and spasm so much and so hard it feels so crazy like it's taking control of my whole side. Also I can barely drive now because it hurts so bad plus the muscle spasming out of control. I recently talked to my neurologist a couple days ago and he prescribed me some steroid pills that I've been taking and haven't felt a difference. Then he also thinks that maybe the steroid injection in my neck might be beneficial to me so I have a consultation with an orthopedics spine Dr next week. I just don't know what to do. I feel like it hasnt been that long and I know these types of things take time to heal but the pain is getting more intense as well as the muscle spasms so I'm really concerned. Not just about the pain but how long is this going to keep up. 
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Comments

  • morgank47morgank47 Vista, CaliforniaPosts: 58
    What's up man, I hope your orthopedist goes well. Epidural injections can be beneficial and really allowed my Lumbar spine to heal from a rupture; I received a cervical epidural on Monday at C6 and not much improvement at this time. I hope if you do get a cervical epidural that you have better success than I did.
  • robinflrrobinfl Merritt Island FLPosts: 42
    Three days ago I started getting tricep, bicep and forearm muscle spams.  My dr prescribed tazinidine muscle relaxers. I don't think it is anything I'm doing because I am in bed with a full time caregiver. 
    I think the Physical Therapist is having me do too much for my situation (7 herniated disks, 4 cervical 3 lumbar) and severe osteoporoses. Two epidurals each worked less than a week for me. I have surgery scheduled Sept 21. 

    Not much help. I'm looking for answer you get. 
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  • morgank47morgank47 Vista, CaliforniaPosts: 58
    Yeah same boat, accident left me with 9 herniations from c3-s1, three separate groups in each level. (3 Cervical, 5 Thoracic, 1 L5-S1)Fortunately I have almost no limb pain, and all of my pain seems to be relatively close to the disc itself. I get muscle spasms in my neck at times, and my hands will sometimes twitch. The lumbar epidural worked great, no pain while walking now, only when sitting on hard surface do I get tailbone pain. It is now a constant battle between trying to get my cervical comfortable while my thoracic is comfortable, and I get a lot of anxiety over being sedentary. Feels like my neck is on a timer when I'm seated and after about an hour I have to get up and walk around, or the pain radiating out from c6 becomes unbearable. At this point I have no surgery date and I am still in trial periods for injections. With my cervical / thoracic I've seen no improvement with injections; Lumbar injection worked beautifully. In the MRI it was noted that all my discs seemed to slip or bulge in the same direction, straight back no favoring one side or other which may relate to why I don't have much nerve pain in limbs but more numbness and extreme pain in back of head, neck, shoulder blades, between shoulder blades. Chiropractic care over time seemed to have diminishing returns so I have stopped it because towards the end I felt more pain in neck after sessions. Best of luck with your surgery, I hope I figure my neck out soon I feel like I'm stuck in a limbo-hell. 
  • Try icing the back and sides of your neck for 15-minutes stretches. Use a bag of frozen fruit with a paper towel around it. I have discovered that this helps calm my nerves quite a bit. I have the same symptoms, only on the other side, and they've gotten a lot better since onset, which was 10 months ago. I expected it to go away within a matter of weeks and when it didn't and I experienced hitherto unknown symptoms, I flipped out. It seems like this type of ailment follows a pattern, albeit an irregular one, if that makes sense. Horrible beginning, then flare-ups and periods of calm and back again. You must figure out what helps you. For me it's sleeping well, sleeping on my back w/o a pillow, ice on my neck, and advil/naproxyn plus daily treadmill for 2 miles. At first nothing helped and I was miserable. I found the epidural and oral steroids to have no effect other than to keep me awake.
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 322
    I too have herniated discs at C5 and C6. I recently found this out after being treated for tension headaches for years. I have spasms almost constantly. My doctor recently started me on Soma which helps a little bit. I started physical therapy last week and after Fridays appointment my spasms and pain were out of control. I literally layed on the couch for 2 days with a heating pad. I could feel the spasms just rolling through my muscles and popping like popcorn! I will need to tell the physical therapist that they over did it by adding exercises so early. They say that ice will help too but I prefer heat.

    Did physical therapy think that 4 weeks was long enough to work on your issues? Did they offer any recommendations? It seems like you were pretty active before. Does exercising help or just aggravate it? I feel like it is going to take me months to get back the muscle strength that I have lost and hopefully get some pain relief from it. I am not very optimistic at this point.
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  • I am curious when you (and many) refer to muscle spasms if you're referring to actual muscle spasming or just twitching or a combination of the two? I've found people tend to use these terms interchangeably even though I believe there is an intended difference.
  • BigC8707BBigC8707 Long BeachPosts: 11

    tjb113 said:

    I am curious when you (and many) refer to muscle spasms if you're referring to actual muscle spasming or just twitching or a combination of the two? I've found people tend to use these terms interchangeably even though I believe there is an intended difference.

    Twitching? I thought it was the same thing. They twitch a lot and seems to twitch more so often when I don't have my neck in a stationary position. 
  • BigC8707BBigC8707 Long BeachPosts: 11

    maehaley said:

    I too have herniated discs at C5 and C6. I recently found this out after being treated for tension headaches for years. I have spasms almost constantly. My doctor recently started me on Soma which helps a little bit. I started physical therapy last week and after Fridays appointment my spasms and pain were out of control. I literally layed on the couch for 2 days with a heating pad. I could feel the spasms just rolling through my muscles and popping like popcorn! I will need to tell the physical therapist that they over did it by adding exercises so early. They say that ice will help too but I prefer heat.

    Did physical therapy think that 4 weeks was long enough to work on your issues? Did they offer any recommendations? It seems like you were pretty active before. Does exercising help or just aggravate it? I feel like it is going to take me months to get back the muscle strength that I have lost and hopefully get some pain relief from it. I am not very optimistic at this point.

    Yeah they didn't offer anything else. Just the usual stretching and stuff I can do at home. I tried running and playing some Basketball but that just made it worse the next day i was in extreme pain. So maybe no more Basketball bit yoga or a slight jog from now on. I did the some for a little bit but they just put me to sleep. I dont find any relief in pills at all but the heat does help me more than ice for sure. Oh and no headaches yet thank God. I do feel like I am losing strength in my left arm though. And for some reason lately my right arm as well. I'm trying to stat optimistic because I know being in pain 24/7 can bring you down, all the way down. Have you had any injections or surgery?
  • Well, as one doctor explained it to me a muscle spasm is simply a muscle that tightens up and hurts. While twitching can accompany that it isn't always present. However, a twitch is just that, simply a spot on the muscle that might twitch or move slightly on its own, not to be confused with a tremor which is a full on shaking of a muscle or entire limb. Heh, you can see why I get confused and I swear the doctors explaining what is what has only made me more confused which, in the end, only makes me more frustrated. Go figure.

    It does sound like, however, that your situation is similar to my own. Since the start of June I've had repeated bouts of muscle spasms/twitching accompanied with soreness and pain, predominantly on my upper-right quadrant that they believe is related to a C6-C7 nerve impingement where it exits my spine. It hasn't been restricted to that area though as at least once in that time period I have had similar issues in both legs, only my upper-left quadrant has seemed relatively free of issues (aside from a few occasional twitches). I've been on one course of steroids and am currently on a second course of steroids, this time longer. I've gone through PT as well and while the sharper pain element has gone, the overall soreness and twitching has yet to improve, particularly in the morning. Sadly at this point they still won't recommend surgery and they haven't tried injections for me yet. It seems some peoples doctors are quick to go to those measures, while other doctors are incredibly conservative in even bringing them up.
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 322
    I will be seeing a pain management dr soon and I am assuming they will recommend some type of injections. The Neurologist said he would not recommend surgery at this point so I guess I have to wait and see if anything helps.
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