Muscle spasm question?

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D'awesome
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 5/2/2008 5:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I awoke this morning (early a.m. hours) in agony as my left calf was in a "charlie horse" -like state! The muscle was drawn up so tight I thought I was going to scream in agony with it and it wouldn't just release... it was very weird... I flexed my foot back and forth but it kept seizing and until I got up out of bed and actually limped around on it for a moment, it finally unwound... what is this?
 
I've not had this happen that I can recall. I've woke myself up with my right leg where it just shot straight up in the air at a 90 degree angle to the bed, I know that sounds really funny but it woke me up out of a dead sleep and spooked my hubby asking me what in the world was I doing... I mean my leg was comfortable just being straight up! And no pain bringing it down... but this spasm, which all I can figure it was, was just like when you get a charlie horse in the hamstring but it was my calf muscle and good gracious it hurt so bad!
 
Unrelated? Another issue? Something else to discuss with the neuro? Help?
Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~


Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3539
   Posted 5/2/2008 7:30 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey Deb,

I have had this before MS and since I was diagnosed.  That calf muscle is a big one and painful when it does that.  I am not convinced, in my case, anyway that is all from MS.   It's really painful but once I get up and stretch it, it goes away.  When I talked to my neuro about spasticity pain, she said I might want to take a bit more magnesium.  I have added that both to my diet and to my supplements and I have not had it since.  Last spring, when I had a big flare, I had a small tear in my calf muscle when it wouldn't let go.  I was so numb that I could not really feel pain but when I went to my physical therapist, they saw some bruising on the side of my calf and put an ultrasound on it.  That showed the tear and bleeding and we put off the physical therapy a few weeks.

So anyway that is my experience for what it is worth. 

Love and prayers,


Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006


uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 5/2/2008 8:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I've had that happen.  about the only thing I've found to "fix" it is just what you did..get up, stand on it.  Flexing it doesn't seem to do much.  That can be really painful!

...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


D'awesome
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 5/2/2008 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Gretchen and Uppity! OMGoodness though!  Looking at it this morning, now there is a "shadow" as though bruised but I thought I wasn't seeing it clearly... and the muscle is knotted to the touch as I massage it, but not painful. 

It was so strange that the upward flex of my toes held off the pain, the downward point increased the spasm and as you said, Uppity, the only thing that finally worked was to get up and walk it out...

I take daily a max dose of Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM and I thought that had Magnesium in it, how much more or how much should I include in the daily supplement regimen? I'm all for any maintenance to avoid that as much as humanly possible.

Thanks for the info as always, knew you guys would have some tips... Gretchen I wonder what lies beneath that triggers or is triggered by the MS too. It's so hard to decipher the body!


Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~


Sweetlydia66
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 5/3/2008 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey D'awesome,
This happens to me alot to the point where my calf feels sore the next day. Don't flex your foot up and down when this happens, just flex it up That stretches the calf out for you. Dont point it down cuz you will put it right back into spasm. It kept seizing because you were releasing it and then putting it right back into spasm, which sometimes will make it worse. The only way to relieve a spastic muscle is to stretch it like the gals said. A spasm is your muscle shortening by itself believe it or not, which is so weird, so you have to stretch it out. I always make it a point to strtch my calves b/c this happens to me all the time. One thing i try to do is make sure i get some potassium in my body. Bananas, orange juice, etc. I just think that, or in my experience if i dont get enough potassium, i have more of these cramps. Just a thought. Good luck w/ everything.
Lynn
Dx MS Dec 06, Started Tysabri March 2008, Baclofen, Cymbalta


D'awesome
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 5/3/2008 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Lynn, exactly what you're describing has been happening ever since this occurred. I feel like I'm stuck in high heeled spikes! The left calf is very sore but they both feel good when I do the toe pointup... I am avoiding the downpoint for sure now.
 
I wondered about potassium too, as I don't get any orange juice/citrus stuff due to the GERD but do take the mutltivitamins etc.. I just went to the health food store and stocked up on a regimen of additional supplements I've read about that I hope will help alot..including the magnesium Gretchen recommended.
 
Last night I used the muscle relaxer in full force with pain meds and everything else I need for a really solid nights sleep and still was up 3 times and the muscles cramping. I'm just logging the info for the doc. I guess this is "spasticity"? First time he asked me that I said what? He said uncontrollable muscle spasm you can't stop... I said nope, never had that... hmmm. :-)
Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~


els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 5/3/2008 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi D'awesome,

I have had MS for 7 yrs now and muscle spasms have been a huge issue for me from the get-go.  I take a pretty high dosage of Zanaflex which is a muscle relaxant but what was most helpful was when my doc added a potassium supplement.  Since I havent had much problems with spasticity.  Good luck to you, I hope you find something that works


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
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frannie55
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 5/3/2008 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
thats pretty common for me.  ive had ms 18 yrs and it has just gotten worse/more common over the  years,sorry.  i take baclofen for it and should also take tegratol but hate to get too  much rx im my system.  ive found if its possible to relax the contraction will smooth out.  good luck to you.  frannie

Sweetlydia66
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 5/3/2008 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi D'awesome,
Yep, the high heels, lol. I dont know much about gerd, but i wonder if you search foods high in potassium there might be something you can try and eat that wont bother you. Don't potatoes have potassium? Have you ever gone to Physical Therapy to learn proper stretching techniques? That might help too. I have a back ground in PT and when we were learning about stretching they said that (what i remember, lol) when a muscle is tight the fibers can get a build up of something and the only way to release this is slow long stretches. Maybe people w/ ms have to much of this because ours are so tight. Geez i have to do some research now, or get the ol' books out to check this out. Hum, we could be on to something here, lol. Interestig, i have to look into this. Ill letcha know. Maybe we can find something to help us.
Lynn
Dx MS Dec 06, Started Tysabri March 2008, Baclofen, Cymbalta


D'awesome
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 5/3/2008 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, good info here guys, thanks for the input, I'm appreciating it very much.
 
Els, I use Flexeril, 20mg.. I think it's gonna have to be upped now cos I've grown too accustomed to it and 20 isn't hitting me like it used to but I'll talk to the neuro about the Zanaflex. Friend of mine gave me one once to try and I didn't notice much difference at the time. I don't take around the clock, only for nighttime sleep.
 
Frannie, I'm on a regimen of other meds too for migraine, thyroid and GERD so I try not to overdo the scripts either... but will research these too also. I just know right now, my calves are sore constantly and this is a very new symptom... I push thru alot of pain so it's got to be crippling before I'm down OR wake me up feeling like someone is stripping the muscle out of my calf like it did the other night.
 
Lynn, I'll appreciate any tips, but the PT may be in order soon for the cramping, spasms etc... and it just might be that I have to add potassium. I don't eat much in the way of potatoes, starches etc... my diet is mostly protein, low carbs, low fruits (not high acid, I seem to be acidic otherwise).
 
Thank you all for th input, it's nice to hear this isn't a freak situation with my leg... :)
Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~


Sweetlydia66
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 5/4/2008 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey D'awesome,
I found a whole bunch of articles regarding the "build up" i was thinking about but could not remember from pt school.  Quite interesting. The build up in the muscle is called Lactic acid build up. It is normally caused or generated by exercising, however, since ms patients have spasticity, which is our muscles tightening involuntarily (sp?) are they technically overworked thus causing alot of this lactic acid to build up. HUM. Pretty interesting. I am going to attatch a link although it was hard to understand, there are parts to it that kind of made sense, lol. But if you google lactic acid and stretching, or lactic acid and muscles alot of info comes up. I am fasinated by this and going to try to get some answers as to how it can affect ms patients. Maybe i'll google that. Have a good one. Oh and the build up is what causes sore muscles, wow.
 
mdonly.wordpress.com/category/muscle-cramps/
 
Dx MS Dec 06, Started Tysabri March 2008, Baclofen, Cymbalta


D'awesome
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 5/4/2008 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Lynn that is a great link to a great couple of articles and though the jargon is technical I can weed out the info from it and it's making sense.
 
Oddly they pointed out how even the liver and heart like to burn lactate for energy... But Brooks in the 1980s and ’90s showed that in living, breathing animals, the lactate moves out of muscle cells into the blood and travels to various organs, including the liver, where it is burned with oxygen to make ATP. The heart even prefers lactate as a fuel, Brooks found. There are times with my digestive tract when I can tell that my liver isn't working like it should be but I can't tell why. This happened last week preceding this bout.
 
Even moreso, this statement hit home too but the calf area's entirely new for me... that is most likely brought on by the MS.. However, muscle cramping (non-cerebral) that is sometimes inherited can also be a symptom of other underlying medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism and diabetes, as well as electrolyte disorders, metabolic or vascular disorder, nerve root damage, low serum magnesium levels or medication use, such as statins.”

Symptoms of athletic muscle cramps include:

– Explosive onset
– Acute pain
– Visible, palpable contractions presenting in one or more muscle
– Swelling
– Persistent soreness lasting two to three days

I've been hypothyroid since '99, and the muscle cramps act like shooting pains in my forearms which the drs educated me were indicative of thyroid issues. I can tell when my dosages are off or I've forgotten (something more regularly done these days so I use the daily pill organizer to track my meds cos I can't remember one day to the next anymore). But I've never had my legs hit me like this calf has.

And today I crashed completely! I could not beleive it in the middle of church this morning I was going to sleep whether I liked it or not. The overall weakness and fatigue was as huge as the one day at work last week that I thought I'd fall out of my chair! So I begged off a committment at church (had hubby take over & told him I've got to go home and nap or I'm done for the day). As it was by the time he got home, the nap didn't help, I was still totally energyless. He went on to the family function and I stayed home and slept today... all afternoon! This is so unusual for me! Even after waking up at 4:30pm, I was barely hungry but ate something healthy, still I'm so drained and I'm afraid it's gonna affect work this week. So tonight i'll go to bed early and pray tomorrow somehow I'll have energy.

The only thing different that I'm doing is a supplement regimen but normally that increases the energy, or strengthens my metabolism. Maybe I will have to take up caffeine after all! :)


Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~


free4mykids
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/9/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
yep happens to me too. My Dr. suggested restless leg sydrome so I asked him if that means I havre restless hand syndrome and restless face syndrome too

rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 5/9/2008 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Free

My doc said that too. I have a prob with jerking all over. I've had it in every limb and my fingers, jaw and even a full body jerk. It's so weird! My doc said restlss leg syndrome and i was very confused! I asked and he said u can have restless 'leg' syndrome all over. I had no idea. My understanding of rls is a need to move and an aching in the legs...causing the need to move them. Well i do in fact feel that way very often and agree that i prob do have rls, but i have never felt that way in any other part of my body. However....my rls med DOES seem to help the jerking! I also take cymbalta which is supposed to help with some of the symptoms i've experienced that are like ms symptoms...so maybe that is helping the jerking and not the rls med? Who knows...but i can tell u SOMETHING is helping! Just fyi. ;)
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
 
Things that make u go hummmm......
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D'awesome
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 5/9/2008 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Rhonda and Free,
I definitely have RLS... have had that for many years leftover from my high school basketball years long before the first suspicious symptom ever showed up and nothing like this ever happened from that... RLS has always been the little jerky movements, and the insane need to move my legs, or waking up while literally "bicycling" them in bed because they cannot be still. For me, mine has been noticeably worst during stormy weather times, so that I can tell when the weathers changing by my legs... great barometers! tongue
 
The meds do help, I take Mirapex sometimes but most of the time I use Hyland's Leg Cramps tablets with Quinine. It seems to do the trick fast (sublingual).
 
 
Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~

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