I am very sorry to read about your problems with muscle spasms and leg cramps. I have an atypical form of PD, but also have a major problem with muscle spasms and leg cramps. My diagnosis is dsytonia in combination with atypical PD. As you have probably well learned, dsytonia is an extremely painful form muscle condition. For people that have not experienced it, dsytonia feels exactly like when you have a major muscle spasm or “Charlie horse” in the calves of your leg. The only difference is that we get them in other major muscle groups and they can last from minutes to hours. People not only have pain when the cramp and spasms IS occurring, but then the muscles are terribly sore and uncomfortable afterwards from being over used and damaged during the actual cramping. I know several people that have dsytonia in association with their PD, and the majority experience good relief with the anti-spasmodic medication called Baclofen. In the beginning, I was able to control my dsytonia taking Baclofen orally, in combination with my other PD medications. As my dsytonia progressed, I maxed out on my oral dose. In most people taking over 80 – 100 mgs daily, the adverse events over shadow the benefits. When this started to occur, my movement specialist referred to for a pain management evaluation. It was decided that an intrathecal pump implant would be the best way to deliver my Baclofen. Because the pump has a catheter that does directly into the spinal column, the Baclofen can be delivered to the brain without having to cross the blood brain barrier. What this means is that you only need 1/100th of the oral dose to effectively treat the dsytonia. I have had good success with my Medtronic Baclofen pump. My dsytonia affects my back muscles, legs, and diaphragm. Dsytonia can affect any major muscle group in the body. Many people with PD and dsytonia also suffer from RLS and other abnormal muscle movements, like myoclonus and myoclonic jerks. Good luck, the key is to find a good movement disorder specialist that is familiar with all types of abnormal muscle problems and treatment options. I also tell people that if they are experiencing pain with the PD, to get a referral to pain management.
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