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    HighTorso Rigidity

    My injury level is c6-7. I am getting stiffer and stiffer in my upper body. I'm able to loosen up a little bit during the day by the end of the night. I go to bed and start the whole thing over the next day. Extremely tight in the morning and my upper torso. My body is pulling me to my left. This morning I sat in the hot shower and was just miserable. My torso was clenching and would not relax.

    It also tightens up when I eat food. I have a baclofen pump and does not seem to help this at all. There has got to be some way to get relief from this. It's getting ridiculous. My body is starting to twist like I have cerebral palsy.
    www.myquadriplegia.com

    #2
    Klonopin or clonazepam

    For years after my injury my legs would jump at night and wake me up. I work full-time and I need a good night of sleep. I mention this to my doctor and he put me on 2mg of klonopin at night to reduce the muscle spasms and muscle tightness. I am injured at C6 which goes through the hands and klonopin has also reduce spasms in my hand for me to do functional work. It has worked wonders!

    From my understanding baclofen is used for nerve pain not muscle tightness.

    Talk to your doctor about klonopin and see if that helps you or any other muscle relaxant medicines that may help.

    I've been on it for over plus 25 years now.

    Ti
    "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

    Comment


      #3
      Baclofen, either oral or intrathecal, is actually used more for spasticity (hypertonicity of muscles) than it is for neuropathic pain.

      Unfortunately most often the baclofen pump catheter is placed in the lower thoracic or lumbar part of the cord, and the baclofen does not do much for upper trunk or arm spasticity. You may want to talk to the physician who placed your pump about considering moving the catheter up higher in your spinal cord. Many are reluctant to do this as there is considerable risk of making your breathing muscles too weak with high placement, so you may need to get 1-2 other opinions from surgeons who are expert in such placement.

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by titanium4motion View Post
        For years after my injury my legs would jump at night and wake me up. I work full-time and I need a good night of sleep. I mention this to my doctor and he put me on 2mg of klonopin at night to reduce the muscle spasms and muscle tightness. I am injured at C6 which goes through the hands and klonopin has also reduce spasms in my hand for me to do functional work. It has worked wonders!

        From my understanding baclofen is used for nerve pain not muscle tightness.

        Talk to your doctor about klonopin and see if that helps you or any other muscle relaxant medicines that may help.

        I've been on it for over plus 25 years now.

        Ti
        Maybe an oral med at night might help. A few years ago, I tried Valium, but ended up havin really crazy dreams That actually made things worse.
        www.myquadriplegia.com

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
          Baclofen, either oral or intrathecal, is actually used more for spasticity (hypertonicity of muscles) than it is for neuropathic pain.

          Unfortunately most often the baclofen pump catheter is placed in the lower thoracic or lumbar part of the cord, and the baclofen does not do much for upper trunk or arm spasticity. You may want to talk to the physician who placed your pump about considering moving the catheter up higher in your spinal cord. Many are reluctant to do this as there is considerable risk of making your breathing muscles too weak with high placement, so you may need to get 1-2 other opinions from surgeons who are expert in such placement.

          (KLD)
          Is there a lifespan on a catheter? I know they can do a test to see if there are any leaks.
          www.myquadriplegia.com

          Comment


            #6
            Catheters usually last longer than the pump itself, but they can get damaged, kinked, or plugged by scar tissue.

            (KLD)
            Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 14 Oct 2018, 2:57 AM.
            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

            Comment


              #7
              I'm T6 incomplete

              My spasticity is so severe even highest Baclofen dose stopped working.

              I had an injection to the muscles - wonderful help....except without the pain...I had no warning...I've hurt myself badly.

              I'm going to stick to having nothing. I'd rather suffer the pain and have more chance of keeping the function I have

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Missie Wheeliebird View Post
                I'm T6 incomplete

                My spasticity is so severe even highest Baclofen dose stopped working.

                I had an injection to the muscles - wonderful help....except without the pain...I had no warning...I've hurt myself badly.

                I'm going to stick to having nothing. I'd rather suffer the pain and have more chance of keeping the function I have

                I am not clear about what you mean by your last sentence??

                Have you been tried on any other anti-spasticity drugs than baclofen? What dose of baclofen?
                Have you been evaluated for a baclofen intrathecal pump?

                (KLD)
                The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have a baclofen pump. My injury is at T7-8 and the catheter is placed at L1. It works well for spasms. But if I do some very strenuous activity with twisting and turning, then my spasms act up really badly. The spasms come at night or if I lay down for long. They get better if I am sitting up. I take oral baclofen to manage the spasms. It takes a day for them to settle down to the point where I can lay down without them acting up.

                  For example, if I fall out of my chair, then it's a lot of work with twisting and turning that may last longer than 10 minutes to get back up. Spasms that night and the following day are probably going to pretty rough. I take 10 mg baclofen every 4 hours. The following day I should be back to normal.

                  I don't understand why this happens this way.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ouch View Post
                    My injury level is c6-7. I am getting stiffer and stiffer in my upper body. I'm able to loosen up a little bit during the day by the end of the night. I go to bed and start the whole thing over the next day. Extremely tight in the morning and my upper torso. My body is pulling me to my left. This morning I sat in the hot shower and was just miserable. My torso was clenching and would not relax.

                    It also tightens up when I eat food. I have a baclofen pump and does not seem to help this at all. There has got to be some way to get relief from this. It's getting ridiculous. My body is starting to twist like I have cerebral palsy.
                    I have suffered similar problems, though they were not localized in the upper torso. My body pulls to one side and there is pain and high spasticity after eating. I can stand but my balance had gotten steadily worse... until this past year. Exercise helped all along but mostly for a short period. The tensions produced by eating caused me such distress I drifted down to 95 lbs, though I an 5'4'" tall and weighed 117 at the time of my injury.

                    I long suspected a relationship with what I ate but since it seemed like most everything caused distress and I could not get a handle on it. Finally I got systematic. I cut out the usual "inflammation producing foods"; breads, dairy, all highly processed foods. Any restaurant food gives me trouble. Previous to that I began using a collagen powder in my search for more easily digested protein and I was surprised to experience several benefits, including somewhat better digestion. This will only work for a person if it happens to be what they need, but I did.

                    I am now 2 month into a consistent diet including small portions of meat, quinoa, vegetables, and lots of nuts and seeds. I did some calorie counting to make sure I was getting between 1500 and 2000 calories/day. Instead of being bloated because I am eating more my belly has shrunk up as I have less and less gas. I still get gas but it seems to pass through quickly instead of getting trapped.

                    I am lucky that I can stand and therefore use a gym easily and stretch more easily. To advance, I found it necessary to stretch the areas of chronic tension at least 5 or 6 times a day. I had been making progress due to stretching even before the diet change, but since it has moved more quickly. 2 years ago I could not stand up straight due to chronic contractions in the groin area from sitting all the time. Now I can stand straight after a bit of wiggling and testing in the morning, and when I do the full stretch routine at the gym I can even bow my body a bit by pushing the pelvis forward. My pain level has gone down a lot.

                    Stretching is it's own art form- it must be done slowly and gently. You coax rather than force. If you wish to know more I can answer questions.

                    Finally, titanium4motion has a good point in that sometimes the right drug will help. I have found a marijuana strain that completely relaxes me at night and also helps me fall asleep. Most nights one dose is enough. It has its side-effects so I try to avoid using very much. If the dose is too large I can barely transfer at night to use the commode.

                    Good luck. I think there is plenty of hope you will improve.

                    Comment

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