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Dr. Young-How common is this?

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  • Dr. Young-How common is this?

    when I am nervous and/or angry, my legs and abdominals spasm alot. Also, my right leg will bounce(like I am tapping my heal) uncontrolably and will not stop for a while. I can also cause sensation in my right toes and somtimes can do it in my left toes. this has been happening since about april '06. Sometimes, when I am really upset my bladder will release urine right before I am about to go. I compare it to when I was AB and I had to go and the closer I got to the restroom the worse I had to go. Nothing more has come of it. I am wondering what all this might mean? I mean, I am considered an asia a complete but there seems to be something going on below my injury level. Can this mean anything good as far as potential recovery?

  • #2
    Anxiety and other conditions of heightened arousal (anger, etc.) can make your spasticity of both smooth and striated muscles worse. This is do to chemicals that are released when your body is under emotional stress, and does not require an intact pathway to the brain. Similarly, endorphins that are released when using techniques such as TM or Rapid Relaxation Response techniques or self hypnosis have been documented to reduce spasticity (and arousal states). You might want to look into learning some of these techniques.

    (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.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Crybaby2025
      when I am nervous and/or angry, my legs and abdominals spasm alot. Also, my right leg will bounce(like I am tapping my heal) uncontrolably and will not stop for a while. I can also cause sensation in my right toes and somtimes can do it in my left toes. this has been happening since about april '06. Sometimes, when I am really upset my bladder will release urine right before I am about to go. I compare it to when I was AB and I had to go and the closer I got to the restroom the worse I had to go. Nothing more has come of it. I am wondering what all this might mean? I mean, I am considered an asia a complete but there seems to be something going on below my injury level. Can this mean anything good as far as potential recovery?
      CB2025, I have long thought that spasms and spasticity associated with emotions represent residual spinal connections. I know many people whose spasticity and spasms would increase when they hear a joke or are nervous. It could be, as KLD suggests, a result of increased circulating catecholamines.

      By the way, ASIA complete doesn't mean that you don't have any function below the injury level. It just simply means that you have at least some level of your spinal cord below which there is no conscious sensory or voluntary motor function. Since the rectal sphincter is innervated by the lowest level of the spinal cord, the absence of voluntary contraction and sensation in the anus is the minimal required finding for ASIA A.

      Many people with ASIA A have recovered some sensation and voluntary movements below their injury site. What is the mechanism of that recovery? I think that it results from spontaneous remyeination and possibly regeneration of axons across the ijnjury.

      Wise.

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      • #4
        An interesting question and responses ... never thought of asking this but I can tell you from my experience with Chad that certain types of emotions cause spasms off the charts, and other render him limp as a fish. And its very predictable, repeatable. So I'm intrigued now ....

        interestingly, Chad is complete, but he knows when I am touching him on his left side. And trust me, in 3 years, I have done it very stealthy, so there is NO vibration that could result, and when he's totally asleep for example. He'll wake up within seconds and say "are you touching my (fill in blank)" and he'll be usually spot on right, or at least within 12 inches of being right (e.g. I'm touching his shin and he "feels" it on his knee). If anyone else does this, nothing.

        It's kinda spooky actually. But I like it, makes me feel like we're connected more than just emotionally.
        Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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        • #5
          I too have sensation when I touch certain spots. I have not tested it from when another might touch me. But it is definetly not random. It happens when I make it happen. I honestly don't hold out much hope that it will lead to better things but it is nice to feel it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Crybaby2025
            I too have sensation when I touch certain spots. I have not tested it from when another might touch me. But it is definetly not random. It happens when I make it happen. I honestly don't hold out much hope that it will lead to better things but it is nice to feel it.
            Yeah, we don't hold out any hope actually given the date of his injury. And its odd, he doesn't "feel" it, he justs knows it is there. He said its very hard to explain, just a sixth sense I guess. The brain is a very cool thing though... things like this make it obvious.
            Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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            • #7
              Crybaby,

              I thought it was just my imagination, but I too notice my spasms in my legs get worse when I stress or become angry.
              Injured May 19, 2006, C4 incomplete

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              • #8
                My son, Chad, doesn't have any spasms ever...but when someone or something scares him, he says he feels shocking,electrical currents running through his legs...

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