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  • Explaining Spasms

    How would you explain the feeling of a spasm to an AB?
    MandyRae

  • #2
    I've compared a spasm (jumpy, twitchy muscle movement) to a violent charley horse that sneaks up on you, hits hard, then goes away.

    Spasticity (muscles that are constantly tight and contracted) feels to me like getting a charley horse the day after you've way overworked your muscles and are so stiff and achy that it's painful to move.

    Hope that helps.
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar

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    • #3
      im AB and i get spasms too - (not to be compared with sci spasms?) i dont want to insult or anything here.
      my muscles twitch and twitter on me all the time, like nerves or something. most of the time on their own my right fingers will just go off and tighten and move on their own. dont know what brings it on but i know the nerves have something to do with it. also many other parts of my body go oss and just twitch like mad. when i get a little too stressed my right eye just wont stop, i look like some loony! LOL and well i try to relax so that it will stop before someone notices and thinks im crazy or something! LOL
      i would love to know a little more about how sci folks are affected.
      is there pain everytime you spasm? what part of the body spasms the most?

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      • #4
        By the way guys, Mandy is writing a novel, and does some research here. She posted an excerpt a while back .... it looks good!

        Mandy .... there are 2 components to spasticity. I will explain the way it effects me.

        One is tone. For me this was the worst. I feel (felt, as it is usually under control) very very tight. And I can hardly move my legs (with my hands that is, I can;t move them anyway, LOL). Getting them up on a bed or in the car is difficult to impossible alone. I compare it to an elephant sitting on me.

        The other is spasms, Mine are usually in my trunk. If I am sitting in be it is as if someone just pushes me down. A lot of people have spasms in their legs where they just kick off the footplate.

        My legs only spasm if something causes it, a touch on the foot can trigger it, and definitely if something painful is going on. When I had a toenail worked on, the nurse had to hold my foot so I wouldn;t kick the podiatrist! Luckily he was used to sci patients~ I know a lot of peoples leg and trunk spasms are enough to cause them to fall out of their chairs.

        For me the spasticity itself isn;t painful, but if it is high, my overall back pain level is worse.

        They can treat this w/ medication, although it makes a lot of people sleepy, especially in high doses. Sometimes, if they are bad enough they will treat them by inserting a baclofen pump.

        A sudden increase in spasticity is generally a sign that something is going on below the level of injury. Sort of your body trying to tell you it needs help.

        So, now I have answered way more than you asked, but hope it helps.

        Thats how they feel to me.
        T7-8 since Feb 2005

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        • #5
          It helped me greatly!!! Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly!
          MandyRae

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          • #6
            Another question... What would you compare the paint to. Is it a tight cramp pain? A needle like pain? or more of a crushing pain? I'm trying to make it as detailed as possible. Sorry for being so difficult!
            MandyRae

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            • #7
              Do you know how it feels to stretch? Imagine that in reverse, every muscle in your body wanting to contract and stay that way for about 15 seconds. Mine have hit so hard that it takes the breath away, then I would be gasping for air. someone said it was like a Charlie horse, I guess that is about right but with your full body.

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              • #8
                Sometimes it's like an earthquake.... you feel a little shaking and then... BAM! your leg is in the air with a life of its own.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mimin View Post
                  Sometimes it's like an earthquake.... you feel a little shaking and then... BAM! your leg is in the air with a life of its own.
                  haha the BAM! part is right, i love when it happen's sitting in class, i kicked the girl that sits in front of me right in the butt, and when she turned around all i could say was, did you see what god just did. haha but back on topic mine spasm outward and i get stiff as a board.
                  I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sjean423 View Post
                    My legs only spasm if something causes it, a touch on the foot can trigger it, and definitely if something painful is going on. When I had a toenail worked on, the nurse had to hold my foot so I wouldn;t kick the podiatrist! Luckily he was used to sci patients~
                    sjean, this is me to a T -- but instead of a podiatrist, my really major kicks and jumps occur when I visit my gynecologist. I warn them in advance that unless they're prepared to risk a closed head injury or broken jaw, they should round up two nurses or assistants to help keep my legs from abruptly leaving the stirrups once the exam begins!

                    MandyRae, how awesome it is that you're doing research for your writing -- way too cool!

                    My tone is constantly painful -- I am an incomplete quad and feel not only pain from the muscles being so tight (they develop knots in them at times), but also a burning sensation within the muscles 24/7.

                    The spasms are more of a fleeting, stabbing pain, which is magnified by whatever pain occurs from the jumpy body part in question landing wrong. This usually occurs when I am close to and facing a solid object at foot level -- my leg will whip forward and the toes will smack the object I'm sitting near, and the toe pain will set off another spasm, which plows the toes back into the object -- lather, rinse, repeat.

                    HTH!

                    --THC
                    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

                    ~Julius Caesar

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                    • #11
                      I don't have pain per say-just a lot of burning, pins and needles from my injury level on down. Right now, it is tolerable but annoying. It changes throughout the day.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you everyone for responding! You are all really helping me out!
                        MandyRae

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                        • #13
                          I don't think spasms are painful. They start like a tickle from the place it starts and then the tickles more and you feel for moving your leg and then bam, the leg is moving by itself.

                          Spasticity is painful, it feels like a muscle cramp that never stop and you get crazy in the end. It feels like when AB people get cramps and they are screaming I got a cramp, I got a cramp.
                          TH 12, 43 years post

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by darrel View Post
                            Do you know how it feels to stretch? Imagine that in reverse, every muscle in your body wanting to contract and stay that way for about 15 seconds. Mine have hit so hard that it takes the breath away, then I would be gasping for air. someone said it was like a Charlie horse, I guess that is about right but with your full body.
                            I picked your description out because it seems a little different than some of the others. Would you describe the sensation as a "lightening" pain, or a severe cramp?

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                            • #15
                              More of a severe cramp, because once it is over I am fine.
                              It has been a year since I had the real bad spasms, the pump has helped me a lot.

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