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    Non stop spasms?

    I am a T4/T1 complete Para and I get spasms but normally they are really not that bad. They have been getting worse the last three months and have been getting more arm pain on the T1 side. So I had a another MRI and my surgeon looked for a Syrinx up at my T4/T1 level and both him and I looked at it and it looked very good. As I have had two syrinx's since my Accident June 2008, the last one they put a shunt in to help drain it and that one was bad enough to increase my paralysis from a T4 to a T1 on my left side unfortunately. On top of more spasms I was also having some bladder problems. So i went home wondering why I am having these problems so I phoned my specialist and asked him to take a look at it to see what he thought of my MRI. He phoned me a couple days later telling me that my spine looked good up top where i was having the problems before but he also said it looks like my whole lower spine below the T4 level all the way down was full of spinal fluid. He said that this could be a big part of what is causing my problems, even though i am paralyzed above that level things can still be affected below the area where my spine was severed by extra pressure of the excess spinal fluid. I will have to email my surgeons secretary and ask him if he can look at the rest of the spine and give me his opinion on that as I am not sure if he really looked at the rest of the spine as we were mainly worried about my paralysis level climbing again above the T4/T1 level.
    Anyway i have a question for others here on the Carecure forum, the SCI Nurses or the DR and wanted their opinion on what they have seen before that causes this or could cause continued non stop spasms. The last two nights when I lay down I had non stop spasms in my right side around the bottom of my rib cage stomach area. It would twitch or spasm almost every second anywhere from 4 to 40 times in a row. Then it would stop for 3-4 seconds then go again. It was worse last night it did that the whole night continued firing you could see my stomach moving on that side like a baby was kicking me inside! Then of course both morning I woke up with an insane knot in my upper right shoulder from those weird spasms as those muscles must be attached to that area. Now i really cant get a hold of any specialist now this time of year to ask and I am headed out on a 2 week cruise in 6 days from now and I am kind of worried. Has anyone every had this happen to them? What could cause this(probably a ton of stuff)? How does one typically treat this or help make it bearable? I do take 20mg of Baclofen 4 times a day I am not sure upping this is going to help much unless I start taking more at night which might help a bit. Anyway would like to here peoples feed back on this as I know this could be quite dangerous for me if it keeps firing forever. It does stop when I completely sit up in my wheelchair. Cramping in your shoulder from this continual firing of the spasm makes it very hard to get sleep, and sleep is what I am now lacking! Thoughts?


    Mooner

    #2
    Mooner, you mentioned that the underlying cause of the non-stop spasms could be caused by a ton of different things. One thing that I have noticed over the years is that if I have a major ailment that my body is currently fighting (other than a UTI), then sometimes a UTI will soon emerge.

    From reading your description above, it seems like your body is already under a bit of stress. Maybe this has made you more succeptible to a UTI. Occasionally, I get a UTI without fever or chills but with continuous spasms that are so bad that I can't sleep.

    At the least you can test for a UTI and eliminate it as a possible cause. I've had those type of spasms before and it's like you're being tortured.

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      #3
      Thanks Patton ya I am very aware of UTI's as i had a few the first year out of the hospital. I have the test strips at my house that I use to check for Leukocytes when I think I have a UTI. Currently it doesn't look like i have one but you never know i am always vigilant to watch for any change in myself. I also had 3 negatives from the labs with samples I had brought in for a few weeks in a row when this all started. That was the first thing we wanted to eliminate.

      Mooner

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        #4
        Hi Mooner, I struggle with spasms too. I've weaned off baclofen (pump) and now enjoy the use of some muscles. I've found that taking Vesicare helps me. I know this may sound weird, but just routine bladder and bowel signals light up my spasms. It's as if the signals from the nerves from these areas don't send the signals to the brain, but simply trigger spasms. So, Vesicare quiets these signals for relief. I'm impressed with the lack of side effects with Vesicare as compared to Ditropan.

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          #5
          Thanks Pat I checked both those things first and as I said i get normal spasms but have never had them fire NON STOP and I literally mean non stop all night when laying down. I went to have a nap today as I was tired and soon as I lay down the non stop spasms started again in my right stomach area again. It was like wearing one of them TEN's electrical simulators cranked on high. So I tried laying on my side and it stopped, since my accident i can not lay on my side as it is uncomfortable. But i was so tired i slept at least two hours before i had to try laying on my back again. Getting quite frustrated about this. Next specialist appointment I will ask my doctor about the Vesicare instead of the Ditropan i take as I hate having that incessant dry mouth, but I dont believe this is bladder related.

          Mooner

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            #6
            Have you had your gall bladder checked? The abdominal and shoulder issues you describe are suspect.
            Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

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              #7
              Hi Mooner,

              I guess it could also be constipation. One of my least favorite topics to talk about. Baclofen can cause the GI tract to slow down, can't it? Are you on any opioids or other drugs that can slow your system down? Maybe you need a good cleaning out- top to bottom.

              I'm a T4 with a syrinx up to T3. I gotta keep a close eye on it. Fingers are effected a little bit at T1 I think and at C8 for sure. You don't want your fingers to get involved and to weaken. I'm sure you're concerned about it and are keeping a close watch on it.

              Good luck in finding the cause of your spasms,

              Bob.
              "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

              Comment


                #8
                I don't have a Gallbladder had it removed about 10 years ago. Ya my fingers get bad on my left side its mainly my baby finger and the baby finger side of the palm as it is at t1 permanent now. As for bowels they have been working very good with my program. But when I say it spasms every second i literally mean that and non stop why its so scary, spasm I have lived with but this is not normal or safe.
                Oh and as for Opiats and such i have to be almost dieing and in bad pain before I take pain killers as I am really not a fan of them at all, most days I could easily take some but I just choose to live with it and try to stay very busy as to not focus on the pain.

                Mooner
                Last edited by Mooner99; 26 Dec 2010, 12:24 AM.

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                  #9
                  I was experiencing that around eight years ago. I had to get a baclofen pump and have been a lot happier ever since. I don't know what caused it but it was almost all of the sudden thing. You may want to look into that. Good luck.
                  C-5/6, 7-9-2000
                  Scottsdale, AZ

                  Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

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                    #10
                    I have constant spasms, too. I've had them for over a year after herniating 3 lumbar discs slightly. the doctors refuse to acknowledge it's because of my spine. They've actually diagnosed epilepsy, but I don't think they're right. I have hundreds possibly thousands of spasms a day. Sometimes it's down my left side, sometimes it's just a finger, or the side of a foot, or somewhere on my back. Sometimes I wake up kicking the wall. I don't know why these back doctors dont take spinal injuries more seriously, and correctly diagnose these spasms. They are an absolute nuisance! It's every second of every day. I know what you mean by feeling like a baby's kicking you... Sometimes I can feel my heart muscle twitching, going into spasm. That's scary. I guess we just have to twiddle our thumbs until our Doctors listen to us.

                    It does seem like they worsen with stress. Again, another thing which misleads the docs to think it's epilepsy.

                    Yes, I have these, too, because of spine stuff.

                    Or you might consider the possibility my docs are right, and maybe you've got epilepsy... stress and pain are triggers, and alot of back pain medications actually increase the seizure threshold, so it's common to start having seizures for the first time once taking these drugs when you're in a huge amount of pain.
                    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 22 Jun 2012, 5:33 AM.

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                      #11
                      Reviving an oldthread. The same thing is happening to me, spasms/twitchng on the right side below my ribcage, like a baby kicking. Can anyone provide info on the outcome of this situation? What was the cause and how was it treated?
                      T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

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                        #12
                        I had and oral baclofen did not do it, could not tolerate the necessary dosages. Got an IT Pump, much better, cut them by about 70% from constant.

                        ket
                        Kindly,

                        The Ketamine Kitty

                        All the tears, all the pain, all the rage through the night (apolgies to the rewrite) RR

                        Next time I die make sure I'm gone,
                        don't leave 'em nothing to work on JT

                        And I ain't nothin but a dream JM

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