Is this spasticity?

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Is this spasticity?

Postby kareng7 » Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:58 pm

Having a hard time finding a truly enlightening definition, so here's what I've been experiencing.

Painful sensations in thigh. Tend to move around. Sometimes feels like knee is swollen (bad knee to begin with). Weird sensation on sole of foot. At its worst, weird sensation also felt around elbow of arm on the same side. Tends to be worse during sleep, presumably from lying on affected areas. Muscular tightness in thigh relieved somewhat by stretching and massage. And the one I question most because I can't find it mentioned anywhere--bruising periodically at site on thigh where tightness/stiffness/muscular knots are, sometimes after massage, sometimes spontaneously and not due to touch.
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Postby OddDuck » Sat Jul 30, 2005 3:35 am

Karen,

What you are describing sounds much more like Fibromyalgia or Myofascial Pain Syndrome to me (not MS), but remember I'm no doctor. Especially your mention of "knots" that indicate you have muscle trigger points. Has your physician ever mentioned that to you? (I know nothing of your medical history, etc.)

The other, which I'm certain was one of the things that was ruled out in your case during testing, is leukemia.

The other thing might be a side-effect from one of the drugs you are taking, especially if you are taking any strong immuno-suppressant. Are you?

In any event, I'd mention it to your physician. It does not sound neurological in origin. The unexplained bruising part is the most concerning..........although that can often be associated with Fibro.

I'd say, call your doctor.

All the best,

Deb
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Postby OddDuck » Sat Jul 30, 2005 3:53 am

Hey, Karen!

I just now went back and read your prior posts to get an idea of what you've been going through.

Whether you might have MS is yet to be determined definitively, but I'd bet my right arm that what you really are struggling with at this time is Fibromyalgia. I have that, also.

It mimics MS to a "t" PLUS is extremely painful and has additional symptoms and problems that MS does not (believe it or not), and what you have just described is what I experience often. You get weird sensory problems with Fibro, too, like you describe.

You may YET have MS, also, (many people have both MS and fibro) or be what I call "predisposed" to getting MS but like I said, I'd bet my right arm what you are struggling with is Fibromyalgia. Nasty devil of a medical condition it is! (I sound like Yoda....... :lol: )

It debilitated (not "disabled", although you could have fooled me at the time) me a couple of years ago to the point of not being able to walk hardly at all!

:wink:

Hang in there. If you need/want additional info regarding Fibro, just ask away. You know me, I've researched it to death, too!

Deb

P.S. Here's a pretty good description of Fibro to start with. Check out the symptom list! That's me allright! :wink:
http://www.sover.net/~devstar/Patient_Review.pdf
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Re: Is this spasticity?

Postby HarryZ » Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:44 am

Karen,

What you are describing doesn't sound like spasticity. I would go along with what Deb has stated.

Spasticity in MS patients usually consists of an uncontrolled "jumping" of a hand, arm, leg etc. It may last a few minutes are several hours. My wife, who has had MS for over 30 years has bouts of spasticity and it can be very disturbing to rest or sleep.

Harry
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Postby lady_express_44 » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:29 pm

From The MS Information Sourcebook, produced by the National MS Society.

Spasticity refers to feelings of stiffness and a wide range of involuntary muscle spasms-sustained muscle contractions or sudden movements. It is one of the more common symptoms of MS.

Spasticity may be as mild as the feeling of tightness of muscles or may be so severe as to produce painful uncontrollable spasms of extremities, usually of the legs. Spasticity may also produce feelings of pain or tightness in and around joints, and can cause low back pain.

Some people who experience significant leg weakness find that spasticity makes the legs more rigid, and actually helps them to stand, transfer, or walk.

There are two types of severe MS-related spasticity:

1. In flexor spasticity, mostly involving the hamstrings (muscles on the back of the upper leg), the hips and knees are bent and difficult to straighten.

2. In extensor spasticity, involving the quadriceps (muscles on the front of the upper leg), the hips and knees remain straight with the legs very close together or crossed over at the ankles. Spasticity may also occur in the arms, but is less common.

Spasticity may be aggravated by extremes of temperature, humidity, or infections, and can even be triggered by tight clothing.

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Source ... ticity.asp

Cherie
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Spasticity

Postby Brainteaser » Sat Jul 30, 2005 3:57 pm

Hi,

I'm told by my neuro that what I have is spasticity.

I don't really have involuntary tremor movements of the limbs. Rather, my legs are very stiff and difficult to move. I can stand up OK and when I do I might appear like any one else. However, my walking is as if my legs were constrained by plaster casts or concrete. It can be difficult at times to climb stairs, step over say, the small ledge from the bathroom into the shower or getting into a car. The level of spasticity varies during the day, affects by balance and can be helped a little by exercise. I've researched that LDN might assist.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Phil.
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Re: Spasticity

Postby HarryZ » Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:29 pm

Phil,

The MS spasticity that you suffer certainly makes life very difficult. My wife had very minimal spasticity until she broke her leg over 4 years ago. The day they put the cast on, the spasms became beyond cruel! They can get so bad that they travel all the way up to her diaphragm at times and make it very difficult for her to breath for a few seconds. Add to this the "jumping" spasticity or spasms (whatever you prefer to call it) that makes her leg(s) jump for a couple of hours and you have hell on earth.

Marg used LDN for about 1 1/2 years but it had no effect at all on the spasms. Some people do find relief. She started on Sativex about two weeks ago and that has stopped the "jumping" but not the good old regular spasms. If you use the LDN, I hope it works for you.

Harry
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Postby lady_express_44 » Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:53 pm

What happens with me is that my lower arms curl into weird positions (claw hands/twisted wrists), without me even being aware.

Before I realized it, my arms would ache severely, so much so that I had to wear braces just to keep my body from crippling up. I had the same pain in my lower legs (although they didn't cripple in the same way). I haven't suffered much from the spasms, although I do get them occasionally.

I started on LDN on May 20/05, and within a day, I put the braces away. I still stiffen up occasionally, but the pain is completely gone. Within a day of not taking the LDN (mix-up in prescription), the pain was right back. In fact, this is how I knew there was a problem with my prescription. . . . but by the following day, the pain was gone again.

Cherie
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Postby OddDuck » Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:23 am

The following is why I tried (and LOVE) Keppra. I see someone else HAS found out that what I noticed and mentioned on here (and in my original narrative about levetiracetam) probably does hold true regarding it also helping cognitive problems. I'm telling you, no matter for what reason I had cognitive problems and muscle spasms, etc., it totally reversed the cognitive problems, and keeps me walking! It also completely relieved all that tingling, numbness, mild stiffness, pins & needles, etc. etc. that Karen refers to above.

Best all,

Deb

Epilepsy Drug Helps Multiple Sclerosis
Keppra Relieves Spasms, Is Safe and Tolerable


By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
on Tuesday, December 16, 2003


Dec. 16, 2003 -- Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have a new option to relieve spasms. The drug Keppra, which controls epileptic seizures, looks like a promising treatment with generally mild side effects.

It's more evidence that epilepsy medications help control what doctors call phasic spasticity -- spasms and cramps -- that plague people with multiple sclerosis. This spasticity can make walking difficult and cause falls, and it makes everyday life tiring. The spasms and cramps are also painful and don't quit at night, so sleep is interrupted.

A few medications have been used, over the years, to tame these painful spasms. Though the medications work, patients often feel drugged or weak, affecting mental function, writes lead researcher Kathleen Hawker, MD, with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

In recent years, researchers have found that newer medications used to control epileptic seizures also work with multiple sclerosis spasms, she explains. Her study looks at the effectiveness of Keppra, one of these newer antiepileptic drugs.

Doctors believe that Keppra works by dampening specific nerve activity in the brain, explains Hawker. Like similar drugs, Keppra has been shown to be well tolerated and has few side effects, most of them mild. In fact, it seems to boost the patient's mental functions, like memory and thought clarity.

This is important since mental function declines in many MS patients, the result of taking a multitude of medications.


Hawker and her colleagues reviewed medical records for 11 patients, all diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Half the patients took only Keppra for their spasms; the others got a combination of other antispasm drugs.

All patients taking Keppra had significant reduction in spasms, she reports. Three patients also had relief from pain -- which is similar to another small study of Keppra in people with pain from nerve damage, writes Hawker.

As in other studies of Keppra, there were a few mild side effects and no drug interaction problems, she adds.


Keppra was "effective as well as safe" in controlling multiple sclerosis-related spasms, she writes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: Hawker, K. Archives of Neurology, December 2003; vol 60: pp 1772-1774.
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Postby kareng7 » Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:39 pm

Going to my neuro this Thursday to get it checked. Not on any medication at the moment but starting Avonex this very Friday, as a matter of fact. Personally, I don't think it's fibromyalgia because I don't have the qualifying number of sore pressure points and I have a friend who has it and our symptoms are different.

Here's what I found about MS spasticity/spasms that seems to go along with what I'm having:

http://my.webmd.com/content/article/57/66123.htm

"Spasticity can occur either as a sustained stiffness caused by increased muscle tone or as spasms that come and go, especially at night. It can feel like a muscle tightening or it can cause severe pain. Spasticity can also produce feelings of pain or tightness in and around joints and can cause low back pain. The intensity may vary depending on your position, posture, and state of relaxation."

I'm definitely having the spasms that come and go type, and it's worse at night. And I'm having some pain with it, not severe but not pleasant either. Gee, MS is fun. :roll:

Thanks to everyone who answered me on this. It means a great deal to me to have knowledgeable folks to ask these questions of. I've only been dealing with this since January this year and it's like I already don't know my own body anymore. When it starts doing these weird things, it's like I'm in someone else's body.
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Postby Sharon » Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:58 pm

--Just to add something else to the "spasticity" thread. :)

This comes from the Canadian Spinal Research Organization
http://www.csro.com/volume12issue5.html

When a person suffers a spinal cord injury the normal flow of nerve signals below the level of injury is interrupted and those signals may not reach the reflex centre of the brain. Because the body's reflex centres are unable to work together to moderate the body's response to signals, the reflex centres in the spinal cord attempt to moderate the response. Because the spinal cord is not as efficient as the brain, the signals that are sent back to the site of the sensation are often over exaggerated. This overactive muscle response is also known as spasticity.


Spinal cord injuries cause demyelination of the nerves - similar to MS.

Sharon(Colo)
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