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Muscle Twitching and Spasms in Legs and Feet
Can lumbar spine problems (or spine problems in general) cause chronic twiching and/or spasming of muscles in the calves and feet?

My background: Posterior interbody lumbar fusion (L4-S1) 7 months ago, anterior cervical fusion (C5-C7) about 4 years ago, and undifferentiated spondylitis. Leg muscles twitch constantly, regardless of activities, worsen when I first lie down, but then settle down to mild twitching all night long after being in bed awhile. If I do any physical activities (walking on treadmill, stretching, eliptical machine, etc.) the twitching goes into severe spasms in my calves and sometimes in my feet during the night. Sometimes the calves will spasm when I climb stairs during the day, but I immediately walk out the spasm. On bad nights, however, I have to get up every 10 minutes all night long to walk out the spasms. If I don't exercise, the spasms are infrequent, but the twitching is constant. With exercise, the spasms are chronic on a nightly basis. At night my lower back frequently tightens or spasms, and in my sleep I'll arch my back and tightly lock my legs in a stretch to counter the lower back spasm, and it will wake up in the process; this may, at times, contribute to the leg spasms, but it doesn't happen everytime. I'm still having moderate groin and hip pain since the lumber surgery, but benefits have far outweigh the discomfort, and the pain is slowly but surely diminishing. The twitching and spasms preceded the lumbar surgeries and have not abated since the surgeries.

I don't have MS and don't seem to fit the pattern for RLS. I've taken RLS meds, potassium, magnesium, quinine, heomeopatic remedies, etc. but nothing help. Flexeril 3x daily will help when spasms get bad, but the side effects are pretty intense, so I stopped exercising for the sake of trying to sleep at night.

I would appreciate any insight you may be able to provide regarding back problems and leg and foot muscle issues. Thank you.



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How old are you max?
Are you most comfortable sitting than in bed?
and are you  diabetic?

Willl270
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I'm 56, in otherwise good health, and have no neurological or systemic diseases, such as MS or diabetes. The twitching does not involve the entire calf muscle ususally, but rather small areas of the muscle contract first in one spot then another, moving around rapidly in differenly locations within the calf, or at least that's how it feels. It's possible to see the muscle move in various areas and to feel it with my fingers, but I feel it much more intensely than it shows. I have it all the time in both legs regardless of whether I'm sitting or in bed, but in bed it initially gets much worse, but then settles down after I've relaxed for awhile. If I get up to go to the bathroom during the night, when I return to bed the calf muscles jump around intensely, but eventually settle down. If I exercise or even stretch during the day, I'll have leg and foot spasms all night beginning two to four hours after I've gone to bed and often lasting the entire night. It's really awful. When my legs and/for feet spasm, very often my lower back also tightens or spasms, too. It's for that reason that I wondered there might be a connection between my spine problems and spasms in the legs and feet. In the lower back, I had moderate stenosis but the main problem was scar tissue impingin on my nerve roots. The lumber fusion was an 8-hour surgery because the doc had to separate the scar tissue from the nerve roots. The twitching preceded the surgery, however, and has not improved after the surgery.
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Hi, I can relate to what you are going through. I had a discectomy at L5-S1 about three years ago. The twitching started soon after. It was so frustrating trying to explain to doctors and physical therapists how a constant twitch in my leg changed my life. They were all clueless.
I had flexeril on hand from before the surgery, but it gave no relief from the twitching. The PT told me it would go away. I decided to have patience, that lasted a year. I became desperate. I was sleep deprived every night, up 5-7 times per night. At night cramps would start in my calf, and when I tried to stretch it out the front of my leg would cramp. My leg became "locked" and I had to get out of bed and hobble around until it went away. When I walk my leg feels weak because each time I raise my leg my calf spasms. I had quit exercising like you. I was wondering what my future would be like. Here I am in my forties and I can't exercise. My family doctor prescribed amitriptyline in a low dosage. It helped a little, the twitching was the same frequency but less strong. I tried different dosages. The bottom line was that I was still getting up 3-4 times at night instead of 5-7. I was happy for a while but my life still wasn't back to normal. I went to another doctor and asked for neurontin but he wouldn't prescribe it. At that point I felt hopeless and on my own.
The reason I am responding is because since that time I got creative and came up with some solutions that have made this manageble for me. My twitching is in my calf and hamstring on the back of my leg. I noticed it was better when those muscles are stretched slightly. So with all my daily activety I keep that in mind. There is a wall behind my desk at work that I can rest my leg on in a strectched position with my toe neutral instead of pointed. In my car there is a ridge to bend my toe backwards to stretch my calf, etc. For at night I got a "night splint". It is a boot that people with plantar fasciitis (problems with foot arches) wear at night to keep from pointing their toe. The problem with the boots was that I would get a cramp while wearing it at night, and it was hard to get it off quickly in the middle of the night. I still wear the boot if I sit on a recliner when watching movies to keep my calf stretched. Luckily my husband is handy. We have an old water bed frame with a sleep number bed. First he made an extention to the foot board that I could put my foot on to keep my toe form pointing. There is a space just above the mattress for my heals, so I can get some dorsiflexion. He also made a brace for the side of the bed. In the middle of the bed I put a 10 lb weight with some ankle weights to help keep it from rolling. I always have the foot of my bad leg on one of these to keep my toe from pointing. I am to the point that most nights I don't have cramps. If i feel them coming on I quickly put my foot back on one of the braces. I am gradually increasing my exercise. As I get in shape it takes longer for my calves to cramp while walking. I can't stand the thought that the twitching could go on forever, but this is the most normal my life has been since surgery.
I hope this is helpful.
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My calf and feet spasms are not severe but the pain is.  No amount of pain killers seems to help.  Help back surgery over a year ago and continue to have chronic pain, but this problem came on a couple of weeks ago and is getting worse.  Haven't been to the gym for awhile either (sinuses).  This is my third night without sleep.  Any ideas?  I'm getting a bit conerned here.
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I have been reading your post and have finally found people that have some of the same symptoms as I do.  I hurt my back by lifting a 35 lb box of potatoes. I did physical therapy and a years worth of chiropractor. My back seems to be doing well but I have constant twitching in my legs. I also have twitching in my feel and heal pain. If im not active the pain is manageable but some times I can barely walk. I just had and MRI done and that looks good from what they say. I guess my next stop would be to see a neurologist. I'm scared im going to wind up in a wheel chair. My doctor keeps telling me he has no idea what is causing my symptons. :(
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I recently tried Earth shoe tennis shoes. They have a "negative" heel, meaning the heel is lower than your toes. They keep my calf slightly stretched all day. They have been very helpful.
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Hi

I have the same problem ...and cant find an answer..
a massage terapist in china recomended me to strech like jjHusker
but keep coming and coming back  again...?????
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Thank you very much Dr. Mandu! I have heard that iron can help people with restless leg syndrome but I never tried it because that wasn't my diagnosis. You suggestion would be a wonderful, simple cure if it worked, so I will try it.

CindyS2231 I just saw your post and appreciate your suffering! We are kindred spirts hobbling down dark hallways in spasm during the middle of the night. I've been diagnosed with an arthritic disease called spondylitis, which affects the spine and, in my case, all of my other joints. I have had some intermittent leg relief with the prescription anti-inflammatories used for arthritis, but they are heavy-duty drugs that require ongoing blood tests to monitor safety: sulindac, injectable humira and methotrexate. With the sulindac, espectially, the twitching diminishes to low intensity, and spasms become occasional. But then I have flare ups, like now, with viciously jumping calf muscles and spasms in the legs and feet, so today I'm also starting a Medrol Dose Pak. I also got relief if I took a big dose of flexeril right before bed, but that left me feeling like a zombie the following day. I don't expect to ever be free of spasms or twitching, but I'll be satisfied if I can stay in bed at night longer than 15-minute intervals at a stretch. I'll also try your exercises. Thank you!
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454186 tn?1388978568
hi,deep and intensive acupuncture can help,as it good at relieving inflammation of soft tissue around lower back area, so inflammation stimulation was reason..
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I’m glad to hear that there are others like me. I thought I was the only one with this twitching issue. I had back surgery over 8 years ago to remove a herniated disk. For fifteen years prior to the surgery, I was in constant pain. The surgery was a God-send and I’m please to say that I don’t have the pain anymore. However, I do have a constant twitching since some time after the surgery. I’m talking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It is nonstop. Sometimes it’s worse than others. Exercising makes it more active. Sometimes at night my leg will cramp. My foot points straight out and it all locks up. I have to jump out of bed to put weight on it to break it loose. The weird thing is that the twitching is in my left calf only. No where else. My family doctor has given me medicines for restless leg syndrome but no help. I’ve tried calcium, potassium, Iron and anything else that I could find that I may be deficient in. I asked my family doctor if it could be related to my back surgery, he said no, it’s just something that happens. Sorry, Doc, wrong answer. I have decided that I’m going to go to a neurologist. With today’s knowledge, technological advancements, there has to be a way to turn it off.

God bless. I hope we all find the answer.
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Update: My leg is still twitching 24/7, but I am doing so much better. I just passed the 4 year anniversary of the back surgery that caused the dreaded twitching. When I look back:
1. It really helped to keep may calf stretched at night. I had less cramping and started to sleep better. My leg was less tight during the day too.
2. Next I very gradually increased my activity. As I have gotten stronger the twitching has decreased, and I can do more before my leg "goes wild".
One exercise in particular seemed to really help. Two years ago a physical therapist had me lay on the floor, on my front side with a pillow under my hips. I stabilized my spine by squeezing my glutes and abs. Next, I bent my knee and raised my lower leg. The first one sent my leg into a spasm. She told me to keep trying. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I couldn't live a normal life with such a weak leg. It took me a few months to be able to do 20 reps. Next I did two set of 20. Then I added a 1 lb weight to my ankle and did as many as I could. It was a balance of increasing reps without aggravating my leg too much. It has taken 2 years and I am up to 9 lbs. I can't believe how long it has taken to build up strength, but it has really helped. This exercise has changed my life. I can ride my bike 10 miles at a time and am taking a reform Pilate's class. Even though I am more active, my leg twitches less.
You are all in my thoughts. I hope this helps.
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Hi, To all, I just joined the forums due to the fact that I am to my wits end. Let me start out with explaining a little of my back ground. Please bear with me if its a little long but i would appreciate some patience and maybe some kind of feed back please. So here goes:
1. Back in 1999, I had my daughter, immediately after I came home from the hospital i discovered while doing dishes, changing diapers, anything that ment bending over just the slightest was incredibly painful. i mean within 5 minutes, Well, i just ignored it and dealt with the pain. continued doing the everyday duties i had to and was in pain.
2. Mentioned to family doctor on and off of this odd back pain but the doctor doesnt really do much but puts me on darvocets and thats about all.
3. Since 1997 i have been a waitress and well, 2008 still a waitress. In 2003 I move down about an hour closer to my family but still with the same doctor who ends up retireing and a new doctor takes over. Well, by this time i have tried a chiropractor 3 times. 1st time it helped unbelievably, 2nd 2x's in complete pain not to mention by this time my back is completely locking up to the point of having to be picked up out of bed and off the couch and put in an upright standing position just to try and loosen up. Also, many episodes of siatic(spelled wrong, I know) pain, actually lost feeling one day and got out of the car and fell when i stepped.
4. Doc made an appt for an x-ray for my back and then was refered to the spine clinic. Well, That is when the disaster started has continue since. Met with the spine doc. He tells me as we look at the xray it is a simple vertebra out of place(his exact words) and with p.t. with go back into place. Well, i agree since i figure my faith is in his hand he knows what he is talking about and it will help and it will get better. Well, I drive for p.t. only to meet with them 2x a wk for nothing more than a waste of time for them to tell me how to pick up things, vaccume and so on and so forth, and never once touched me.
5. Well, here we are to the future and its a little over 2 years later and im and in a daily pain level of 8-9. cant find a new doc, mine is a jerk and wont perscribe me anything more then a few vicodin a month cause he says everyone gets additicted to them. now he sent me to see another spine doctor only because i called up to him and spoke with the nurse and she alerted me to something in med. files that i finally found out was alarming and was not told of. so here goes and was urgently sent for an mri. I was born with lumbar spondyleothesis now grade 2 almost 3, I have basicly no reflexes after the test was done on my left leg, no reflexes at my ankle and behind my knee, and a bit more reflexes on my right side. I have shooting pain down my leg on my left side that feels like someone is stabbing a knife out my shin bone just below my knee and my either feels numb, tingly or a dull pain, and i cant lean over the sink to look in the mirror or do dishes, or even lay out clothes on a bed for more than 5 minutes with my muscles in my legs twitching uncontrollably and unbelievable pain.
Now, mind you we looked at the same xrays from the original spine doc visit and you can clearly see the white lines down the sides of my spine where the pars....(cant remember the rest of the name) are broken and i even ask the new rejected spine doc(sorry my opinion of these docs are not high) told me. Now, I have developed a severe case( im assuming its rls/plmd), sometimes durning being awake but when im sleeping or start to rest I get major unconfortable feeling in my legs and occasionally in my arms, but when i do fall asleep terrible, terrible jerking, and twitching in my legs so bad ive kicked my boyfried and left bruses. i have experience the jerking awake and it was so bad with charleyhorses that i just cryed. Everyday my legs hurt and are so tight. at night i get the feeling and i either pound my legs on the floor, twist my ankles almost breaking them, or just pace the floor to no end. I barely sleep and if i do i wake to extreme anxiety attacks to trying to get more sleep but then i get the odd feeling in my arms.
    Please I need help, I nothing in my record to abusing pain meds nor and all honesty am i additicted to them but my doctors are jerks and not compationate at all and i need something stronger. I even told then since i do have to work and take care of my daughter and function without being a zombie, i would be happy with a level 3/4 pain, this way i dont over do it. But i just cant handle the level im at. any advice before i have a nervous breakdown or something....sorry soooooo long...

Thanks, Froggie
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667923 tn?1421466324
Hello there Froggie.
I have the same issue and have been on strong pain meds for years and it still hasn't touched the spondylosis problem I have and every layer of my back is affected. I've been dx'd with DDD, Spondylosis, Spinal Stenosis, compressed fractures(C3-C4), herniations--in a row(T8-T11) and a ruptured protrusion(T8-T9) and something called an anal tear(L4-L5). I do have other issues I deal with that might have brought this on. Dx'd with Adrenal insufficiency in 'May '12 and Lyme disease in Nov '13. I did pull a tick off of me in '08 and that is when my world fell apart. It was a regular dog tick too. :/

I have been diagnosed as being disabled and do draw a check for disability. Grateful for that because I haven't driven, since '08. Disability started back in 2010 and I purchased me a good messaging bed that has truly helped me with my crazy leg and arm issue.

My legs never stop pulsating or throbbing. It feels like an electrical current running through them. I have done extensive research on this issue and it basically gives us the same response as nerve damage would. I have burned two motors out on my electrical bed, where I've used the message feature to run and trick my brain into thinking the vibrations were purposely done. I've been grateful for my bed because it has gotten me through some very hard times, but going on my third motor now. I've also taken Gabapentin for over 10 yrs and it only gives me partial relief from pain and not all. I still suffer with the horrific spasms and electrical current feeling. I know that you do as well. Gabapentin(Neurontin) and Lyrica have been found to affect the synopsis in our brain. We don't need another problem added, especially if there is an answer for relief of this issue.

The only thing that I believe will help us is to use medical marijuana. I know the stigmatism attached to it, but it has been proven to be effective for those dealing seizures and extensive nerve damage. I have severe nerve damage, due to being struck by a nerve block back in Dec '06. My hands/feet were immediately made numb and stayed that way for years, after being hit by what is called a 'wet tap'. I just now started to feel my sheets in the bed and the first night I did, I felt like they were coming alive again. They were, but uncovered the spondylosis problem that was numbed by the injury. That is when my legs began to pulsate and throb uncontrollably. Horrible torture!!

Medical Marijuana may be very controversial, but it has been proven effective in relieving any issue that deals with nerve injuries. One night, after contorting all over my bed and finding no relief, I took one puff and it was gone!!! :o I couldn't believe it!
We deserve relief from what we go through and shouldn't worry about the stigmatism placed on it because it was wrong.

I've been blessed living in a legalized state and pray that you have too. I suppose to get my Medical Marijuana card in a couple of weeks and so looking forward to not suffering from it anymore. I hope that you can find the same relief. God Bless and hope this finds you finally getting relief. :)
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667923 tn?1421466324
Just thought that I would mention one more thing that is a problem--- inflammation. IT is our enemy and we need to eat a healthy diet...one that is FREE of junk food!! Eat whole food, fruits and veggies. And...make sure to take Turmeric with Pepper. You can find it in a supplement together. I take it 3x's a day and it really has helped with my issue too. :)

Drink plenty of water! Important.
I've also found essential oils to be a true blessing and have even become a distributor for a big name company. I truly believe they have helped me on this nightmarish journey...to health. :o
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Sorry to hear about your prolonged difficulties! Spinal problems can take a long, long time to diagnose and treat. So, don't give up! There are many other kinds of meds that you can take to deal with the pain besides painkillers. Have you seen a pain specialist or neurologist? I found that the twiching and spasms are made much more severe if I take certain meds at night. I've eliminated all meds in the evening and I'm doing better at night most of the time. For example, I can't take anti-inflammatories before bedtime. I'm on permanent low-dose prenisone (5 mg) and that has been helpful with much of the pain, but have terrible spasms if I take it in the evening. By eliminating all meds in the evening, really bad night spasms are infrequent and ususally associated with my back tightening up. I still have chronic low-grade twitching and mild spasms at night, and I might just have to stand for a minute or so until they pass, but at least I'm not falling over or pacing the floor all night. Good luck!
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I have all these symptoms and never had back problems! I injured calf muscle real bad 3 1/2 years ago. After several mris and other tests on every part of my body because of all the neuro symptoms, they finally just said I have RLS and BFS and probalbly a trapped nerve. Still very active at 52(raquetball, walk when I play golf) and coach soccer. But left leg is very weird. When I curl toes, I get a tremor. When I try and flex muscle it just goes into spasm. But all the symptons you people mention is what scares and concerns me and just can't get used to. Refuse to take drugs.
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Hi Max, I was doing a search on Google, and it matched your ongoing saga.  

Though I have not had any surgery (i am hoping to evade that as long as possible) I do have spondylolisthesis, which is slightly different than your diagnosis.  Mine comes not from arthritic condistion, but a few acute, "ballistic" injuries - car crash, lifting a patient out of bed, etc - and then wear and tear from extreme sports through my 20's and early 30's.

My L4 and L5 "slip" forward pinching the nerves and the beginnings of "some" (osteo) arthritic narrowing is occuring between L5 and S1 according to my physiatrist (spine doc)

As i mentioned above i used to "be" a P.T., but had to change careers because I knew the wear and tear would only get worse.  And so I have gone to P.T., a few times (x12 visits) in the last few years each time there is a flare up.  These flare ups happen like 1x yr or so.

The interesting thing is that I get almost the same symptoms you are describing... Fasciculations (the sporadic uncontrollable muscle twitches), in the calf, quads, mostly the (lateral) higher calf on the outsides and the mid to lower inner thighs.  It begins with the tiny fasciculations, then it builds into tightening and spasms, till then it can only be described as intense grabbing.  I describe as if a huge condor has swooped from behind, wrapped itself across my lower back, and has grabbed onto my thighs and calfs with its enormous talons.  It "nervy" and jumpy at first, and with each step increasingly worse, almost dropping me to my knees if i dont stop, stretch, (whimper) and then try to move again.  Eventually it subsides (like a 1/2 mile of walking painfully) and then it is just "tight" and painfully "sore".

if the intense part is a 9-10/10, the soreness is like a 7-8/10.

It then basically moves to a recovery phase where what is leftover is basically a tightness across my back (no real pain "in" the back itself) and then in the legs and calf where I was feeling the spasms and pain I now feel "as if" I have the recovery day pains after doing squats.  When I was younger and played football/etc... I would do power squats w/ heavy weights until exhaustion, and its that "soreness" that you feel the next day, you know?... that is exactly what it feels like after the spasms are gone.

I'm wondering... Is this slightly different than what you are feeling?  I dont get them "at night", they can come at any time, like i said usually once or twice a year.

But my real question is in regards to the Prednisone x 5mg you take.  Do you find any adverse effects?  Do you get "Moonface"?  Any worries about long term usage suppressing other symptoms that you may not want to mask - what have you been told to watch for?  etc.. etc...

Any info would help.
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I'm so sorry to hear about your challenges, but at least you seem to have a good understanding of what's happening, given your PT background. In the year and half since my posting, I've made a couple of changes that have helped with the night spasms. First, no meds after 12:00 pm noon. It seems that taking anti-inflammatory meds in the evening worsened the problem. Second, I've changed from soft-sole shoes to hard-sole shoes. I wore the soft-sole shoes for years because of arthritis in my feet, but found that not only can I wear hard-sole shoes (Mephistos --- very expensive, but worth it), but when I do, my calf muscles are happier. I don't know why, but when I put on a pair of soft-sole shoes, I get minor cramps in my calves when I walk or climb stairs. Together these two changes have tremendously lessened the nighttime discomforts. I still have muscle twitching, but it isn't severe. I've also stopped taking prednisone because it made me confused and I'm still trying to take off the extra weight it causes. Best of luck with your issues and I sincerely hope that you find relief soon.
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Okay, you guys will probably think I'm nuts, but I have similar problems with my back and legs.  I was in a car accident in 1977 and have had trouble ever since, and the older I get the worse it gets.  I had been told for years that I needed to have back surgery, but had heard so many negative things about back surgery that I resisted (I prefer to use natural remedies whenever possible).  I eventually opted for trying disk decompression after my back got so bad that I couldn't even dress myself.  I needed to do something.  The amazing thing was that 5 weeks of disk decompression did wonders!  And after I quit the treatments, my back continued to improve.  After 20 years of terrible pain, I am now completely pain free.  It's been 3 years since I had the treatments, and I can honestly say that I feel wonderful.  I just recently started running every other day, and it feels awesome!  (I loved running when I was younger but was told 15 years ago by numerous medical professionals that I would never run again because of the damage to my back.  My disks were 50% gone.)  So if any of you have back problems, I would strongly suggest finding a medical professional that specializes in disk decompression and look into it.  It's absolutely amazing.

Regarding the leg issues...once I completed my disk decompression treatments, I also started having the leg cramping and twitching.  It was always much worse at night, and it was very difficult to get to sleep.  However, I found something very simple that worked very well for me.  Surprisingly enough, I found that putting an ice pack on my lower back completely stopped all the symptoms and gave me a good nights sleep.  I just started going to bed with an ice pack.  I can't explain medically why it would work, but I can tell you that in my case it most definitely did.  After I had done that for a while, the symptoms in my legs finally went away.  It took a few years though.  The symptoms went away as my back got better.  Anyway, maybe my sharing my experience will help someone.
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I have been experiencing SEVERE leg and foot spasms off and on for about 20 years. In the past 3 years it has become nightly and honestly, getting to be unbearable!

I am a 40 y/o active woman. I do alot of walking as I am a nurse. I am in good shape and stay well hydrated. I make sure to keep up my potassium intake and take B12 supplements.

I have had increasing, almost debilitating leg and foot spasms almost nightly for the past 2 years. I stretch before going to bed and have been given Baclofen 10mg- 2 T PO QID by my neurologist to take nightly a few hours before bedtime.
My recent MRI showed a lesion on my spine( sorry, my copy of the report is at work and am honestly so tired from last night I am drawing a total blank on what level it's at!).My neurologist states that he believes the lesion is a congenital defect, but is going to monitor it for progression and growth every 6 months. In the meantime he would like me to start a regimen of Zanaflex for the muscle spasms and Provigil for the daytime somolence and fatigue.

I am NOT into taking medication- even though I am  a nurse, but I am at my wits end. I need to be able to get a good nights sleep to be able to function in my nursing capacity. I am awakened  from a sound sleep nightly with the most severe pain in my feet and calves. My lower extremities spasms so severely I fall out of bed to the floor, unable to stand to try and walk them off. This ,in turn, wakes my husband who tries to massage the spasms out of my legs.

He has accompanied me to my neurology appointments and has told my neurologist that my nightly spasms and pain are interfering with both of our sleep. My neurologist has been made aware that my spasms are progressing to the point where I am beginning to get them during the day and even while driving. This is dangerous as I have no control over the muscle at all during these events. My spasms last anywhere from 10-20 minutes each cycle and usually happen at least once to twice every 2 hours all through the night.

I have tried every home remedy imaginable. I have tried vitamins, massage, water aerobics, stretching- all to no avail. I am planning on starting my samples of Zanaflex and Provigil this weekend, but am extremely nervous about doing so. I do not want to take anything that can be sedating or addicting, I just want to be out of pain.

Are there any others with the same problem? Does anyone have any advise? All information would be most appreciated and helpful. I am beyond desperate at this point.

BTW- the MRI and MRA of my brain did not show MS lesions, which my neurologist had worried might be causing my symptoms.My LE nerve conduction study also showed normal .
Thanks...and wishing you all a pain free day! :) Shannie
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Hello Shannie! My mom, a nurse as well, has excruciating pain down her leg. Causing her foot to shake and toes to curl. She's now seeing neurologists, getting spinal shots and taking neurotin. It's been years since your post. It I thought I'd reach out to see if you've found any relief? Thanks so much! T
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I am sorry to hear you are suffering so much. I had the same problem 4 years ago. I got so desperate that I did try medication. It helped me sleep a little better, while I was finding other things that would help. I would not hesitate to use medicaton temporarily to keep your sanity. When your legs get so tight at night there is no way you can do enough stretching during the day to strecth them out. I have an old waterbed with a select comfort matress. My husband is handy and made wood braces for the bed for me to put my feet on, so my feet and legs would always be in a stretched position at night. I has done wonders for me, and I no longer use any medication. I can't remember the last time I had a cramp at night. My leg is still twitching but my life is back to normal, and I am very active. At some point I gave up trying to find why my leg twitched and started brainstorming about what I could do for myself to solve the problem. No doctor has ever offered anything but medication. Without meds I was up 5-7 times a night with cramps. With meds it was 3-4. That was not an acceptable long term solution. It is not a very common problem and I have never found a healthcare worker who ever understood how torturous it is. I wish you the best.
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I have suffered with chronic lower back pain for 10 years.  I had a sports injury in high school.  I am 25 now.  I am 5'7" and 130 lbs.  I went to a doctor when the injury initially happened, and things seemed to get better.  The pain came back tenfold a couple of years ago, but I refused to see a doctor.  For me to see a doctor, something has to REALLY be wrong.  I didn't think a doctor would want to be bothered with my back pains.  

I am in so much pain that making the bed, shaving my legs, bending over to pet my cat, and emptying the dishwater are things that I will be paying for for a few weeks.  Forget sweeping the floors and doing laundry!  I know there are some of you who understand what I am talking about.  

Well, a few months ago I started getting this twitching in my legs.  It would happen when I first lied down at night.  It would continue for about 20 minutes and then settle down.  My legs would just jerk.  Sometimes it would be caused by shooting pain down my legs and other times it just seemed like there was no rhyme or reason for it.  I didn't think it was muscular, though.  It seemed deeper than that.  I also found that if I lay a certain way, my legs would go crazy.  I had to find the right comfortable position before I could relax.  I always get what I call "phantom nerve pains".  For example, I feel my right foot toes go numb and then I get a dull pain in my left knee, then a slight burning in my right calf, and tingling in my left thigh, etc.  This is 100% of the time.  Finally, I went to an orthopedic surgeon spine specialist.  My doctor ordered an MRI, put me on Mobic (Meloxicam) and ordered PT 2 times a week.  The MRI showed 3 herniated disks caused by annular tears in my L4-S1.  The doctor also said I have DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease).  Clearly, my nerves were/are being compressed.  

I go to PT for core strengthening and traction.  Traction is amazing.  Traction is disk decompression.  They strap 2 harnesses onto you and hook you up this pulling machine.  One harness hold you in place and the other is attached to the pulling machine.  It pulls your spine apart and it feels divine!  It's my little St. Catherine Wheel.  It lasts for about 3 days, so I get it done twice a week.

I hope this helps someone.  The bottom line is my twitching legs and weird leg sensations are caused by nerve compression.  Traction (disk decompression) is a great thing.  I am still in pain, but the twitching stops because of traction.  Mobic is good, but the pain comes back at the end of the day.  I cannot take pain killers because I am a teacher, so I am dealing with this pain.  I am going back to the doctor to start epidural injections in 2 weeks, but this makes me nervous.  The procedure looks scary in writing.  I'm assuming that if the injections don't work, I am looking at surgery.  

I understand how y'all feel about chronic pain.  It is literally very depressing.  People tell me to stay positive, but I don't understand what the point of living is if every single moment of my existence is PAINFUL.  Back pain costs a lot of money and I have no patience for it.  Nothing seems to be working for the pain.  I also feel a lot older than I am.  Everything hurts.  I am only 25!  I should be going out and having fun on the weekends, but I am stuck in bed.  After work, I lie down in bed.  On the weekends, I am in bed.  This does not sound like a young bachelorette living her big city dream.  This sounds like my 80-year old grandmother is West Palm.  I am sorry to say that I have begun to lose all hope for being pain-free.

Again, I hope this post helps someone.  Take care.      
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st. louis, MO