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Tremors, twitches, spasticity and or spasms :/
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Tremors, twitches, spasticity and or spasms :/

I think that I know the difference between all these, but sometimes I question myself.  So maybe I don't know.  Heck, I am confusing myself!  Or maybe I can't distinguish between what is what because my brain is jello-y.  

Anyways, it doesn't matter whether I am moving around or at rest, I get these twitches.  And it isn't localized, which confuses me.  Sometimes it is one of my just jerks and that is it.  Then wait a minute or two and my leg or foot may do it.  Just jumps one time.  My hands do it a lot.  I use an iPad so it is touch screen.  I will touch something with my finger and my finger will bounce and touch again...or twitch?  So this happens on both sides of my body and I can't seem to find a rhym or reason behind them.  Are these twitches?

Tremors.   I usually get this in my neck.  It makes my head shake.  I hate it because it hurts my neck and cheeks.  sometimes I get them in my hand, left.  Now (since the back pain issue after LP) it seems like my upper body is tremoring.  I am unsure where it originates.  When I get out of bed and stand up, I am weak and sore.  But when I take steps I seem to tremor from the waist up, i think.  Not sure where it is starting at.  My head shakes like before but it is different than the ones I am use to.  And as soon as I quit taking steps, the tremor stops.  This also happens using my hands.  I reach for a glass, I shake in my arm and hand.  It is making me drop things and I am constantly using backspace on here and my spell check is running overtime.  These are tremors, correct?

Spasms.  I say i am getting muscle spasms in my chest and back. These feel sort of like a Charlie horse that I get in my calves.  They feel like my muscles are tightening up.  I am have new issues with my left knee and hip area.  Could muscle spasms happen in those areas?   Or maybe spasticity is going on in my left leg.  My leg feels like it is stiff.  

I don't know.  I think I am just rambling.  But I do wonder if I am getting all of these things straight that are going on in my body...

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7 Comments Post a Comment
338416 tn?1420049302
I think the jerks you're getting are known as myoclonic jerks.  I get them in my legs - usually preceded by a stinging pain, which seems to set it off.

I get the double-tap thing with my fingers too - my finger will click twice on something, instead of once.  Very annoying.  I'm not sure what that is, but maybe it's just poor reflexes, or hyper reflexes.

Does the tremor happen when you try to use the muscle?  In other words, you don't see it unless you're using the extremity?  I think they call this action tremor.  I had this for a long time in 2007 - from the lesion in my cerebellum, the doc tells me.  

Spasms...  I get those constantly.  And spasticity too.   Spasticity and spasms are part of the same problem - poor conduction to the nerve.  Basically the muscle will contract if it has no nerve connection to the brain.  It can be any muscle in your body, so yeah, it could definitely be spasms or spasticity.
Avatar f tn
Hi Addi

I am not dx'd with ms, still in llimbo, but you have described what I have experienced as if I wrote it myself.

I have an IPad also and I double tap all the time.. its so annoying. I have left hand tremor. For two months, it was pretty bad, my hand was ."wide shaking" when reaching for something or  just pointing. Right now, it has settled down a bit, but it's still there with a slighter movement. (not sure how to describe it)

I get the tight muscle spasms in my upper back really bad. It locks me in the same position for hours. Not good when your 4 yr. old  doesn't know what to do for you!

I also get the spasms and cramping pain in my right leg that comes out of nowhere and I have a hard time walking for about 15 mins. and then goes away. Very embarrassing when out in public and have no explanation why you can't walk for such a short time.

I get twitching on my left side. I have had my thumb twitch for 3 months, left arch of my foot for one week, left shoulder blade for 3 weeks.

Hope you are feeling better, I read about your LP. Never had one, and dont worry, I am not scared, everyone has different experiences.
Take Care,

987762 tn?1331031553
Hey Addi,

I'm starting to think i'm a Noddy doll, you know the ones (usually cute puppies) that sit on the back shelf of peoples cars, head bopping away 24/7, you might know the feeling. Heck i'd have to be a shar pei puppy with all the wrinkles lol!

The jerks i'd say are what jen thought, myoclonic jerks,  i'd also say the tremors your having when your moving sound a bit like orthostatic tremors (a subset of the action tremor term). I think it might be more to do with legs/trunk though and your talking about it only being your upper body being in tremor, still could be. The hands and arm when they tremor or over shoot their target are action tremors too.

It sounds pretty similar to what i experience, i find that i'm still in tremor when i stop though. In fact the longer i'm up right and fighting gravity the harder the tremor, i wake with it like a little purring kitty and it gets stronger and bigger through out the day, only sleep seems to tame it.

Are your legs doing anything 'odd' whilst your walking? I bounce, clonus in the left ankle generates a rythmic bounce and i've also got a rather weird over lift going on with the right. I'm not sure why exactly but i think its probably muscle memory from when i was a string puppet with bent legs, this over lift seems to come out as soon as i get a little tired, sheesh it can be a challenge when its all gone to heck in a basket.

I get muscle spasms too, usually the same places (night they are more active than the day) but sometimes somewhere new will start up. Can be anything from an intermittent light flutter, to a big bopping punch singular/multi or the feeling of it vibrating. I think of these as spastic only when they go into the contracted state but dont relax, very tight and it hurts. So i'd say that you have spasms and spasticity going on, not sure if its the knee or the surrounding muscles that are going spastic though.

The tremors are the main reason i havent got an ipad, I cant use the stupid satnav which is touch screen so the ipad is definetely out lol.

I've ramble again lol but i think you've got it pretty straight, though its not fair that you have to understand these things, not fair at all!

1318483 tn?1318350782

Jen-thank you for clarifying all that I mentioned.  You made it make more sense to my jello-y brain.  :)

As far as the tremors.  I have been in bed since my LP on Tuesday.  I do know that I have a strong vibration in my upper torso area.  Plus the back and neck spasms.  While I lay still I do feel funny...jittery like.  I don't know if it is the vibration or the tremor.  I do know that it is definitely a tremor when I do move at all.  

Funny story:  last night my vibrations were stronger than they have ever felt.  I called my teen daughter into my room to put her hand on my chest to see if she could feel it.  She looked at me like I was from mars.  Lol.  She didn't feel it and she had to hold her stomach from laughing so hard at me.  Hmmm I was sure she would feel it.  Lol

Pam - I have a left hand tremor too.  Not as wide of a movement like you explain.  But I do know my writing has taken a turn for the worst and messy.  I am left handed.  :/

My legs use to quit on me in public.  I would be standing there telling my legs to move and they wouldn't go.  Yes, it is embarrassing.  I always take my wheelchair wherever I go now.  My legs were giving out on me far too many times for me not to do something.  

I am glad my horror story of my LP didn't scare you.  I was really worried about posting that and people that have never had one or had one coming up would read it and freak out.  I am glad you took it as what it was.  One persons experience.  :)

Hey there, JJ - yes yes yes!!  Lol.  I am a bobble head!  Ha ha ha ha. Too funny.  

I have been paying more attention to my tremors today.  And, yes, it is in my legs, too.   And you explained my tremor timing to a tee.  I start out in the morning purring.  It definitely gets stronger the more I am up and about.  

Yes, my legs are being odd.  Mine seem to be stiffening to a straight instead of bending at the knee when I walk.  I seem to be walking with slow straight legged steps.  And my left hip seems like it is slipping in and out of socket while I walk.  That doesn't hurt though.   Does that make sense?

Thanks, guys!

p.s.  I love my iPad!   *grin*.  Double tapping and backspace and spell check in all!  :)
338416 tn?1420049302
Vibration sensations - I get these all the time.  It's really just a paresthesia, but it's so weird I can understand why you wanted to check on it.  

Does it feel like your knees are weak?  I tend to walk stiff-legged because my knees are unreliable.  Much of the time I have my right foot turned out, so my knee's flexing at a different spot.
Avatar f tn
Addi, a good site for you is It has some great explanations.

Tremors can be a part of so many disorders. I've had essential tremor since my college days. It's in both hands, somewhat more in left, also perceptible in my voice. I've had times when I can feel a whole internal thing going on too, but that may be something entirely different.

Some meds also cause me bad tremors as a side effect, hands almost literally flopping around. Then I'm really in a bind. If I use a computer, it might come out more like cccom pputer. I also have an iPAD (doncha love em?), and that gets tough too. But if I try to write, it's far worse. I have had to go to the bank and ask the teller to fill out my mortgage check and witness my signature. Well, you get the idea. Propanolol can be very helpful but can cause low blood pressure. Otherwise it's fine.

I agree that your jerks sound like myoclonus. I have developed that too in the past year or so. Usually mine are minor, but occasionally one is quite startling. Haven't kicked anyone yet, though :-)

I'm glad you're using your down time, literally, to do some research, but try not to worry too much. A lot of this movement stuff is weird but benign.

1318483 tn?1318350782

Jen - my left knee feels weak.  I will have to pay attention to my feet the next time I get up.  I honestly don't know what they are doing down there.  :)

Ess - you posted somewhere else about that web site not too long ago.  I checked it out then.  I saved in in my favorites because I did get some good info on it.  Thanks!

Ooh yyou haave thee ddoublee tapp thhing goiing onn tooo, huuh??   lol

I steer clear of writing also, when I can.  My mom is usually with me whereever I go.  She will do a lot of my writing.  :)

I have been on propranolol for about 2 years for tremor.  It used to keep my neck tremors under control...until the last month or two.  

I kicked my physical therapist once.  It surprised both of us.  Made me turn neat red.  Lol

I do do my research limitedly.  I mainly just stay on the forum and health pages.  But I put the iPad down, too and either read my suspense novels or watch some tv.   :) Thanks for reminding me to keep it in moderation.  Hugs

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