Hashimoto's and trigger points, muscle spasms, tension-type headaches
by JDaw80, Sep 26, 2011

I am desperately searching for some answers regarding some awful muscle spasms that sound identical to what others described in this old discussion thread:

My TSH is within normal range, but for the past 2 years, I have had the same constant tension and spastic activity in my neck, shoulders, and back.  I have trigger points, and my muscles feel as hard as rocks.  The tension varies, but when it's really bad my left shoulder is noticeably higher than my right shoulder; the former is up and back, while the latter is torqued down and forward.  The worst part is the headaches, which can be agonizing.  I have this constant sensation of pressure on both sides of my head, as if there is a vise squeezing me, but at its worst, the pain can be 10 of 10.  I've done trigger point injections, a shoebox full of various medications, and even Botox--all to no avail.  I'm at my wit's end.  Is there a Hashimoto connection to all of this?  If so, what can be done about it?  Thanks so much for any help you can offer.

This discussion is related to Hashimoto's and Muscle tightness.
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Member Comments (19)
by Red_Star, Sep 26, 2011
Magnesium is essential to relax muscles. Calcium contracts, magnesium relaxes. This essential mineral is often deficient in thyroid patients.
by JDaw80, Oct 05, 2011
Thanks very much for your reply.  I have actually taken magnesium supplements religiously for the past couple of years, due to the link you mention between muscle relaxation and magnesium.  Do you have muscle spasms like this?
by JDaw80, Jan 11, 2012
Just wanted to do a follow-up post to this question.  One of my biggest frustrations during this whole process has been seeing open questions that sound like close descriptions of my condition, only to read to the end of the thread and see that no one ever comes back to explain to the community what they've found out.

If you're having muscle spasms of any kind in any location, by default I would at least look into something called Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome, which can have a lot of different components to it, INCLUDING THYROID DISORDERS.  JFK's personal physician wrote a book on the subject, called Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Therapy Manual.  It's a well-established, widespread condition that, unfortunately, not too many physicians are aware of.  Basically your muscles develop hyper-irritable knots in them, which then refer pain to other areas.  Different trigger points have different pain patterns, so a trigger point in your shoulder could be giving you a headache, etc.

Another great resource that differentiates between Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia (while providing great information on both) is Dr. Devin Starlanyl's website:  (The key difference between the two is FM entails widespread pain while CMPS entails pain points/trigger points).

Her website even has information sheets you can print out to bring to appointments.  Apparently, she has both CMPS and Fibromyalgia, but was unable to find treatment for several years until she stumbled across the book I mentioned earlier.  She has written a book herself, and I would advise you to go to Amazon and look up any book on trigger points and chronic myofascial pain.  

If you're suffering to the degree that I am, please look into this stuff.  If you have Fibromyalgia, it can be managed very well with the appropriate treatments.  If, like me, you simply have Chronic Myofascial Pain, then you can most likely be cured (pain free), with the provision that you get body work done whenever you start to develop a trigger point again.  
by LazyMoose, Jan 11, 2012
To comment on your original Sept post, not everyone with Hashimoto gets unbearable muscle tightness, but for those that do it can be miserable.

Adding some type of T3 seems to help most people with this hypo symptom, and keeping the T3 in the top third of the range. Also, as previously stated some Magnesium helps. The most common type, magnesium oxide will not help with muscle pain, or tension. Mag glycinate is the best for this condition and mag citrate also helps.

Myofascial release or trigger point therapy to release extreme muscle tension does get noted here but rare at best. Having practiced this myself for three years I will say that it works instantly, but needs to be repeated several times a day till the Affected muscles in the area heal.

I think the names of these manual muscle therapies leave people doubting their effectiveness and pass these on as a "smoke and mirrors" or some "snake oil " remedies.

Muscles can get stuck in a bad cycle of tension, flare up, injury and repeat. Sometimes its from unbalanced muscle physio-chemistry. Muscles while in a hypothyroid state can have the ATP rebuilding process out of whack, leaving a toxic buildup of lactic acid, which normally will gradually get flushed out of muscles in a healthy body. Lactic acid that sticks around displaces healthy nutrients and blood flow from the effected area, leading to tightness and weakness that leave muscles in a constant 'firing' state, never relaxed - leading to further injury. It can be a brutal cycle confusing the person and doctors that they seek for this condition.

These lactic acid dominate areas are what is termed as trigger points, often as small as a dime, but hurt when pressure is applied. Trigger point thereapy or Myofascial release is appling pressure to these areas with fingers, thumbs, golf, tennis, baseballs ect for 8 to 20 seconds at a time. This pressure will mechanically 'push out' the lactic acid from the area allowing fresh blood and nutrients to flow in and heal the muscle.

It works and is better than just pain med or muscle relaxant which does not heal the problem anyway. This can take awhile to reset the muscle memory back to its health state. Anywhere from one week to several months, depending how long the problem has been around."The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" is the easiest book for the every day person to understand with good illustrations - compared to four others I looked at. The original was re-written by Davies and Davies into this more consumer friendly version. Five stars (had to throw that in).

A hypo body must be corrected to proper thyroid levels in order for this to be a good muscle pain solution, but it works wonders as routine maintenance for repeat problem or past injured areas as well. I like.
by JDaw80, Jan 16, 2012
Thanks for the reply.  Did you see a physical therapist or a Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist at any point?  I've got an appointment with a PT next week, but I was wondering if someone trained in more of the Travell-centric model might be more adequately prepared to help in my case.  Also, did you have to find an endocrinologist to really get your thyroid hormone levels balanced, or were you able to puzzle it out for yourself?  Thanks again.
by LazyMoose, Jan 16, 2012
Physical therapist, a "manual PT" to be exact, since insurance covers most - it all depends how its billed. I learned some trigger point release from the PT. Then further learned on my own from that point on. I also had it incorperated with Muscle Energy technich, which stretches muscles and sets them into proper positioning. I had many sports related injuries while hypo for years - muscle injuries that did not heal properly from 10 years of doctors only looking at TSH and using only T4 meds.

I went through many Drs for Hashimoto, finally found an endocrinologist that would treat with my suggestions (adding T3, then natural thyroid) -

I really learned on my own, made my own plan, was fed up with Dr's..
by melie74, Mar 24, 2012
I get the brain squeeze too, is that the sign of hoshis? im freaking out, i had cat scan and mri 2 yrs ago, now im thinking a tumor grew..:/
by melie74, Mar 24, 2012
get the brain squeeze too?
by LazyMoose, Mar 25, 2012
brain squeeze...........???

- No.

Muscle tension from shoulders can spread to my neck and then the base of my head If I dont stop it at the sore shoulder phase.

All muscles are connected with facsia tissue, if not delt with promptly - where you feel the pain might not nessesarily be where it started. This is thought to be how fibromyalgia all over body pain is created. The trick is to be proactive after exercise and eliminate its spreading. Doing nothing in these cases usually results in worse pain and stiffness. I was one DX'd with fibro, but dont believe it (its a name for symptoms of unknown causes). I have Hashimoto, which can be proven, and T3 does help, but not eliminate bady pain.