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Avatar universal

Diaphragm spasms

I have a question for anyone that has suffered from those awful diaphragm spasms. Once the episode was over (hopefully it ended eventually!), did you experience any delayed onset muscle soreness?

I'm trying to figure out if this is in fact what I was experiencing, but with only soreness in my ribs the next day, I'm a bit skeptical. One would think that with the diaphragm being a muscle, that powerful of a sustained contraction would result in muscle soreness the next day.
14 Responses
1532707 tn?1312155924
I do remember being achey.

when you say diaphragm spasm do you mean like hiccups?
i was having pain on my sides but i think it was more in my rib cage  really close to my diaphragm my diaphragm was more than likely involved too.
667078 tn?1316000935
I have I think diaphragm spasms. They last for a couple of hours. They come in waves. The Neurologist says they are Myoclonic spasms. They are caused in me by damage to my brain stem. I not only have muscle soreness for days or weeks but if I do not take something to stop them I tear connective tissue. There is a trigger. I am not sure what it is as of yet. It seems to be exertion. They come on a few hours later.

I have pills I keep on me 24 hrs a day. An ice pack seems to help. I also sweat profusely due to pain. I lay on the floor with my hands over my head as still as I can until the meds kick in. Basically the meds knock me out. and I sleep. I am exhausted the next day.

I have asthma and it is not an asthma attack. It often starts with hiccups. The doctors told me it was panic attacks. I called three doctors while having them and they decided hearing me on the phone it was not panic attacks. Besides usually I am in a good mood when they start.

It may also be my esophegus? which can be in the same area. No one knows. I do not have the money to call an ambulance which is a block away or go to a ER. By the time I was seen it would probably be over anyway and they would just send me to my regular Neurologist.

I had a heart work up the first time. That is how they found the torn connective tissue. I guess a pulmonologist could do testing but I can't afford that.

I have at least one or two a month. Luckily I have never had one when I am out. That is my biggest fear. I can't drive and I would have to just lie down in the ground where ever and get someone to drive me home when it was over with out freaking out and calling and ambulance.

I am worn out the next day.

Avatar universal
It sounds very close to the same experience. Mine are in the center, just below the base of the sternum and two the three inches below that, where the most intense pain occurs. It radiates through to my back and across the back of the lower ribcage. This last round I think involved the muscles down the center of my abdomen and maybe down the sides of my spine. It was too painful in the center to really tell.

I was sweating, in so much pain I couldn't stand, and could only speak inbetween panting breaths. My biggest fear is having one hit in public as well.

They came on at the peak of the flu bug I had at the time. The first wave lasted a solid 20 minutes, then faded a little, then came on another 15, then the baclofen kicked in and mellowed them out enough that I wasn't sweating anymore. I fell right to sleep after they were over.

I was already wiped out from the flu bug, so can't say if they added to that or not. It scared the crap out of my husband. He wanted to call an ambulance, but I told him it would go away.

I'm with you, by the time you get somewhere, they'd be over. I don't need another visit to the ER making me look like a drug-seeking neurotic. :-( I'd prefer to stay away from the white coats. Besides, what would they be able to do for it anyway? I have pain meds at home. Oftentimes, there is no point in taking them because it settles down before they kick in.

I still don't know what this is. I've noticed the last couple of days it seems that gas and constipation moving through that area were triggering another spasm. But once things moved along, it went away. Which is making me wonder if it is more of an internal organ spasm of sorts.

Torn connective tissue? Ouch! On the ribs?
1394601 tn?1328032308
I was sent to a pulmonolgist  due to the breathing problem with it.  My neuro takes no chances if there is a possibility it is caused by something besides the MS. Both agreed it was the lesion on my brain stem.  I take the same meds someone with COPD takes.   It helps with the spasms.  I also take Xanax as needed because I always panic which makes the breathing issue worse.
Avatar universal
My body acts like it has/had a brainstem lesion. But the MRI disproved that theory. I even had a bout of bradypnea back in March where my respiratory rate dropped into the 6 to 9 per minute range. It caused sleep apnea, among a few other things. Six months later, my breathing rate is once again in the normal range. But nobody believes me this happened because those monitors they put on you in the ER are liars and not very accurate. My blood CO2 was elevated too. But because my O2 sat was fine, I was malingering.
667078 tn?1316000935
I can't say my ribs are involved. With my training in Opera and Veterinary medicine. It really seems like my diaphragm but who know.What ever it is it has been going on for almost a year, All my Neurologist says it is Myoclonus and very painful.

If I take asthma medicine when one of mine starts it makes it worse. Baclofen, oxycodine, and migraine medicines can trigger this in me so I have cut them out of medicines I take.

I have a pulse ox an automatic blood pressure cuff. I take my vitals and call my PCP. She says if I ever have one during buisiness hours to come in.

I read the best position if it is the diaphragm is with your arms straight over your head. Or if some one is with you sitting up with them holding your arms straight up. I am mostly screaming please just let me die so people do not like getting to close not even my husband. lol. No I can take a lot of pain but I do wish this would just kill me one day. Once or twice a month is too painful for me.

I am have trained Polly to lie beside me if I have one in public. I have a phone tree in my cell of those who might be able to come get me since it takes several disolvable Xanax to help me relax so I can't drive. I just pray no one ever calls 911. I keep pills in a necklace.

I am out in public less and less so this has not come up.

I wish I could go to a pulmonanologist. gastrointerologist, urgent Care, etc. but I can't so I make do.

I am glad I got my heart worked up. The heart doctor at Duke said I had one of the healthiest hearts ever.

Avatar universal
I feel bad to say this, but I'm happy to have found others who have experienced these myclonus episodes. I have been suffering from these episodes since 2008...coming up on 4 yrs. My started after chiropractic adjustments to my neck which were made worse by a severe car accident where my SUV was flipped onto its side. My spasms occur both in my neck AND in my diaphragm. They last anywhere from a few minutes to upwards of more than 6hrs. I too use Baclofen, vicoden, but also use librium & trileptal (which is for usually used for seizures/epilepsy). I have found that the trileptal does calm my spasms, but I too am knocked out/asleep rt afterwards & am exhausted for days. I've found that my spasms are triggered by exertion, certain body movements (lift'g arms out to side) & body position (lay'g the wrong way &/or for be'g in 1 position too long).

I have been to more than 20 dr's, includ'g the almighty Mayo Clinic. I found 4 practitioners that were genuinely concerned & interested in look'g for answers, but they appear to have exhausted their options as to what else to do. My neurologist has been the most helpful, narrowing down the meds to find @ least something to help get things to calm down. Myoclonus is a diagnosis that has come up w/ me too...specifically of the diaphragm. I fear that my spasms may have done some further damage w/ what feels like a tear on the back left side of my diaphragm. Ice helps bring down the swell'g/pain a bit but its not the end all. I want to talk to a pulmonologist as some of you have said as I haven't explored that yet. I have tried acupuncture before having the myoclonus diagnosis & it seemed to start to give some relief to my mid-bk/diaphragm. But it appeared to need some tweak'g on my neck. Are there any other suggestions or recommendations that anyone has found since these posts? Hope everyone gets feeling better soon. All the Best!
Avatar universal
Hey there! Funny you brought this up as I've not been here in a very long time. Just posted and saw this topic come up again. Sorry to say that no, I've not found anything that's helped. Thankfully, they haven't come back to that same degree either. During the first two months of this year I was waking up with them every morning, and now they're gone again. The PT I was seeing suggested lying on the back with legs propped up against the back of the couch, say like hips at a 90 degree angle, as that should take any strain off of the diaphragm area. They haven't hit me severely enough to give it a try. Sorry to hear you're having the same spasms. Still no dx here, so no answers, help or advice for me.
667078 tn?1316000935
After two years mine are under control!

I went to a private pain clinic and am on a new cocktail which has brought them down to nearly noticeable. I take zanaflex and trileptal four times a day and am on a Butrans patch. I was having them all the time and they were getting worse and worse. The Doctor really understood Clonus. It turned out some medications I was taking were making it worse. I can't take anything with codine or acetyminephine or bam a spasm. They do not cause spasm but they can trigger them in me.
Avatar universal
So good to hear you've found relief from that awful pain. How strange those meds would be a trigger! We all respond differently, though. Right? I think I may have spoken too soon, or jinxed it, or something, cause guess what greeted me upon waking today? Mmm hmmm.  Hopefully another mild episode.

Thanks for sharing. If they worsen, at least there might be a course of action for relief. Very good to hear there is hope for a more chronic episode.
Avatar universal
I am sorry to hear about your case, but it made me feel alot better:(   I also have MS and get uncontrollable hiccups, I never made the connection, I also have Pleurisy  which is damage to the lining between the lungs and the rib cage, so when I hiccup or sneeze, I want to cry it hurts so bad. I thought the pain was just from the Pleurisy acting up, but now I know part of it is the hiccups!  And it does hurt the next day on my sides and under my ribs.  I am vey sorry you go through this
Avatar universal
I have only had 8 times in 15 years until recently.  They usually occur after extreme laughing and Alcohol was always involved.  The doctors could not explain it.  I can be at a restaurant or wherever and I fall the ground and writhe in pain. I can not stand.  One time it was in a parking lot on a vacation another a hotel lobby, where they called the paramedics, but by then it had let up but my PO2 sat was still only 74 and at that point I was breathing.  It helps with someone pulls on my arms and someone my legs (if available).  It feels like a Charley horse of the diaphragm.  They last 5 minutes to 15 mins.  Recently I have a sciatic nerve which is entrapped and It really hurts, and I find myself breathing rather shallowly and the other night with no alcohol or no laughing, I had 6 rather short episodes but they kept occuring, but luckily my husband was home.  The next day, I had 5 in a row but I was alone.  Very Scary.  I hung from a staircase until able to call my husband.  A doctor just recently explained after one of my big episodes that I have GERD and that when laughing and swallowing a lot of air, it causes the acid to back up the esophagus and that causes the spasm.  I finally think that is right as when I had these recent episodes, I had been taking Naprosyn (an anti-inflammatory) and had acid backing up and it started tightening.  , although didn't go into a full spasm, but I took some Gaviscon and it helped.. I might add that I have a lot of gas which I cannot control when I am having a really bad spasm...Very embarassing!  So glad to finally have a doctor acknowledge that it is real and hear others with similar stories.  Before they said that couldn't happen.  Our friends and my husband definitely know it is real and very scary for all.
Avatar universal
I have suffered from diaphragmatic spasms for more than 10 years.  However, I have been able to keep them at bay with Network Spinal Analysis, a form of chiropractic treatment, for 6-7 years.  My chiropractor told me that it was caused from the vagus nerve being activated, thereby causing the spasms.  I did recently have an attack; however, I believe it was caused by a digestive issue I was having at the time.  These are so debilitating that I am exhausted the next day.  I don't have pharmaceuticals at my disposal and don't really like to take them, so I take high amounts of liquid magnesium which will relax the muscle enough for me to sleep.  As well, I find that I cannot lie down or sit down during the attack.  I usually just pace back and forth until the magnesium kicks in.  They can last for several hours with me.  I am also very sore in the rib area the following day, especially at the attachment sites on the sides of the ribs.  NO FUN.
667078 tn?1316000935
Mine turned out to come from a weird source cancer in my diaphragm from ovarian cancer and tumors pressing on things in that area.. I would not worry about having cancer because of having spasms for ten years. I also found in my case taking tylenol set them off. Also eating after exercising. Running, doing yard work, or horseback riding. I have not had one since I had the full hysterctomey and had six rounds of chemo.

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