Thanks so much! This is clear and very readable. I'll go over it several times before chiming in with questions.
PS I hope this is intended for the FAQ list--it's definitely a keeper.
I agree with Ess, this post of yours SHOULD be included in FAQ...thank you for such an informative post. It helped even this old timer to better understand.
Does this "signal" to contract start in the brain? It is something that can orginiate from the brain down the spinal cord, where there is damage from a lesion?
Since leg spasms are the greatest part of my daily pain, I have always wondered if this orginates in the brain and/or the lesion in the right hand side of my spinal cord. This lesion has been present in every MRI for twelve years. It has shown 'activity' (active demyelination) on several occasions, as seen on MRI. The "scar" has never disppeared. I guess the question really is, "Do we know where the "spasm message" starts?
Thanks for your input.
Here is yet another posting which belongs in a permanent viewing spot.
So, the constant pain in my ribs is likely a constant spasm? And the reason I have difficulty with my legs, (lifting my knees in exercise class, walking up, or down stairs) is spasticity, likely?
I was just sitting thinking yesterday, that it was the act of using any muscle group repeatedly and quickly, which has been making me so tired the last couple of days, again. Typing, mixing stuff (cooking), moving legs (knee / hip joints), elbows, jaw, etc. They don't really hurt, just are very tight and tired feeling. After a short while using any of them, I had to rest.
Yet, exercise classes, though difficult, seem to give me more mobility. Does that make sense? It is tiring, sometimes I have to cut class short, sometimes I can take a short break and then be fine. Lately, though, any exercise which causes me to rapidly lift my knees, or use my legs at all quickly causes a great pain to suddenly explode in my hips or my knees, depending on the exercise. It subsides quickly enough, when I stop. But it can sure be debilitating when it strikes, I have to crouch down, scrunched into a little ball for the pain to abate. Then I get up, and go at it again.
Thanks again for all the info. Yes, this last posting you have done on spasticity needs to be there as well. Do I sound demanding? LOL :)
More answers come everyday for me, from here. What would we all do without this place !!??
I have this thing that happens with my right leg. It seems to be slower , when I turn or stand and take first step my foot slides across the floor. If I concentrate it will obey. So I have been watching this and came up with, its in my hip movement. hhmmm Also when standing for a couple of minutes I HAVE to raise my foot , like a march, Marching was one of my first sx. With p.t. and concentrating I am able to walk fairly normal, but lifting foot remains. I had no flex in right knee or either foot on exam.
I get exhausted doing little repetitious thing too ( my jaw , that's weird ) And my arms are like jello some of the time
I hope its o.k. to post here, if not delete... sorry Jo
That foot-lifting thing---it's part of restless leg syndrome. You can't NOT do it. Have been there, and in fact am there at the moment. For me, I'm beginning to see that I get little muscle contractions just above the knee cap of my right leg, and that seems to confuse my knee considerably. If I'm outside and walking fairly vigorously, sometimes my knee seems unsteady, as if it's not sure what to do, and I wonder whether it will hold me up. This, despite the fact that my muscles are quite strong. So go figure. I think we might be in the same boat again.
Maybe we should have a new restless leg thread.
Heather, the abnormal signal to resist stretching can be anywhere in the central nervous system pathway from the brain to the spinal cord.
The best info I have found on spasticity - and I almost hate to put it down, because you'll see that what I wrote is not entirely true, but true enough to understand it. Everyone with problems with spasticity, muscle stiffness, "being glued to the floor", or spasms should read the info at this link:
See, I'm not as brilliant as you all think. Quix
YES YOU ARE BRILLANT AND THANKS FOR THE POST.
SUFFERING FROM SPASTICITY ISN'T EASY BUT THE EXTENSOR SPASTICITY HAS HELPED ME IN THE LONG RUN WITH THE FAILED BACK SURGERIES.I NO LONGER WALK BENT OVER.
BUT BOY I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN THE PARASPINAL MUSCLE CRAMPS SET IN.
THANK GOODNESS FOR THE SPASTICITY MEDS.
Hey guys, well I've been trying the Zanaflex, or rather the generic of it - Tizanidine at 4 mg for these non stop muscle spasms. Not one bit of help. :(
I have a serious problem of raising my leg up past the knee position- such as, if you were stepping over something like a small barrier, or shrub for example (mine is a puppy barrier made out of the lid to a plastic tote, laid on its side- I use it in the doorway to my utility room). I can start to lift my leg- (mainly left)but right one to a degree- then I have to actually 'hold' the leg up with my hand to get it the rest of the way over and then let go of it, once across the barrier. Course, this thing is not very high at all. Its nuts, but I am used to doing it now.
Oh Quix, you are most brilliant!
bumping up -hope it's the right one!
I keep getting "jumpy" muscles. Kinda like your eyelid but in the long head of the tricep, the top of the rectus abdominus and the right calf. They just twitch almost like a heart beat for a few minutes to a few hours. This happens almost everyday. Oh ya, my gluteals do it too! :-). LOL It's always the same muscles if that makes a difference. They like to dance on their own... la la la doo da doo da! Is that the same thing or something different?
You're describing small muscle twitches which are called fasciculations. These are common both in normal states (muscle fatigue, muscle use after a period of inactivity, with a viral infection, stress ((especially around the eyelids)) and in muscular and neuromuscular disorders. This is not the same thing as is talked about when we talk about spasms, though they are tiny, brief contractions of a small group of muscle fibers. Most of us have these as well as people without illnesses.
Thank you for clarifying Quix!
Super post! I have a question of my own:
I believe that I have "increased tone" on the left side of my body. When I go to run or walk the left side of my body completely seizes up for abou 5 seconds. My left arm will contract right up under my armpit and I find it hard to talk because the muscles on that side of my mouth are hard to move. After about 5 seconds everything goes back to normal and if I go to run again straight after this happens it won't happen again - it's almost as if my body "resets" itself. I don't know if this is relevant to this thread but I thought I'd post it anyway. Hope you can give me some insight in to what this might be and if there is anything I can do to stop it from happening. Cheers!
Quix: this was a very interesting read indeed. setting aside my previous posts
on my history, symptoms for possible ms ect. ---
this really struck a cord with me , because so many times i have often wondered
why i could be have so many problems with some of my joints. the docs know that somthing is causing problems with the joints because of the periodic swelling in them. Especially left hip and both knees.. ( I have had torn meniscus surgery right leg this past monday) and healing well. the docs have tested fluid off these joints, they have checked for several arthitis conditions ect and nothing shows up. But the damage is there.
my right hip got so bad one time with pain i could barley walk for days. now my orthopedic wants to xray my hip after i recover from knee surgery. I hadnt told her of the hip problem yet ( because of all the ms testing going on and upcomming surgery on knee it was just to much to deal with all at once) but while in her office for knee exam i went to stand up and she heard the mad sanpping noise in my hip as well as saw the pain it left me in for a couple of minutes. after the pain stops i can then stand straight up. I have never injured these areas in any way.
I also seem to be tripping over my left foot it seems that the front bottom part of my foot will hit the floor to soon and the rest of my body is not ready for and i will trip
as if there were somthing lying on the floor in my path. very strange.
i have wondered several time over the past 6 years if there was some kind of problem with the muscles around those joints are where the problem is. Im so glad you wrote this, it leads me to some very interesting questions for my nero and ortho, possibly my reumo as well thank you for the enlightement
So, when are you gonna write that book? ;-)