Old 09-26-2008, 10:16 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default cramping vs spasms

Hi all,

Maybe I am a little slow, but I dont understand the difference b/w the two.
I think that I was having spams or something yesturday and today. It has me worried. I always felt assured becasue I never had any cramping or spasms, just twitching and weakness. Well, yesturday my left thigh (that is my bad leg) was spasming I think. OR was it cramps. It did not hurt, it was uncomfortable. It felt a big massive twitch type feeling and it was bothersome. If I lay down or sit here at the computer, I dont have it. If i get up and walk around then it comes on. IT was bad last night when I was at bunco with my neighbors, even wine did not make it go away. (I thought that it make relax the muscle) I would rub it or sit down. *this has me really upset and concerned. I think maybe I should go get the repeat emg and see if anything show? my last emg was May 25th. I think it may be too soon to show anything but with this new symptom, maybe something will show finally? I hate posting this but I am worried, I know this cant be good. I am going in the wrong direction, if I dont have mnd, then I should be getting better. Also my jaw has been in alot of pain around the jaw line and up to ears, both newer symptoms to support the not getting better. Could this be pls? Sorry to ask.

thanks

april
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:59 AM #2 (permalink)
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April,

Muscle spasms and cramps occur when the muscles involuntarily contracts or shortens then holds that position for a period of time causing pain and discomfort. If the sensation you felt was still "popping" or happening at a regular interval then I think you were still "twitching" (unless I misunderstood you).

I used to get confused as well. Maybe its some kind of anti-onomatopoeia, but spasm always sounded like some quick and repetitive. Spasms can be quit on their onset, but the contraction holds.

I hope this helps.

Robert

PS You know what you need to do to bring yourself comfort (in terms of repeat EMG etc), but keep in mind the discussions on OT/PT that an underlying cause might need to be addressed before you start to feel better. That cause could be a number of things. Just because your body doesn't seem to be recovering doesn't mean that its MND. I hope you have a good day.

Last edited by planningguy : 09-26-2008 at 11:03 AM Reason: Postscript
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:05 AM #3 (permalink)
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thanks Robert

It was not twitching it just felt like a giant one. it did seem like a small tightening and pulsing all together. I think it is more of spasms. I got a cramp in my foot and that holds the position untill rubbed out. It was not like the twitching it was inconsitent but coming and going....we will see where this goes.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:31 AM #4 (permalink)
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Hi April...sorry you are having problems. When I get muscle spasms in my legs or arm or feet, there is some major pain involved. It makes me suck in my breathe, and cry in pain. (not too loud I hope )The muscle (legs) gets a nice big knot in it, when it happens. It usually only lasts for about 30 seconds or so. Then usually I have a limp in the affected limb.

Doctor says eat 2 bananas a day for potassium, and there is some drink that I didn't like the taste of.

Hope that helps. Have a good day.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:27 PM #5 (permalink)
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Lovelily - Are you thinking of tonic water? If you can manage the taste (I use a little grenadine syrup which still doesn't help much at all), and drink enough of it, it can provide relief. Many people have a hard time stomaching enough of it to be effective.

Robert
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:29 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default hi april

sorry to hear you are having more problems.
its hard to say if its cramp or spasms,but cramp would normally effect a muscle were as spasms tend to effect the whole of a limb.
in most people i know with pls as with me the muscle spasms effect the whole of the limbs.
you dont always feel the actual spasms most of the time,just the pain /stiffness from them.
the pain in the jaw could be spasms as i know i have this,does your jaw feel stiff?
i do have definate jaw spasms i feel when my jaw will suddenly go tight and slam shut sometimes causing injury.
keep an eye on the spasms and write anything you notice down.
i hope you are feeling better soon.
take good care.
caroline
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:43 PM #7 (permalink)
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Hi April-

I think of cramps as charlie horses. These are what I get in the arches of my feet, balls of my hands and forearms. A lot of people get them in their calves.

Whatever you are experiencing- hopefully it does not last long~!~!

~Cindy
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:44 PM #8 (permalink)
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Yes Robert, it is tonic water. But the taste is awful. I have a muscle relaxant called 'skelaxin'. It helps somewhat. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:43 PM #9 (permalink)
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Thanks all for your opinions

My sister who has had bad cramps for a yr said that it is painful and like a tight knot feeling. I think what I am having are spasms in my thigh. I do get a charlie-horse-going-to-happen-but does not feeling in my arches of feet and thumbs. oh well.....
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:44 PM #10 (permalink)
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April

I don't think you were having spasms or cramps; it sounds as if you were feeling muscle aches. Spasms feel like a severe tightness while cramps are severe contractions. I really don't see it as something that needs to worry you too much at this time.

Once again (and Robert expressed this to you as well), stop thinking that just because you are progressing, it means you have MND. Where on earth did you hear that MND is the only condition that progresses?

I know I saw another one of your posts where you talked to someone who had a clean EMG to later be diagnosed with ALS. I am always skeptical of hearing things like that until I get the full story. I don't think there has been one instance when I have heard a similar story . . . where later I got the full picture . . . that it wasn't full of holes. There are too many variables, such as how thorough the EMG was, who did the EMG, was it really clean, upper motor neuron onset, etc.

I'm not saying you're lying about what you heard, but please don't believe everything you hear (especially from people that don't have any type of medical background) until all the facts are known.

Keep hanging in there and stay as positive as you can. Your story has so many things that point away from ALS . . . in fact . . . as much as any undiagnosed person on this forum.

Take care.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:24 AM #11 (permalink)
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Thanks Wright for comments

I do get the aches for sure but what was in my thigh was a spasms not an ache. The muscle was moving and uncomfortable. Maybe I will pretend that is one giant twitch!

I do agree about getting the whole story about this person. I have spoke with her in length many times and I am going to meet her at her doctors office. we live by each other. But I do know that she was told no als, your anxious, etc etc. she started with twitching and atrophy. I will get the whole story soon and I plan on switching to her docter who is at a mda certified clinic. I went to the university als center, not sure if it was mda cert. I will pm you any information that I find out about about the diagnosed process as it can be diffrent for soo many people. and maybe there are things that were missed or dismissed in her case because of her age. It was 'probable MND'.

TC

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