Old 07-11-2013, 07:07 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Painful Back Spasms

Are painful lower back spasms that won't ease up common with MND? My husband started with these last night, and they are still going on. On his most recent EMG in May, he had evidence of effects in the lumbosacral area as evidenced by denervation, reinervation, positive sharp waves, fibs, fasc, reduced recruitment, large MUAPS, etc. We have just switched our health insurance plan, and we had to choose a new PCP. His first appointment to meet him isn't until August. Not sure if anyone has advise. He is not a complainer, and he is pretty uncomfortable. We have tried icing and Motrin. Until now, he has only had mild cramping in the legs that comes and goes. He does have severe scoliosis due to harsh childhood radiation treatments, (1960) but it has never affected him like this.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:15 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

I get terrible back spasms, so bad it takes my breath away and I can't sit down. I use the therma wrap heat wraps for the back and take 800 mg of motrin every 4 hours. It seems to help. takes a few days to get it to get better.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:27 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

Thanks Vicki. We are still coming to terms with the changes, and they seem to be coming more frequently in the past few months. It is hard to watch my husband suffering, and I wish I could take his place. He is the nicest person in the whole world. We will try the Thermawrap.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:27 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

My Pals doesn't have the back spasms but has unrelenting arm/shoulder pain, he is taking heavy pain meds and we have tried the heating pad and a tens unit to no avail, we started using a muscle rub (I think it is called Performance by Bio Freeze) and it seems to help more than anything else. It was recommended to me by a friend who had been in a bad car accident, he had used it and swore by it. We use it several times a day, it is about $10 a bottle but well worth it if it gives some relief. It does have a mediocre menthol smell in the beginning when it goes on but it fades quickly (unlike the lingering smell of many other muscle rubs), I don't know if it is the same for everyone but my pals complains of any strong smells making it hard to breathe so we're limited in what we can use and he really likes this stuff.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:37 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

I have vey painful muscle cramps in my belly (below the diaphragm) whenever I sneeze or cough but mainly when I'm sitting.
If I cough or sneeze while laying on my back, I don't feel any muscle cramps.

I have heard (or read) that Tonic Water (carbonated water in which Quinine is dissolved) has been used by some people here to help with muscle cramps.

Muscle cramps is part of the LMN (Lower Motor Neuron) dysfunction in ALS.

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Old 07-11-2013, 07:37 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

Have you tried Australian Dream? My dad swears by it. We have a jar and it works on my hand pain and my husband uses it on his wrists and knees. It costs $17 a jar but it has a money back guarantee . There is no capsaicin, or smell, it is greaseless and will not stain. I got it at walmart.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:41 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

Vickim, I have seen this in the store and wondered about it but had never heard of anyone using it and didn't want to waste money but sounds like it might do some good! I will pick some up next time I'm out and give it a try, thanks for the info!
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:46 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

Thank you designdiva, Carlos and Vicki for your speedy responses. We will try out each one of your remedies. It certainly can't hurt. I am off to the drug store to see if we can get my guy some relief tonight. Oh, he just called me and told me he tripped on the job today. He said his feet couldn't catch him in time, and down he went. This has been happening on average about once a week for the past few months. He said he had a jolt of electric pain go searing up his spine when he hit the floor, and it certainly didn't help the low back which is already so sore.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:54 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

falls can be very dangerous-leading to more serious injuries which are harder to recover from than average healthy people. He may not be able to catch himself and he could end up with a life threatening injury ( it has happen to others on this forum!) he probably needs to start using a cane or walker at work. that will be very hard to convince him, but he needs to tell his work what is going on so they are prepared.

With this damn disease, you just don't know when the next thing is going to happen--but falling once a week is a lot. My husband fell several times in the beginning, and it would happen so easily and suddenly. he refused to use a cane or walker because it made him look "weak"--once he fell at a hotel right next to the lobby bar and people just walked around him, thinking he was a drunk because of his voice and the way he walked. That was worse in my opinion than "weak" with an illness :/. the last time he fell was in the bathroom and he cracked his head open. luckily no concussion, but it scared him and he started using a scooter at that time.

His back muscles could be weakening--based on the pain their and the tripping. also foot drop causes falls. If your husband is progressing, you may want to get back with the neuro to get your diagnosis finalized. if it is ALS, then he can get more help--Medicare, ssdi, equipment etc. Do you have an appt with an ALS specialist?
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:16 AM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

I had back spasms a lot not so much theses days.... It felt like someone punched me in the spine. I used to put on a thai verison of deep heat on it (wife's family ate thai) I also used ice gel if I couldn't find it.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:47 AM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

I get nasty intermittent spasms in my back ( and legs, thighs, chest) too. Most are short lived, but the ugly ones which can last several hours seem to wane when I use heat. Heating pad is ok, but I like my hot water bottle.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:49 AM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

The muscles in the center on each side of my spine knots up and has a unbearable burning pain. I'm not sure what to use on it. I wasn't even sure it had anything to do with ALS but I'm sure it does. If anyone knows what I can do. Please let me know. Thanks
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:06 AM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

45 years ago I went through a period of severe burning in lower back. believe that's when discs started to rupture. fought back pain until 1978 and then underwent surgery for two ruptured discs. Txgirl you might consider mri to determine if you have ruptured disc.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:27 AM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

I had an MRI about a month ago. No ruptured disks. The muscles are just knotting up.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:52 AM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painful Back Spasms

Tried going to a chiro or get massages?
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