Another question about spasticity

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fmarino

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I have searched this topic on here (and the internet) and I still don't really understand what spasticity is. I think the reason is that when the topic has come up, the replies have been "medical definitions" of spasticity. Knowing that it happens with ALS, is there anyone here that can tell me what it "feels" like . . . in layman's terms. Is it tightness, cramping, weakness, uncomfortable, etc.

The reason I ask: I have a sensation of "weakness" . . . sometimes it feels like "tightness" . . . and it's difficult for that leg to feel relaxed when I'm laying down or sitting. It is a very strange feeling that I find difficult to explain.
It is mainly in my right leg but there are times that it is only in my left leg . . . and sometimes it's in both legs, and when it is, it seems to be just in my calves. . It seems to "travel" too: sometimes it's in my calf, then it's in my quadriceps, then it's in my hamstrings, then it's the back of my knee, then it's my gluteals and sometimes it's the entire leg.

One last thing: if you have spasticity, will you also have brisk reflexes at the same time and other upper motor neuron signs in that leg (e.g. Babinski)?

Once again, thank you all for helping.

Frank

P.S. Al and Cindy, I'm sorry I put this in two places. I meant for it to be here. A rookie mistake, I guess. :-?
 

olly

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hi frank

i have had muscle spasms for 8yrs,my legs bieng the worst effected. they are always there in both legs but sometimes one leg can be more effected, my left leg has been like this the past few days.i would describe them as a tight stiffness with intense nagging pain in general but if one leg is more effected it is more cramping also, and my ancle /foot if stiff. i find i have to keep stretching the leg and rotating my ancle and foot to get a brief release from this. my arms and jaw are starting to be more effected now.
muscle spasms can cause weakness,i have limb girdle muscle weakness with a right weak hip due to the spasms and since having the spasms in my jaw the muscles there are also weaker. spasms caused by umn desease would produce hyper reflexes and posotive babinski sign, though occationally as well as posotive i have had an indifferent responce were my feet will not respond but have been told this can sometimes happen.
i hope that helps a little. take care.
caroline
 

fmarino

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Thank you very much, Caroline

Two questions:

Is the stiffness in the muscle only . . . or can you have stiffness solely in the tendons (e.g. achille's tendon or the tendon behind you knee) from spasticity.

In the early stages, did it feel any different . . . or did it simply go from no spasticity, to spasticity with tightness and cramping.

Thanks again.

Frank
 

olly

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frank

the spasms are in the muscles but can effect the joints and make them stiff/joint contractures. these effect my ancles and shoulder joints , they get stiff and hard to move. when i first started with spasms in my legs they came on gradually over a couple of weeks and have been there ever since though in different degrees of severity.
 

taratune

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My brother has been reporting a great deal of pain in his back. Especially this evening. He has some pain medication to take but has not been given any other ideas to help him to be more comfortable. I am hoping that some of you may be able to share some "comfort" ideas that may help him.

Thanks,
Tara
 

Lorie

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Spasticity

From: Frank In the early stages, did it feel any different . . . or did it simply go from no spasticity, to spasticity with tightness and cramping.


I do not have a DX yet. The Jury is out until April 23rd. My brother has ALS. I can tell you in the beginning I had Muscle Spasms and Cramping and Fasics. In the last six months I started getting the spasticity with tightness with cramping. When my legs get tight, especially the feet and calfs I feel like my legs are boards. Does that make any since to you as what it feels like?



Lorie
 

fmarino

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To Lorie

Thanks for trying to help.

As for your question: the tight feeling I get in my legs seem to start very suddenly and the tightness is felt mainly behind my knee. I also get a tightness either around my lower quadriceps or my calves. As I said, it also "travels" to different areas of my leg and sometimes it will leave one leg and then go to ther other leg in a matter of minutes. It is all very strange to me.

As far as your cramping: what does that feel like? I think I read on your post that it is mild cramping. Does that feel different than "normal" cramping, per se? I get an achiness in my muscles from time to time, but I don't think it's cramping. When it happens, I actually intentionally flex the muscle to see if I can make it worse (and I assume that if I do that, if it was a cramp, I would make it worse), but it doesn't make it worse.

My fingers are crossed for you, Lorie. Keep hanging in there.

Frank
 

todd

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Frank ,
I have the identical symptoms as you've described, without a single exception... it's absolutely identical to your description. I've been to several neurologists, done an EMG test, and they've told me 'not ALS', however I'm getting worse every day. This has gone on for 10 weeks, started with extreme fatigue, and has now resulted in the exact same symptoms as you.

Can you please provide any insight or guidance from dr's to date that you can share?
 

fmarino

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Hey Todd

Wow, and I thought I was the only strange guy with the weird symptoms on here. I am currently undiagnosed and I certainly don't present with classic ALS symptoms at all. The problem is that the more I read on here, the more I realize there are no "classic" ALS symptoms. My symptoms actually all started in my arm and I've had a lot of weird, burning / aching pain. Go look at my other thread (the one the says "please advise new guy") and you'll see what my symptoms are.
So you said that you went to your doc and they tell you that you don't have ALS: what do they think is happening? Do you have any other symptoms? Looking forward to your reply.
 
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