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Neck stiffness and twitching

Blalock

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I’m a 36 year old male and about 6 weeks ago I started having neck stiffness. When I turn my neck slowly, the movement isn’t fluid, instead it’s a bit jerky. I also have pain when I turn my head to the left side or put my ear to my shoulder. Soon after my neck issues began, I started having muscle twitches. The twitches have progressed in frequency and location. I went to my GP, and he conducted a basic clinical and said my knee reflexes were very brisk on both knees, but I had no weakness or clonus. He said he’d refer me to a neurologist if it helped my anxiety, but the first available neurologist appointment isn’t until August. My anxiety is through the roof. Does this sound like an atypical ALS presentation?
 

ShiftKicker

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Have a read here: Important - READ BEFORE POSTING! Answers to common concerns about possible symptoms! for the information you are looking for.

Neck stiffness, pain, lack of flexibility are all completely normal things that happen to folk. Your doctor kind of said it all when he stated he'd refer you to a neuro if it would help with your anxiety. There are many things you could be doing to mitigate pain and stiffness- starting with a physiotherapist for an assessment of posture and strength and prescribed exercises to help. Heading straight for a terminal disease based on recent neck stiffness and pain is not logical.
 

Blalock

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You are right. When I step back, it does seem illogical. Thanks for grounding my anxiety. I guess it’s the combination of symptoms that have me concerned—hyperreflexia, twitches, and neck stiffness and pain. I know a neck presentation as my initial symptom would be rare and if you combine that with my age of 36, the odds are in my favor.
 

lgelb

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When you start adding up symptoms, it sounds scary. But they all relate to each other. Pain, stiffness and twitching often go together and reinforce each other. I would ask about PT, which your primary doc can order any time, and/or therapeutic massage for your neck and use heat when you get up and before bed.

Best,
Laurie
 

Blalock

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I was able to get my Neuro Appointment at Emory moved up to this Thursday. If the neuro suspects anything, is it typical for an EMG to be performed at my initial visit? Just trying to prepare myself.
 

lgelb

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Not unless that was the plan to start with. EMGs are not usually added on the fly due to scheduling.
 

Blalock

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As an update: I just had my neurologist appointment with Dr. Lava at the Emory University Brain Center in Atlanta. Dr. Lava is chief of the Emory Multiple Sclerosis Center. I was referred to him due to a previous bout of optic neuritis I had in college which can be a precursor to MS. Besides brisk reflexes and high anxiety, he gave me a clean bill of health for now without ordering a EEG or MRI. He diagnosed me with benign fasciculation syndrome and wrote me a physical therapy referral.

I wanted to say thank you to the members that responded to my concerns, and I appreciate the support the forum members provide to us DIHALS. For what’s its worth, I plan on making a donation to the forum. Thanks again and as Steve Gleason says #nowhiteflags.
 

lgelb

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Thanks for the update and donation. Both will help others.

Best wishes for your health -- PT can be very useful.
Laurie
 
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