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What do muscle spasms feel like?

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Unread 10-01-2012, 08:28 PM   #1
samrose86
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Default What do muscle spasms feel like?

I can't decipher whether my pain is a spasm or just nerve pain. Sometimes I get what feels like an electric shock sensation or pulsation in my calf or thigh and it really doesn't feel like it's muscle related. It is ridiculously painful and feels like I'm being tazed or snapped with a thin rubber band. Every time I've read about muscle spasms being a symptom of MS, I've ruled it out because I've always imagined a charlie-horse/tightening of the muscle sort of feeling to be spasm. Like a really bad muscle cramp that is spastic?

When I mentioned it to my neuro last week, I described it as a shock sensation and he didn't mention it being a spasm, in fact based on the symptom alone he didn't even feel it was necessary to do the MRIs he did last year of my brain and spine (they were clear) over again.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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I would say your shocks are more like L'hermittes than nerve/muscle spasms. Just a thought?
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Unread 10-02-2012, 07:11 AM   #3
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I agree with Sal!

I do not get muscle spasms but imagine something like a charley horse. My never pain seems to always occur in same spots - a muscle pain in arm, a sharp hurtful pain in elbow and knee.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 10:17 AM   #4
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The electrical shocks you described sounds more like a nerve thing. But, on the other hand, the pulsation feeling could be a muscle spasm. I get both nerve pain and spasms and they are distinctly different. You can definitely tell a difference and know which one is occurring.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 11:04 AM   #5
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Well my doctor had me to chin to chest but I didn't feel anything. I do it on my own all the time too and don't feel anything so I don't think it's lhermittes sign. It is literally just a random zap of pain that is local, and sometimes it pulses.

I do get muscle twitches from time to time that are painless, but for my sanity's sake I associate it with high anxiety. Otherwise, I don't think I've felt a spasm if it's more like a muscle tightening feeling.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 02:13 PM   #6
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I get two different types of spasms...one type feels kind of like a shin splint...as if the muscles are being ripped. The other type is a severe charley horse-type...that one makes me yell out and makes the body part lock up (usually my leg). Either one stinks
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Unread 10-02-2012, 04:30 PM   #7
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Spasm is a tightness or cramp. Sometimes I have areas that just ache like a toothache but it is tight liganments like in the back of the knee.

You sound like nerve pain. Not unlike sciatica pain as it shoots down an area.
Thats nerve pain. I don't get the chin to chest reaction, but I do have nerves pain as pins and needles in my feet.
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Unread 10-03-2012, 01:26 PM   #8
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I agree, sounds like nerve pain. I have both nerve pain and spasms. My nerve pain feels like someone is dragging a really sharp pin up and down my skin but it is deep. My spasms are very painful. Tighting of the muscles to the point I'll scream out if its to much pain. I get muscle jerks ALOT. I'll be on my computer and suddenly my arm will spasm and I shoot the mouse across the room. My ankles have jerked so hard its made me cry it hurt so bad.
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Unread 10-05-2012, 10:25 AM   #9
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spasm is tightening of muscles which are challenged, as far as I know. Not a quick sharp stab. If muscles are weakened, they tighten up to have strength. This is why taking Zanaflex for my leg spasms (many years ago) produced so much weakness that I could barely walk. I can walk, even though my legs tend to spasm more if I do so. It is very important to keep doing the leg stretches which I learned from my Physician's Assistant, who is as good as a PT when it comes to helpful exercise. Last night I did them before bedtime and I had no spasm during the night and did not awaken with it.

But I agree with others here that Sam's pains are nerve shocks more than spasm.
However, spasm CAN be a brief thing, quick and over. I presume there are different kinds of spasm, and I'm not an expert on those definitions.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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I'm having the "quick and over" type of spasm the past few days. I've always had it at night, but controlled by magnesium. Now, it's during the day too, whether or not I take magnesium. They want me to take a Dopamine increaser used by Parkinson's patients for movement disorder. I am not suspected of having Parkinson's as far as I know. Just this spasm in the hip or leg which results in a painful jerk, or a series of small movements over a few seconds, then stops until the next one. I have an intense numb and hot sensation in my left calf, which is there most of the time but does go away at times. I am desperate. I don't know which disease is doing this. I have been trying to get a phlebotomy for Polycythemia Vera but my hematocrit needs to be up .1 percent more before I can have it--that should occur by next week.
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