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Attn: Expert - Differentiate MS spasms from spinal stenosis
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silverbonnet posted:
I was recently confirmed benign MS (probably past 25 years) with nothing but sensory disturbances (mostly annoying paresthesias in weird places). Past winter, developed persistent buzzing in various places not related to dermatomes, also significant prickling, numbness that caught md husbands attention and MRI to rule out cauda equina syndrome. Found no compression but moderate L4L5 central stenosis (neurologist said was aggressive read, he did not agree and did not think it was causing my symptoms and ordered full MS workup and concluded, in my gut, its MS and"I'm never wrong"). Since has always been nothing more than intermittantly annoying, I left it at that.

However, in the context of this, I have developed severe muscle cramping in my lower buttocks and hamstrings (both legs) - sometimes feel as if something is pulling my butt down to the ground, difficult to walk. Occasionally, when I get up from sitting, or while walking, my right proximal adductor seems to dramatically "catch" for a few moments, if I wait it settles down as if nothing happened. (Everybody around me stares, it's embarrassing!) I was in physical therapy last spring with severe pain on standing, PT said contracture of left obuturator internus muscle. Things slowly got better but now this. Is worse in evening, use flexaril for sleep, first few hours in morning are difficut. Goes away with activity for afternoon, early evening. Primary thinks its the stenosis, husband disagrees, have not been back to neuro or PT. Any thoughts?
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sunnyside2160 responded:
I'm having the same probablem while walking, I get a dramatic
catch for a few moments,
it stops me from talking another step after a few seconds I can continue my neuro gave me a script for 20 mg of baclofen it was helping but now I'm having that same pulling catching
discomfort feeling I'm not sure what to do next
 
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marly26 responded:
Hi there silverbonnet: I haven't been replying a whole lot on pc as it has been in and out of the shop. As I was reading your symtoms I thought, Wow! I get the same. My physician has told me that this is related to my Fibromyalgia. Now your mentioning MS. I am on a specific needle for Plaque/Arthritic Psoriasis. This needle can cause many ailments, one being MS. It was a case of should/shouldnt' use needle (Humira). My Dr. has given me nothing for what I am going through. I am already on Narcotics due to back injury, however these meds' do not control the severe pain that I have as you, walking, first thing in am. during the day much numbness/cramping in legs and buttocks. Evenings gets worse. During sleep I am waking with such severe cramping (legs,feet, toes) when I try and stand, and damn its' hard to even get out of the bed I have limited balance. Of course then I have to use bthrm. The pain is so severe that I can not sit.. When I do the pain is so severe, I forget that I have to go. Need to get up. It takes roughly 10-15min. for pain to subside only to return within 1-2hrs. and even getting into bed its' like "is this pain gone because I'm still feeling it" Its' like a game its' playing, some game! I am now thinking this is not Fibro but MS. I am seeing my Physician this wk. and I am going to ask to be checked for MS. My thoughts for you is that maybe you as well have Fibro, or the MS has escalated. I hope for your sake it hasn't escalated but I would definetly ask your Physician if it could be Fibro. This effects the nerve endings, its' like a mass. Check it on this site, it will explain or possibly back issues'. I have had back issues' for some time but never have I had the pain that I now have. I do hope that I have been oof some help and I thank you for the info that you have given me. If you would like pls. email me at rita_26_davey@live.ca
Thanks,
 
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marchingalong responded:
I don't know if this helps you, but my recent spinal MRI read no MS lesions, but bulging, partial torn/ herniated discs in L4L5, and L5S1 WITH some nerve root impingement. I have been going through testing for MS for past 1 1/2yrs and have "highly probable MS", but neurologist is confident it is MS. 3 lesions in the brain, which have not correlated with my physical symptoms: weak, rubbery legs but walking brings on stiffness and pain to both legs. Also have muscle cramping in feet and lower legs, difficulties walking up stairs. Some bowel & bladder issues, as well. I found a spinal mapping picture online http://www.makoa.org/scimap.htm . I feel this explains some of my physical symptoms. Interestingly enough, my family doctor and neurologist didn't. They feel that the results are "normal age & job related changes" (I'm a 41 y/o nurse). I also have been to a large, world reknown hospital that specializes in MS (that will remain nameless) for 2nd opinion. that neurologist agreed with the normal age/job related changes and made a statement (don't remember exact verbage)to the effect of they only concern themselves with looking at the brain & spinal cord which ends higher up. Anything stenosed, bulging, torn discs or pinched nerves below the end of the cord, they don't feel would cause any problems. I've learned to get a copy of each of my MRI reports, and then research as much as I can to learn about such a confusing disease.Long story short, my neurologist thinks all my symptoms are related to the MS. I agree with her regarding my cognitive issues (they correlate with the lesions/plaques). I personally think the physical symptoms correlate with the spinal MRI results, which are not correlating with any MS lesions. My father also had a back injury to the same area many years ago, has spinal stenosis, and has that same 'catching' that you described. I've been considering seeing a chiropracter, to see if they could do something. I have a PT eval scheduled for next week, so maybe he can give me some advice. Overall, I don't necessarily care what it's related to, as long as the symptoms can be controlled.
 
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Neil S Lava, MD responded:
It is difficult to say for sure what is happening, not knowing your examination. However this is something that you need to discuss with your neurologist. This needs to be investigated and treated since it make your life very difficult.
 
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silverbonnet replied to Neil S Lava, MD's response:
Thank you all for your replies. The good news is, that in the last week or so, the spasms and walking difficulty have disappeared - still have some occasional tightness in proximal hamstrings and right adductors but does not limit my activity or interfere with sleep ( do not need flexaril to sleep at the moment). Since this coincides with a month since any "buzzing" and maybe 10 days since any facial paresthesias, I am going to assume its MS related, rather than any central stenosis problems. (At Nov. appt with neuro, he said lesions in brain either regressed or gone so maybe getting better?) Since I can still ski, I am happy! We'll see what happens when planting season rolls around...
 
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shelleye responded:
I have the same proximal adductor issues, and when I first get up, I can shake uncontrollably for a moment or two, and have to "THINK" myself normal. (I hope this makes sense.) While I do have spinal stenosis, as well as Fibromyalgia, my symptoms are way past their normality! I was MRI'd for the brain plaque but not seen. That was in 2004. Now that it's so many years later, I wonder... Is it MS? The other night, I spasm'ed so HARD in my sleep, I woke up with severe cramping in right calf and it extended up to my buttocks. Oh my, screaming into my pillow. I am on 16 mg of Zanaflex to STOP the spasms at night, but they tend to get so much worse in afternoon and evening. My husband is scared of one more diagnosis as all my meds (21 at this time) are leading us closer to bankruptcy, and we just don't "believe" in that! All these meds and still... symptoms that are not recognized within my current diagnosis! Anybody understand me?


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