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Thread: Needing suggestions for relieving muscle spasms and pain

  1. #1
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    Needing suggestions for relieving muscle spasms and pain

    It's been over 10 years now since I had my spinal fusion surgery. No regrets in having the surgery and thrilled that I have been able to play tennis 3x/week, fully interact with my grandkids, and live life fully.

    I have a hit a brick wall this summer though. It started with a mammogram and then being called back for a diagnostic mammogram. For those of us who have long rods with many fused levels, the mammogram experience is quite a challenge. At least it is for me.....my back usually goes into spasm for a bit but settles down after a day. Unfortunately this time, the diagnostic mammogram led to a mammogram led biopsy in three different areas. What was supposed to last 1 1/2 hrs. ended up taking 3 hrs. During most of that time, my right breast was being smashed as in a regular mammogram, but the killer for me was having to position my right arm over the machine for that extended period of time. By God's grace, I made it through the biopsy, but now I am suffering from muscle spasms in the Rhomboid Major muscle group along with the Serratus Anterior muscles. (My massage therapist who has a unique background in kinesiology was able to pinpoint the issues and was able to provide relief for 24 hours.) The spasms have returned resulting in that burning/stabbing pain that is all too familiar that I experienced immediately following my spinal fusion surgery.

    I have been applying ice 2x/day, take Duexis 2x/day (prescribed higher dosage of ibuprofen), applying Biofreeze and Penetrate anti-inflammatory ointment. I have even tried electric stim but that doesn't make that much difference.

    I have scheduled a dry needling appointment with my chiropractor for this Tuesday. I hope to squeeze in another session with my massage therapist this week.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for me to try? I had tried a steroid regimen a few years ago for tendonitis in my foot, but had to stop because of severe headaches. So the use of steroids is not really a good option for me.

    I figure that this forum would be a good place to ask since many of us have learned to adjust to our bionic bodies in different ways over the years. Any input would be much appreciated. Thx!

    Donna
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!
    http://s1050.photobucket.com/profile/walkingmom1/index

  2. #2
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    Hi Donna. I am really sorry to hear of your pan.

    I don't have scoliosis but broke my back last March (compression fracture of L3). Even after it healed, I have dealt with pain episodes off and on. Recently, my personal trainer tried a Hypervolt on me. The gym bought some. It looks like a hair dryer but with a vibrating ball at the end. He applied that over the painful area and around it and I was pain free for over a month. I could not believe it at first. It took 25 minutes out of my one hour training session but was worth it because it worked so well.

    My husband recently fell and because he got sciatica afterward, I suspect he also has a compression fracture somewhere in his lumbar. I tried the Hypervolt on him. It holds for one day for him, maybe because he has not healed from the injury.

    They are pricey (a few hundred I think) and I suggest you try to find one at a gym to see if it helps before you buy one.

    There are other brands but this one works. Here is a great overview of percussive therapy...

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/art...ervolt#summary

    Good luck.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    illinois
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    It is wonderful that you have done so well for 10 years. I hope the biopsy has turned out ok. I have found that even medical personnel do not always understand the unique way fused patients have to move.
    Have you tried any heat packs ? That is the only thing that helps me.
    I also know it takes time to settle these things down.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16
    Broken neck 9/28/2018
    Emergency surgery posterior fusion C4- T3
    Repeated 11/2018 because rods pulled apart added T2 fusion
    Removal of partial right thoracic hardware 1/2020
    Removal and replacement of C4-T10 hardware with C7 and T 1
    Osteotomy

  4. #4
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    reno,nevada
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkingmom View Post
    I have scheduled a dry needling appointment with my chiropractor for this Tuesday. I hope to squeeze in another session with my massage therapist this week.
    Donna, You made it through the biopsy, that's good news. (and 10 years like Jackie mentioned)

    My Chiro had an accu"pressure" therapist (From China, trained in China) that worked miracles....but they didn't do accu"puncture" at that office. I tried accupuncture with a DO, and had no success, but he wasn't Chinese...It's hard to verify training on eastern modalities, and pretty much impossible to check on these things. It's all in Chinese.

    Have you done any adjustments at the Chiro since your surgeries? Just wondering since you are down to L3. Are you ok down low? I have done cervical adjustments after fusion surgery (I am up to T2) and close to going back in for a few neck adjustments here soon. I have to get my 2nd COVID vaccination this afternoon and want to wait a few days.....I took a Diclofenac pill last night and it helped with my neck pain.

    I have always liked hot water soaks. Hot water soaks and NSAID's, either or, and hot water soaks followed by a massage from a good masseuse. I have found that having the massage right after a hot soak works better. I used to do this at Steamboat Hot Springs. If it was good enough for Mark Twain, it was good enough for me. (smiley face) Don't get too used to this as this is an expensive habit....

    The FDA has approved Voltaren (Diclofenac Gel) for OTC in the US. (Feb 2020) I have bought Diclofenac OTC in Colombia (For $3) I would try this.....ALWAYS read the fine print on ALL meds.
    https://us.gsk.com/en-us/media/press...united-states/

    Power tools are good to have....just make sure you don't grab the jigsaw....The amounts of pain reduction devices on the market are unreal. My neighbor many years ago had an industrial sized vibrator (24" long, 220V 3 Phase) and I used to use hers on my lumbar hump before my surgeries. I would call her on the phone and ask "Can I use your heavy duty vibrator?" (In high Michael Jackson voice) He he....

    I had devastating (delayed) muscle spasms after landing a high jump wrong at a ski show on Television with ESPN at Alpine Meadows in 2000. Wayne Wong who is the Elvis of skiing was on the microphone, he commented on a trick I did down in front of the crowd "I haven't seen that done in 30 years'....He lives here in Reno. After my surgeries, he stopped inviting me on ski events...He saw my x-rays and went into shock. I told him that there are deformity people like me that do intense sports....He just shook his head in disbelief since he wondered why I wasn't on the pro circuit.

    I guess I am paying my dues now. Old skiers pay their dues. Overexercise is overrated....

    Hope the pain passes quickly

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  5. #5
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    Yacolt, WA
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    1,607
    Hope you find relief! If it is a relatively small area Lidocaine patches work well. Diclofenac 1% and CBD gel works well. I take Baclofen [which is the daughter of another mother] for spasms from spinal cord injury.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degen Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Sev disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal SCI T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Rev Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw
    2021: Removal T1 screw & rod

  6. #6
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    Indiana
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    Thanks for the info. I was reading about percussive therapy and the many benefits especially for those who have exercised hard. From all indications, it is not recommended for inflammation which is part of my current situation. I will keep it in mind for other future needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Hi Donna. I am really sorry to hear of your pan.

    I don't have scoliosis but broke my back last March (compression fracture of L3). Even after it healed, I have dealt with pain episodes off and on. Recently, my personal trainer tried a Hypervolt on me. The gym bought some. It looks like a hair dryer but with a vibrating ball at the end. He applied that over the painful area and around it and I was pain free for over a month. I could not believe it at first. It took 25 minutes out of my one hour training session but was worth it because it worked so well.

    My husband recently fell and because he got sciatica afterward, I suspect he also has a compression fracture somewhere in his lumbar. I tried the Hypervolt on him. It holds for one day for him, maybe because he has not healed from the injury.

    They are pricey (a few hundred I think) and I suggest you try to find one at a gym to see if it helps before you buy one.

    There are other brands but this one works. Here is a great overview of percussive therapy...

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/art...ervolt#summary

    Good luck.
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!
    http://s1050.photobucket.com/profile/walkingmom1/index

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
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    Thanks for the suggestion of heat packs.....I am now applying hot moist heat about 3x/day and it seems to be helping some. Regarding the biopsy, not exactly the negative results that I was hoping for. So awaiting my appointment with my surgeon and a team of doctors this Friday to come up with my treatment plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    It is wonderful that you have done so well for 10 years. I hope the biopsy has turned out ok. I have found that even medical personnel do not always understand the unique way fused patients have to move.
    Have you tried any heat packs ? That is the only thing that helps me.
    I also know it takes time to settle these things down.
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!
    http://s1050.photobucket.com/profile/walkingmom1/index

  8. #8
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    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    110
    Thanks for the suggestions. I had used Lidocaine patches right after my surgery and had some success with them. Applying them under the shoulder blade area is a little tricky, but I may need to look into it. I had forgotten about Baclofen.....it sounds familiar like something I had taken 10 years ago. If I recall, I didn't experience as much of the drowsiness side effect as I do with Flexeril that I now started to take at night. The Flexeril helps me to get some much needed extended hours of sleep.

    Quote Originally Posted by susancook View Post
    Hope you find relief! If it is a relatively small area Lidocaine patches work well. Diclofenac 1% and CBD gel works well. I take Baclofen [which is the daughter of another mother] for spasms from spinal cord injury.
    Susan
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!
    http://s1050.photobucket.com/profile/walkingmom1/index

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    110
    I always enjoy your sense of humor on your posts! I went to my chiropractor yesterday for dry needling in that problem area. I noticed a little improvement but I am not sure if it is entirely attributed to that procedure. The jury is still out. It's been a couple of years since I had been to my chiropractor for an adjustment because I had so much tightness, that it was almost impossible to adjust the unfused areas. I have had much more success with my massage therapist who has a background in kinesiology. She has helped me with the tightness in my hamstrings and lower extremities which countered any lower back pain that I was feeling. I thought that my tennis playing career was coming to an end last fall, but she has brought me from the brink of calling it quits.


    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Donna, You made it through the biopsy, that's good news. (and 10 years like Jackie mentioned)

    My Chiro had an accu"pressure" therapist (From China, trained in China) that worked miracles....but they didn't do accu"puncture" at that office. I tried accupuncture with a DO, and had no success, but he wasn't Chinese...It's hard to verify training on eastern modalities, and pretty much impossible to check on these things. It's all in Chinese.

    Have you done any adjustments at the Chiro since your surgeries? Just wondering since you are down to L3. Are you ok down low? I have done cervical adjustments after fusion surgery (I am up to T2) and close to going back in for a few neck adjustments here soon. I have to get my 2nd COVID vaccination this afternoon and want to wait a few days.....I took a Diclofenac pill last night and it helped with my neck pain.

    I have always liked hot water soaks. Hot water soaks and NSAID's, either or, and hot water soaks followed by a massage from a good masseuse. I have found that having the massage right after a hot soak works better. I used to do this at Steamboat Hot Springs. If it was good enough for Mark Twain, it was good enough for me. (smiley face) Don't get too used to this as this is an expensive habit....

    The FDA has approved Voltaren (Diclofenac Gel) for OTC in the US. (Feb 2020) I have bought Diclofenac OTC in Colombia (For $3) I would try this.....ALWAYS read the fine print on ALL meds.
    https://us.gsk.com/en-us/media/press...united-states/

    Power tools are good to have....just make sure you don't grab the jigsaw....The amounts of pain reduction devices on the market are unreal. My neighbor many years ago had an industrial sized vibrator (24" long, 220V 3 Phase) and I used to use hers on my lumbar hump before my surgeries. I would call her on the phone and ask "Can I use your heavy duty vibrator?" (In high Michael Jackson voice) He he....

    I had devastating (delayed) muscle spasms after landing a high jump wrong at a ski show on Television with ESPN at Alpine Meadows in 2000. Wayne Wong who is the Elvis of skiing was on the microphone, he commented on a trick I did down in front of the crowd "I haven't seen that done in 30 years'....He lives here in Reno. After my surgeries, he stopped inviting me on ski events...He saw my x-rays and went into shock. I told him that there are deformity people like me that do intense sports....He just shook his head in disbelief since he wondered why I wasn't on the pro circuit.

    I guess I am paying my dues now. Old skiers pay their dues. Overexercise is overrated....

    Hope the pain passes quickly

    Ed
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!
    http://s1050.photobucket.com/profile/walkingmom1/index

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    Living a lifetime of scoliosis pain requires a good joke every now and then....After all these years, I am running low on medical jokes so it's actually an act of desperation now....Not pain relief, the jokes!

    I figure I spent over $100K on massage before my surgeries....it was pretty much the best way to get out of major pain leading up (6 years) to my surgeries. The thing was I essentially needed to do them every afternoon during 2006/2007. When I stopped doing massage, my masseuse was devastated. I also cut back on Chiropractic big time. My joke down there after fusion was since I only have one level left to adjust, do I get the big discount? They didn't laugh. I thought that was hilarious....

    Your muscle spasm should resolve itself. If not, you should see an MD. I was fortunate that I only had muscle spasms once (before surgery) and never had them re-occur as it felt like a 3 foot sword being pushed in at L3, that's how painful that was. That was no writer's cramp....

    My acupressure therapist was amazing.....She would ask me when we were getting married and I told her that I was afraid that if she got mad at me she would give me the finger. (acupressure humor) She had a good sense of humor. She was all about pressure points, (using fingers only) not massage. Some of it was very painful as she would dig her fingers in and hold for long periods of time and say "It is necessary".

    After the 3 foot sword muscle spasm, I went skiing 1 or 2 days after a session with her. She was amazing.

    Here is a HSS (Hospital For Special Surgery) video on acupressure points for neck tension
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrqS...ToneandTighten

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    1,080
    Ed you are so right on with your humor. Isn't laughter the best medicine?
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16
    Broken neck 9/28/2018
    Emergency surgery posterior fusion C4- T3
    Repeated 11/2018 because rods pulled apart added T2 fusion
    Removal of partial right thoracic hardware 1/2020
    Removal and replacement of C4-T10 hardware with C7 and T 1
    Osteotomy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,447
    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    Ed you are so right on with your humor. Isn't laughter the best medicine?
    Yes, Here is a prescription for some Jeff Foxworthy...

    Medicine side effects
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSdN...=JeffFoxworthy

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
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    Oh Ed! Thanks for sharing.....this is hilarious!

    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Yes, Here is a prescription for some Jeff Foxworthy...

    Medicine side effects
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSdN...=JeffFoxworthy

    Ed
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!
    http://s1050.photobucket.com/profile/walkingmom1/index

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    Here is another segment from the same show.

    Kids vs Old Folks
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv1x...=holyshnikies9

    Say hello to my little friend.....Man-o-man! It's funny, but serious.

    I took a little friend once.....Out for 48 hr's but didn't get to talk with Elvis. I had Viral Labyrinthitis. (Intractable vertigo)

    In another video, Jeff Foxworthy talks about large kidney stones and yes, he has some good lines, but unless you have done that route, its actually serious.

    On Magnesium Citrate, he states that the product will rip the Eiffel Tower out of the ground, I thought that was pretty funny.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

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