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Muscle Spasms



  • That's a good question. I'm in Physical Therapy now and they use something called Hydrocollator Heating pads. I LOVE these things. I feel so much better after I leave PT. Unfortunately I have to endure the spasms between PT sessions and this is not an item that you can just pick up in a drugstore. So now you've got me thinking. I wonder if my insurance would cover the cost? At this point I really don't care. I'm buying them on my own but to be reimbursed would be nice.
  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,644
    heating pads. They are just not as large as the ones generally used in PT sessions. But they are heated up the same way. (warm-hot water). I have about 4 of them, 1 designed for the cervical area, the rest for any spot on the back. It is also important to purchase the heavy duty pad that those hydrocollator slip into.
    The Therma heat pads are good also, but all the ones I've seen are one time useage. So, they would be fine for a car or plane trip.

    For heating, those mentioned above are good as well as many of those pads filled with rice. You put them in the microwave (2 minutes) and you have heat. Just a word of caution, I used one of them, under my back and with a sweatshirt on, went to bed, when I woke up, I had a 3rd degree burn that eventually required surgery to remove the eschar and plastic surgery to cut away a flap of skin to cover the gapping hole.

    For Icing, a simple bag of frozen peas or corn! Take them out of the freezer and they will mold to your contour.. When you are finished with them, back into the freezer they go. Last a very long time, or until you decided on having a meal that requires those peas or corn.
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  • I was wondering if I'm using too much heat now. I seem to be depending on it more and more instead of less and less. I just bought one that is so comfy and turns itself off if it doesn't feel pressure and automatically turns off after a certain amount of time. So I'm glad I picked this one after reading what you went through. What also fascinated me about this one is that I can spray water on it and use it for moist heat. It's still lacking in the hydrocollator dept though. I still want one of those for my neck specifically because this one I still have to manuever it around my neck to get it to where I need it sometimes. Ok. so after this very long winded post do you have an opinion about using heat too much? I'm 2 months post op almost. Is there such a thing as using heat too often? Am I doing any damage to my muscles by heating them so often? I come home from work and head straight for it for at least an hour before I move again.
  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,644
    there is NO limit to the amount of heat that you can use.
    And of course, as long ast that is not too hot (ad I am the victim of that)
    For about 7 weeks in a row (before my burn), I was using moist heat every night. I set it up on one of my form rollers (I would be lying on that) so that my chest would be open and take pressure of my thoracic area.
  • Well I feel much better reading that. I take Valium for the spasms but it wears off and I find relief between with heat. I stick to my schedule with the Valium but I still need heat for those really bad moments until it kicks in. So it's good to know that I'm not doing my muscles any harm.
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  • Hi, newbie here
    First off, I am 56 years old with osteoarthritis lumbar facet syndrome and disc issues, have had both knees replaced, a shoulder replaced, a spinal fusion with cages and a messed up thorasic spine with spasms like you.

    I first looked at this site trying to find out what they do at these functional capacity evaluation tests but now realize we all have more in common; the spasms.

    I had a spinal fusion in 2001. They used cages. After the long drawn out recuperation time, I suffered from bad pain and the surgeon (god in his eyes) said he didnt know why I had so much pain because his surgery was perfect. To cut this story short, I ended up going to a spine center where I was told I had facet syndrome. They use Radio frequency degeneration to kill the sensory nerves in my lumber. The nerves in the facets are only sensory so they grow back after a time. I was getting terrible spasms in my left leg and would have to sit down. My leg would actually give out.
    The RFD does help and last up to about a year. You can have this done over and over. It doesn't stop the disease process but is like taking pain meds without the weird feeling. If you were to rupture a disc or do more that you should or can do you still feel it, but its better than constant pain.

    Now my second issue. I like you started having terrible spasms in my lat area. The spasms get so bad, it becomes a hard knot and my husband can feel it (the size of a baseball). I went to a spine center.Well, the doctor was very nice. This spine center believes in agressive PT or bootcamp PT. I tried it. The doctor said I would never get rid of the pain but he could make it bearable with excerise.I went to the 2 month boot camp. I was still in constant pain but no spasms. The therapist gave me a program to do on my own at my local gym. My program consists of flexiblity, strength and cardio. I have done it on my own for about 1 year and now all of a sudden out of nowhere I have a flareup and a huge spasm. Now I have been on vicadin and valium at night for a long time in order to sleep. The spasm I just got was T6=8 area and hard as a rock. My doctor gave me skelaxin, a muscle relaxer which didn't do anything.

    What my doctor explained to me is that when you have osteoarthritis or another back problem where your vertibrae is not working correctly, the muscles try to over compensate which leads to the spasms.

    I had this spasm for 2 month before I went to my doctor hoping it would go away.

    What is working for me is that she sent me to PT where they are using ultra sound, manual massage, and e-stim. After 1 week, I could actually feel the spasm dissapear, so please try this for your spasms. I still have a ways to go but hanging in there.

    Now, my question is my LTD company tried to settle with me (after 8 years)with a lump sum way below what I would get if I continued to receive monthly payments. My contract with them is that I am unable to do any type of work even sedentary. After I refused, I get a letter that they are sending me (paid by them) to a function capacity evaluation. Does anyone know what this, what happens or what is up with it in general. I cannot sit. This is what brings on the spasms according to my doctor so what are they going to make me do, sit in a chair for 8 hours until I spasm??? Any help appreciated.

    For those having the spasms, ask your doctor to try this type of therapy.

  • in one of my rock hard spasms and it worked like magic but sadly never to be repaeted.

    The spasms are so draining too, don't you think?
  • Welcome to S~H :-h

    I don't have a lot of time to post tonight,but wanted to say hello and welcome.You will find a lot of people here with a lot in common...and lots of support!

    I had to laugh when I read where you said
    Rosebud326 (god in his eyes)
    That was funny :)

    Please keep us posted.
  • I have leg spasms and thats sciatica from L5-S1 herniated disc. I take lyrica and flexeril and heat helps too. Maybe you should see your GP and see if you need another MRI. Take care. Charry
    PS I got an infrared platinum heating pad with a script so I didn't have to pay taxes on it. My insurance doesn't cover anything except braces and orthotics.
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Don't know if they are related, but man, muscle spasms can be just absolutely horrible. I am going to receive Botox injections later this week for my back muscle. I have had trigger point injections in different muscles, but recently from a new doc, and he had the touch. I finally felt some relief, and am looking forward to the Botox now - it really gives me some hope. Not sure if something like this may be helpful to you

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