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anyone get past Spasticity?I read it is a stage of recovery, but the book did not say if it goes away.

It is a plague for me daily.Left side face, neck, shoulder, arm,leg all of it. 

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My stroke was almost 20 years ago.  Immediately after I experienced severe spasticity.  Over the years I've been told that mine is on the high end most health providers have seen.  Have tried  every remedy available with no success.  I'm currently on a medication that eases it a bit,but as far as recovery I have a long way to go.  Wishing you all the best.

~Beth

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Alan. I'm now around 13yrs post stroke and if anything, the spasticity has got a bit more pronounced in my left arm/hand. Sometimes it feels like a bag of hard sand, no feeling except the numbness and tightening. The only positive relief over the years for temporary relief has been to stretch the muscles out, if possible daily each morning. The only other thing that has been suggested in another thread on this topic is to try medication, and Baclofen had been suggested, by Becky if I remember. Anyway I ask my primary care physician if I could try it and he decided that it wouldn't be in my best interests for a prescription. His concerns my other meds for my heart, in addition to 2 other meds would be excessive, so I agreed.

 

I have heard that Baclofen is prescribed for spasticity issues, so others may benefit. Good luck!

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I had major problems with spasticity and clonus in my left calf for the first couple of years. It goes away if/when you can get the muscle working. One of the main reliefs I had was using the bioness (FES) for walking. Spasticity is a muscle self defense mechanism when the nerve signals are not fully received. the muscle turns on and stays on because that is "safer" than relaxing. So the more you can rewire/use and make the muscle feel safe the less spasticity you should have. Meds like Baclofen make the muscles relax in the whole body, which can create other problems, like difficulty walking because you have less control over everything, here it tends to only be prescribed for very severe cases and people who are not otherwise "high functioning".  Botox can also be used to relax specific muscles for a limited period, and creates a window of opportunity for you to teach the muscles and nerves new patterns.  In theory you should have less spacticity after a botox treatment and therapy, it does come back but not as badly. unfortunately botox is expensive and a waste if not used in conjunction with some pretty intense therapy. I do get botox treatment in my arm every so often, and it's a great help for 3 - 6 months, but over time because I can't get that arm functional it comes back. regular passive stretching and general exercise helps, as well as physio manipulation and soft tissue work to relax the muscles, but it's not a long term/permanent fix its just temporary relief.

 

For the record other than some dystonia in my toes my leg is now mostly free from spasticity. But my non functional arm and hand have both spacticty and dystonia,and it spreads into my shoulder and torso and affects my gait and posture, so arm botox for me is usually about general mobility, not arm function,  and it makes some things worse for a while because I do use the claw for some things, and I lose that while the botox is strong.

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Hi Alan

 

I take baclofen. 

 

My spasticity was getting really painful. Not the actual shaking part, but the build up to the shaking. 

 

It's so much better now.

 

I find my hand and arm remain the same, but with using my recumbent bike my leg is better.

 

I'm 6 1/2 years out.

 

💚👑

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Deigh Spasticity is where a muscle contracts uncontrollably, it usually happens where the muscle is not receiving clear nerve signals from the brain. It can present as either general muscle tightness that you can't relax or as spasmodic contractions (clonus)  It is a protective reflex but can result in damage to and shortening of the muscle and pain. It's usually tested for by doing a slow passive extension of the joint/muscle to find the possible range, followed by quick extension to feel for the "catch" point.  It you get the catch where the reflex triggers the muscle on then you have spacticity. It usually reduces as the nerve paths reroute and strengthen.

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DEIGH, What it is is uncontrolled muscular movements that look like random movements, which have no purpose other than to irritate their host, or the one who is having them. For instance, early in my recovery, whenever  I stood up my left leg would start shaking, like I was doing a bad Elvis imitation. The shaking was not caused by anything that I knowingly did, nor did it assist me in my goal of standing . My left hand will start shaking sometimes if I extend my left arm trying to reach something. These issues started about 6 mos. after my stroke, so about 13 yrs. ago. While I still have problems with spasticity and tone they are much improved as long as I remember to take my Baclofen.   Becky

 

 

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Thanks for those replies, I know the situation now and can recognise that one or two people I know have the problem. Fortunately not me!

Deigh

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Deigh one spot I have spasticity is in my bag.

When it happens, it just looks like I'm shivering!

Sometimes it lasts a few seconds, but one time it was about a minute. I can't talk when it happens for some reason. That particular time freaked my dad right out, we were on a cruise to new Zealand and were in the middle of nowhere...literally!!

 

💚👑

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🙂 that grin is for the joys of auto correct not for having spacticity in your back.

 

But it does make sense that a spastic episode in your back muscles would interfere with the controlled breathing talking requires.

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Wow.  I have just been to my family doc who thinks that I have gout in one toe.  Sounds like is is as actually spasticity.  That toe scrunches up, muscles tight as can be, and gets really painful after a while.  Only relief so far is if I straighten it manually (push down with the other foot while sitting).

 

Onset was around a time when my other leg (the effected one) started to behave significantly better.  I'll bring this up with my neurologist at my next consult, and see whether he has any ideas.

 

Family doc wanted to put pin down the length of the toe to hold it straight, which stretch me as pretty brutal!

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Alan toe separators may help try that before getting too brutal with surgery.  a firm press into the arch of your foot just behind the ball of the foot can also release the toe muscles.  If it hurts like hell you've found the right spot.

I also find calf stretches help a lot.

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Sure am hoping the spasticity will improve.  I think it has a wee bit.  I've been working on therapies and exercises that were described.  When on treadmill I can see the foot quiver as it moves.  I am suppose to wear a leg brace to help my brain deal with the involuntary actions. It occurs on my whole right side and it is never ending.  I call it my gerbil run with the sleeping feeling.  

 

Face is most irritating for me, tongue and swallow.  Then eye ear cheek.  The degree of spasticity varies depending on the weather.  Add to it stress.  Snowball effect.  

 

When the chest does it I worry.  The feeling in my abdomen region when the spasticity kicks up is what I feel  harakiri is like.   

 

Real bad days I can interrupt the signals with a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine but its only temporary.  Never seen a TENS that goes non stop or with higher intensity. I'd like to try it though.  

 

I also feel its more prominent 6 years later.  

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Mark, wow. That sounds quite frightening. Mine is annoying, sometimes painful, but never across my chest.

Take care.

💚👑

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On 10/18/2020 at 10:18 PM, becky1 said:

DEIGH, What it is is uncontrolled muscular movements that look like random movements, which have no purpose other than to irritate their host, or the one who is having them. For instance, early in my recovery, whenever  I stood up my left leg would start shaking, like I was doing a bad Elvis imitation. The shaking was not caused by anything that I knowingly did, nor did it assist me in my goal of standing . My left hand will start shaking sometimes if I extend my left arm trying to reach something. These issues started about 6 mos. after my stroke, so about 13 yrs. ago. While I still have problems with spasticity and tone they are much improved as long as I remember to take my Baclofen.   Becky

 

 

Exactly. I've noticed this as well just recently. My thinking was "great" now some prelude to possible mild Parkinson symptoms. I realized it was exclusive to my deficit side arm/hand only, not non-affected areas. Though mildly relieved, now that I know what to expect, I don't/won't reach out for hot coffee with my left hand if avoidable.

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Well this is something I didn't know was so common. Seems like the references have been to the left side. The side almost affected by a brain bleed stroke. That was me but other than the stiff muscle in the palm of my left hand that is it five and a half years later.  Never any shaking. I do ride a stationary recumbent religiously and over the stroke years have reached 3.6 miles a day and rode a total of 79 miles in 22 days of riding in October. So maybe keeping the left leg engaged that much helps some. The biggest thing in my life this October is I no longer take any BP meds or anything pharmaceutical. As far as shaking goes Parkinson's runs in this family. My late father and brother both had it and my brother 10 years older than me and brother 2 years younger than me do too. For a 70 year old I'm steady enough to hold up a newspaper and read it. Fortunate for sure. Once again the plant I have been growing for almost 40 years comes through medicinally as it has in so many unexpected ways in this guys life. Parkinson's is at the top of medical uses they have found for this beautiful gift of nature from the Supreme Being. Unimproved by a laboratory scientist. Just sayin'✌️ Onward!

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wil, I would add that use of those products have been a godsend in help relieving the stiffness and tightness of muscle spasticity also. Unfortunately since the recent heart attack I've very limited physical endurance for walking distances and other tasks that require longer lengths of time, my breathing is not near capacity and I fear pushing those boundaries as I don't wish another repeat. I'm not complaining, it is what it is, I just try and listen to what my body is telling me as being prudent. Though I'd love to walk, or even dream of running any distances, it's honestly not in the cards.

 

To those that can and do, you're blessed, it may be a long road to work up to but I certainly can admire your stamina and importance to those capable enough.

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Right you are wil. If the stroke or our health won't allow certain things it's pretty much carved in stone. Then I think we all get that feeling "Is this going to hurt me somehow?" I even get it sometimes when I'm riding and it's extra hard to do.

 

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4 hours ago, Willis said:

Right you are wil. If the stroke or our health won't allow certain things it's pretty much carved in stone. Then I think we all get that feeling "Is this going to hurt me somehow?" I even get it sometimes when I'm riding and it's extra hard to do.

 

Wil, there is such great value and wisdom on this site, I've recommended and linked this site to many folks on other boards that have stroked or TBI's. This thread is not much different than so many others posted here, such great advice and experiences coming from those who live these conditions, and ways of bettering themselves. It's a single most pivotal point made that "I'm not alone" to me that makes the difference. Thank you all, and thank you Alan for the topic.

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20 hours ago, PaulNash said:

Will2, I could not have put it better.  This site is a sanity- and life-saver

Hi Paul, I would add that you've made a few comments in the past about short-term memory issues, mine like yours is also a disaster. If there has indeed anything good that ever came from that is that it helped me qualify for SSDI. :shy: When the Social Worker was administering the oral test, he ended up cutting it short because my responses were laughable. At one point he stopped me because I was totally way off in my recollection and interpretation of the short stories and mathematics questions he asked....imagine that?? I was laughing with him at one point it was such a disaster, while I was honestly trying to be sincere and 100% truthful. I've always felt reading some of your posts that we a more alike than not, though I wish I could run as you can, thank you!

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On 11/4/2020 at 2:56 PM, will2 said:

Wil, there is such great value and wisdom on this site, I've recommended and linked this site to many folks on other boards that have stroked or TBI's. This thread is not much different than so many others posted here, such great advice and experiences coming from those who live these conditions, and ways of bettering themselves. It's a single most pivotal point made that "I'm not alone" to me that makes the difference. Thank you all, and thank you Alan for the topic.

Amen to that!

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