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Thread: Neck/Shoulder Spasms

  1. #1

    Neck/Shoulder Spasms

    Has anyone else encountered significant muscle spasms in their shoulder/neck?
    When I get spasms in my lower body, I do not feel it at C4-C5, however my neck causing me excruciating pain.

    I have developed very significant muscle spasms between my left shoulder and neck since my injury, only on my left side. These did not happen at first. They developed significantly over time. They cause me excruciating pain that is nearly unbearable.

    At first I thought the strap all around my trach tube was far too tight while I was still in acute care at the rehabilitation Hospital. I desperately kept asking them to loosen the strap. Now, looking back I am quite certain that I know what that was, spasming. A few months after my injury I felt like I was having horrific nerve pain in my shoulder, however one of my PCAs who is a physical therapist and another who is a licensed massage therapist helped me realize that this was really actually muscle spasms. I started to directly combat this with baclofen instead of gabapentin and realized that this was in fact exactly what the cause was. Looking back, I also and a situation where my jaw muscles were clamped down very hard and I could only open my mouth maybe 30% of normal. I have attributed this two my broken jaw surgery from one year before my injury that I assumed must've gotten exacerbated bodily injury. I also thought that perhaps this was because I had been gritting my teeth in severe pain while in a terrible state hospital with low-quality care for months. However once I started increasing my baclofen, this went away as well.

    While increasing my baclofen dosage has helped significantly, I find that when the baclofen wears off, the muscle spasms in my trap, neck and shoulder come back with a vengeance, and cause me excruciating nearly unbearable pain.

    So far I have not heard anyone talk about muscle spasms above their level of injury in their neck area like this.

    I am wondering if anyone has any experience and/or advice for how to deal with this sort of issue? I feel like I need to find a remedy for this situation outside of baclofen, so that I do not just keep raising the dosage to infinity.
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    Injured on July 8th 2017 at 28 years old.
    Fractured C4 - C7, Incomplete.

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  2. #2
    I am a C5/6 quad and I have a similar problem, but I feel it primarily in the neck. I keep it under control with stretching and FES arm/shoulder exercise (I have the RT 300 arm ergometer). For immediate relief I use a electric massager.

  3. #3
    Forgot to mention, poor posture can play a big role in causing neck and shoulders spasms. I am sure it is the root of my problem.

  4. #4
    Did you have neck surgery after your injury? It is possible that one or two of nerves in that area are getting pinched? Also, what do your discs look like? They could be adding to the irritation. You may want to see an orthopedic surgeon to be evaluated.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  5. #5
    I am a para but I get neck and shoulder spasms sometimes at night. I take a baclofen and a vicodin and turn on my heating pad. The heat helps calm it. Just sucks when it is a warm night to be turning on the pad. Then I see my massage therapist and my chiropractor. It is a nerve being pinched. I know some chiropractor won't touch us. I had seen mine prior for neck problems. Bad stenosis in my neck.

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