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Thread: Tremors

  1. #1


    My dad is having bad tremors and they say they do not know what is causing them. Is this like spasms I read about here?
    Dad had an epidural abcess and was diagnosed C3 - C4 incomplete.
    He has been in the hospital since January 31st. He has some arm movement, it seems to be slowly getting better and better as he works them on his own in the hospital. BUT now he is complaining really bad about TREMORS all over his body. He feels tight on the chest when he gets them and he cannot feel below the waist but he sees his legs jumping. Can anyone give me some advice, etc....?
    He is on all types of anti-biotics because he has a very large bedsore that is infected and plus the fact that they are giving him all sorts of anti-biotics to keep away the infection he had on the spinal cord from the abcess.

  2. #2
    Tremors are different than spasms or spasticity.

    Tremors are due to dyscoordination, often from brain injuries, stroke or Parkinsons. They involve a rhythmic bacn and forth motion of the head or hands/arms. There may or may not be increased tone. Tremor is generally described as resting (worst when the person is not trying to use the limb) or intentional (worst when the person trys to do an activity). They are not associated with SCI, so if you see true tremors in someone with SCI there must be another disease process also going on.

    Spasticity is increase muscle tone from disinhibiton of stretch reflexes. This is made worse by quickly moving a muscle or joint, and reduced with stretching. Spasticity makes it difficult to move the limb or joint as both sets of muscle (extensors and flexors) are contracting. This is common in lesions of either the brain or spinal cord.

    Spasms are involuntary non-purposeful movements often associated with spasticity.

    A good neurologist should evaluate this to determine if it is truely a tremor or spasticity.


  3. #3

    Tremors?? Spasticity??

    I believe what my father is having is just spasms but he is calling them tremors. His legs and arms jump. He still has no feeling below his waistline. Today I squeezed his calfs a little and each time I did it his legs jumped. And his arms jump too. He has gotten more feeling and movement back so far from the shoulders and arms down to his waistline. He seems to be having involuntary non-purposeful movements. I do believe they are spasms. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? He keeps getting more and more feeling and movement in the upper body and the other day for a few momentsd he said he could feel the bottom of his feet. But nothing below the waist since then except for his legs jumping.

  4. #4
    At this point spasticity and spasms are good because they help to maintain muscle size and they help to prevent pooling of blood, reducing his risks for too low blood pressure and DVT. They are not a predictor of neurologic return though.

    If they start to interfere with hygiene, safety or function, esp. if they interfere with the use of returning muscles, then they may be treated with medication, but never to go away, only to tone down. Is he getting good daily range of motion (ROM) and stretching? This will help (as will standing once he gets to rehab). Learn to do the ROM exercises so you can help him with some additional stretching between therapy times.


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