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  • 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

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    Old 06-26-2015, 08:47 AM   #1
    TimAlley
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    50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    I am 50 yr old male in typically good health (exercise daily, eat right, etc.). 2 years ago my feet started having a burning sensation. I would pull socks down and not think anything more bout it. About 5 months ago I noticed my ankles had burning sensation as well.

    Over the past two months I have noticed twitches in my left calf that moved on to right leg, eyelid, arms and chest. Also noticed some burning in wrists. Sometimes I feel like my leg is vibrating also. I also have a feeling of crunchiness in my face.

    I then started feeling ants running under my skin occasionally.

    To make a long story short I visited Neurologist where she conducted clinical exam. Extensive blood work all came back negative. She looked at recent images of MRIs of head and cervical (wo contrast) and reports. She said mri of head very clean. My cervical showed severe right C5-C6 neural foraminal stenosis. Was aware of previous neck issue.

    The EMG/NCV (of right arm and both legs) were normal (with exception of neck issues).

    I still have MRI's of cervical w/wo contrast as well as lumbar to go.

    Since my visits my legs and arms have started experiencing cramp like feelings. No weakness though as I go to the gym every night.

    So at this point she has me on 300 mg of Neurontin which eliminates the ants feeling. It has also helped with the ankle burning.

    She has lot of experience with MS and ALS patients so pretty confident in her skill level. Seems like she is quick to exclude ALS because of the clean EMG/NCV. Just want to make sure I am not missing something.

    Thanks in advance,

    James

     
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    Old 06-27-2015, 11:47 PM   #2
    Olifants
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Hi
    Also in the same sort of situation
    Had all this teitching for 2 years now start to experience fast muscle loss with a clean emg not knowing what is going on but also scared!!!
    Hold in there! My friend
    Let me know
    Olifants you can read my post

    Last edited by Olifants; 06-27-2015 at 11:50 PM.

     
    Old 06-28-2015, 04:10 PM   #3
    MSNik
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Hi there. There is a very particular test which is done to dx ALS. Its not one of those diseses, like MS, where its "hit or miss" with the testing....if you have ALS, they can tell.

    Talk to your doctor and see if she has any reason to suspect it.

    WIth MS< there are 400 other diseases which mimic MS. Allot of them have similar symptoms. Its a very tough disease to get a final dx on. The fact that so far your MRIs have been clean- is very hopeful that you dont have it...although after ten years of living with it, I can honestly say its not the end of the world.

    You could have a pinched nerve which would cause you these same symptoms. If your doctor doesnt find you answers after the next round of testing, go seek another neurologist. Ruling everything out is important.

    Best to you.
    MSNik
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    Old 06-30-2015, 01:53 PM   #4
    TimAlley
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    MSNik thank you very much for your reply.

    That is very interesting. I wonder what specific test it would be. I have already had the EMG a few weeks ago, which was normal but not completely clean. I thought that it was the best indicator for this disease.

    My MRI of lumbar has not made it to my Dr. yet. Will get past those results first.

    I am thinking like you, I may seek out another neurologist opinion because these muscle spasms day and night are getting a little annoying.

    Thanks for your advice and I hope you are doing well.

    James

     
    Old 07-01-2015, 12:17 PM   #5
    Olifants
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Thank you for sharing your experience

    I know what you are going through
    Think of you I am in the same situation...

    I am actually in a way convinced it is it

    But the neuro said to me yesterday when I collect the for for metal tests

    Well wait lets see
    The long wait for 3 months and I can see how I change with atrophy
    And my strength

    Think of you will follow your posts
    Thanks
    Olifants in South Africa

     
    Old 07-01-2015, 01:08 PM   #6
    MSNik
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Hi again. I said this wrong. Its not "one specific" test- its the actual results from the EMG as well as imaging tests, along with blood work looking for certain proteins which will point towards ALS. I should have actually said "one particular outcome", its not the test as much as it is the outcome. For instance, with MS, you might get a different outcome everytime you do an MRI- but with ALS, you wont. With MS, you wont get blood work which is definitive, with ALS, along with the neuro exam and motor testing, the blood work can conclusively point the neuro towards ALS.

    Honestly, ALS is rare, and its not a disease which too many people just get. I really dont think you should be jumping to that point right now. There are SO many things which can be wrong- from simple pinched nerves, thru a zillion other chronic illnesses and diseases- ALS isnt the first one Id jump to.

    MS is a very livable disease. Im fine, but thanks for asking! I work 50+ hours a week, have 2 jobs ( I teach college level courses at night) and have a family with 3 kids. I dont let MS rule my world! You too, can learn to live with this, but its alot easier when you know what you are dealing with...keep pushing for answers and if things are that out of wack and youre not getting the answers you need- I urge you to get a second opinion.

    Be well.
    MSNik
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    Old 07-01-2015, 02:53 PM   #7
    TimAlley
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSNik View Post
    Hi again. I said this wrong. Its not "one specific" test- its the actual results from the EMG as well as imaging tests, along with blood work looking for certain proteins which will point towards ALS. I should have actually said "one particular outcome", its not the test as much as it is the outcome. For instance, with MS, you might get a different outcome everytime you do an MRI- but with ALS, you wont. With MS, you wont get blood work which is definitive, with ALS, along with the neuro exam and motor testing, the blood work can conclusively point the neuro towards ALS.

    Honestly, ALS is rare, and its not a disease which too many people just get. I really dont think you should be jumping to that point right now. There are SO many things which can be wrong- from simple pinched nerves, thru a zillion other chronic illnesses and diseases- ALS isnt the first one Id jump to.

    MS is a very livable disease. Im fine, but thanks for asking! I work 50+ hours a week, have 2 jobs ( I teach college level courses at night) and have a family with 3 kids. I dont let MS rule my world! You too, can learn to live with this, but its alot easier when you know what you are dealing with...keep pushing for answers and if things are that out of wack and youre not getting the answers you need- I urge you to get a second opinion.

    Be well.
    MSNik
    Thanks for the information. Funny thing is when i thought MS before i was really scared. After i did more research i realized it is very tough, but can be managed in most cases. Then my stinking neurologist said how everyone that walks in thinks they have ALS or MS. Then it put it in my mind.

    I went home and scared myself out of my mind. She did say a neurologist can work their entire career and never come across a case. She just happens to work in ALS clinic one day a week so very familiar w it.

    She said thinks no way MS, she said would have to have attack right on cortex w symmetry of my symptoms. MRI's will hopefully shed some light.

    Thanks for your reply and hope u are doing well.

    Thanks,

    James

     
    Old 07-01-2015, 05:13 PM   #8
    MSNik
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    James, Ive been here for over ten years. Ive seen thousands of people post that they were sure they had MS. Most didnt. MS presents like 400 other diseases....thats one in 400 chances of having MS.

    Im fine. 100% okay. Even after being dx for 11 years almost. I have a few bad days here and there, but I do what my doctor tells me to do and I deal with it.

    MS can be dx mostly by MRI- although there is criteria- the revised Mcdonald criteria, which doctors have to follow . YOu can read up on that.

    Honestly, I dont love your neurologist. Think about getting a second opinion if these next tests dont shed some light on whats going on.

    MSNik
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    Old 07-01-2015, 05:30 PM   #9
    TimAlley
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSNik View Post
    James, Ive been here for over ten years. Ive seen thousands of people post that they were sure they had MS. Most didnt. MS presents like 400 other diseases....thats one in 400 chances of having MS.

    Im fine. 100% okay. Even after being dx for 11 years almost. I have a few bad days here and there, but I do what my doctor tells me to do and I deal with it.

    MS can be dx mostly by MRI- although there is criteria- the revised Mcdonald criteria, which doctors have to follow . YOu can read up on that.

    Honestly, I dont love your neurologist. Think about getting a second opinion if these next tests dont shed some light on whats going on.

    MSNik
    May have to do that depending on if find out anything on MRIs.

     
    Old 07-03-2015, 12:25 AM   #10
    ChuckStr
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    EMG which is the gold standard test for ALS only shows a specific type of damage to the nerves that, if present, may suggest ALS. There are also several other diseases that show similar patterns of damage including pinched nerves. A clean EMG, however, virtually rules out ALS unless the ALS is upper motor neuron dominant which should show up in the clinical exam or the exam was not conducted correctly for some reason (missing symptomatic areas etc).

    It will be interesting to see how your spinal MRIs turn out. My bet is on pinched nerves which you almost certainly have in your cervical spine.

     
    Old 07-03-2015, 11:49 AM   #11
    TimAlley
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Thanks ChuckStr for the reply.

    I think there may be more than one thing going on and that is what is so strange with the combination of sensory and muscle type symptoms. Maybe the severe right neural foraminal stenosis at C4-C5 is contributing to some of it, but do not see how it addresses cramping issues now.

    Burning feet for several years and then ankles on both sides as well as sensitivity to hot water.
    Then the twitches showed up in left calf and within a few weeks were present all over body.

    Then within another few weeks started having cramps all over. I do not even like to say cramps because not like painful charley horse, but like a really deep soreness in a very small part of muscle or maybe under the muscle, almost like on top of the bone.

    My EMG several weeks ago of both legs and one arm was done after twitching started in left leg. As both neurologists said, it was normal, not necessarily clean.

    Will wait patiently for MRI lumbar and cervical w/wo contrast results this week.

    Thanks for taking the time to read all of this,

    James

     
    Old 07-03-2015, 04:07 PM   #12
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Cramps are very common with pinched nerves as are fasciculations. A cervical radiculopathy would not cause cramps in your legs of course but about 40% of people that have cervical issues have lumbar ones as well. Also if there is any compression on the spinal cord that could cause symptoms pretty much anywhere. It's true your pending MRIs should give you more info.

    I don't understand the distinction between a clean EMG and a normal one. Did you get a report with the EMG? Did it show any acute denervation (PSWs or Fibs) or chronic denervation (Incr Recruitment, Large MUPS, Poly-phasic waves)? If not, then it's normal (and clean). If so, then it's definitely not normal and those findings need to be explained. The thing is, denervation is common in radiculopathy as well as other non-ALS diseases.

    God luck and let us know how you're MRIs go.

     
    Old 07-04-2015, 02:09 PM   #13
    TimAlley
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Will get a copy of my EMG reports. The neurologist that did them does EMG's and nothing else. When he was done he said ok it is normal.

    I met with my examining Neurologist and she said my EMG was normal but I had cervical radiculopathy and a few other minor things. I was focusing on ALS and she said you do NOT have ALS. So I will get a copy of the EMG report this week when I meet with her about MRI's. I will also question her further about the things that you bring up.

    Thank you very much for your time,

    James

     
    Old 07-06-2015, 06:03 PM   #14
    TimAlley
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    Just curious how fast cramping or spasms take place in ALS.

    All of a sudden over past three weeks I have had muscle spasms in my legs, arms back, stomach, everywhere. They are not like charley horse cramps, but just pain in a very small area that comes and goes. I have had not weakness as of yet but just these widespread twitches and now cramps.

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Had a "normal" emg four weeks ago but at that time did not have cramps.


    Thank you very much,

    James

     
    Old 07-06-2015, 06:56 PM   #15
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    Re: 50 year old with widespread twitching and muscle spasms...

    The cramping is variable in onset. Some people don't ever really experience it at all, some people have it at presentation. Primary cramping in ALS is due to upper motor neuron involvement but is pretty specific and causes an increasing spasm as force is applied to a muscle (spasticity). If you look online you'll be able to see some examples. This doesn't sound at all like what you are describing and it's evident in a neurological exam. Secondary cramping in ALS is due to the effects of wastage and significant signal degradation of the muscles. It doesn't really sound like that either.

    Many people suffering from BFS have similar symptoms to yours as do as do those with many other non-ALS diseases. I wouldn't be concerned about ALS at this point.

     
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