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  • Info with Shoulder Spasms after ACDF

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    Old 04-19-2007, 10:07 AM   #1
    987mom
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    Info with Shoulder Spasms after ACDF

    Dear Friends,

    I am 7 days out of my revision ACDF C5-C6 and I feeling really great so far. I have one question....besides the hard brace feeling very uncomfortable at night time and trying to position the hip for less discomfort....what is the best way to help with the shoulder knots? I never really had these before my surgery as all of my pain was in the upper left side of my back (sub-scapular). Thankfully that is gone....YEAH.

    I am on Soma 3 x daily and Valium 5mg q 4-6 hours PRN. I find myself with my shoulders up to my ears constantly. Is it the brace? My last ACDF was two years ago and my brain is foggy about this? I am planning to return to work next week. I am a Nurse Administrator so I will be able to avoid patient care until my body is ready. I will work just a couple of hours a day at a desk and go home when I feel I need to. I have read a couple of threads that say this can happen for several weeks. Has any one found any thing herbal or "natural" that helps. I just feel an ethical dilemma taking muscle relaxers on the job. My Medical Director has no objections, but I am old school and feel uneasy being on meds on the clock.

    Any advice or neat tricks would be appreciated.

    Heres to great health and joyous hearts!
    DB

     
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    Old 04-19-2007, 10:18 AM   #2
    SKZ
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    Re: Info with Shoulder Spasms after ACDF

    Hi there,
    I know alot about muscle spasms in the upper body because I had them constantly for 5 yrs. before my C5 thry C7 ACDF in Jan. I had them bad after my surgery, still. At 6 weeks, I went to PT, which is helping them alot. I am now down to going to PT once a week, rather then the 2 I was doing. I am now 14 weeks post op. I used heat alot for my spasms. Check with your Dr. to see if heat it ok on the upper back (not the neck). Have you ever heard of a Thera-cane? That is the cane that all the PTs have with the knobs on it for spasms and knots. Man, I love that thing. If you dont know about it, search online and check it out. Its a big help!!!! Other people I have read on this forum, like it alot, too. Do the muscle relaxers help you? Because of course you could always try a different one and see if its better for you. That's about I can suggest at the moment.
    Hope you feel better.

     
    Old 04-19-2007, 03:29 PM   #3
    PNo
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    Re: Info with Shoulder Spasms after ACDF

    Here here on the heat.

    You said something about your shoulders being up to your ears that made me want to ask you if you are sure the collar is the proper fit. The spasms are bad enough without having an external irritant. What kind of collar is it? Sometimes swelling in the neck can also make it fit odd for the first couple weeks.

     
    Old 04-21-2007, 02:37 PM   #4
    987mom
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    Re: Info with Shoulder Spasms after ACDF

    Hello,

    It is a Miami J collar that I was fit for a week before surgery. When I mentally relax, my shoulders do go down, it is just seemingly spasms that are so strong they raise them up.

    When I take it off and use the water proof collar for showering, it is the same thing, so who knows? I am sure it is all normal. Just looking to see if this is kind of normal or something I should ask my NS about on Monday. I have been a good patient and have not called since my surgery, so hopefully they will not think me a pest.

    Thanks for all of the help...you guys are so great with support. I can't imagine not having a group like you around to throw out questions and concerns, especially when they happen at 2 am.

    Happy Day,
    DB

     
    Old 04-21-2007, 07:53 PM   #5
    julyg
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    Re: Info with Shoulder Spasms after ACDF

    I used and still use a graduated wedge pillow with a very small pillow
    (just like an airline pillow size but 1/2 of the fill). Prior to surgery I was a side sleeper and cannot sleep that way post surgery (mid oct 06).

    I wore an aspen hard collar for several weeks. Spasms from hell before and after surgery.

    In addition to sleeping differently, phone books made a Huge difference in my life. You see looking down would create spasms, so i tried to keep head level! I stacked yellow pages everywhere, 2 under computer monitors for work and home. I used them on counter tops under cutting boards when doing meal prep, reading my daily newspaper atop 2 phone books! Reading in bed book ssits on a pillow.

    Once you heal some and Dr OKs it Jacuzzi is heaven! Ice and heat in meantime.

    Yeah Yellow pages!

     
    Old 04-22-2007, 08:58 AM   #6
    SKZ
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    Re: Info with Shoulder Spasms after ACDF

    Here is another thing that has really helped my neck alot (since you mentioned the phone books). About a year ago, reading newspapers started getting intolerable. I couldnt handle the looking down on the table. I went to one of those big office stores, and bought a book holder. I then bought a large piece of stiff tagboard and then put it on the book holder, to put the newspaper on. The bookholder is only big enough for a book, not the newspaper. So the real heavy duty tagboard works well. Here in Denver, we have 2 newspapers. One is like a tabloid style (smaller then the normal newspaper) and the other one is like a normal paper. This works the best with the tabloid style, but I fold the regular size paper in half and it works great. I couldnt live without it. I use it everyday.

     
    Old 04-23-2007, 08:11 PM   #7
    julyg
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    Re: Info with Shoulder Spasms after ACDF

    Great Idea Sue! I also found a large wicker tray with handles so when you turn it upside down on a table it makes a great slant board for reading.

    july

     
    Old 04-24-2007, 08:19 AM   #8
    SKZ
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    Re: Info with Shoulder Spasms after ACDF

    Oh by the way, if anyone buys that bookholder.....DO NOT buy the wire one you get at bookstores. I am talking about one that is plastic and not flimsy.

     
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