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Doctor insights on: Severe Muscle Spasms In Upper Back

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Dr. Laurence Badgley
1,615 Doctors shared insights

Muscle Spasm (Definition)

Muscle spasms are typically painful involuntary muscle contracures which can occur in any part of the body, such as the neck, back and legs. There are various causes of muscle spasms such as recent injury or trauma and dehydration. Typically, patients can modify activity, rest, stretch, utilize heat or ice for treatment of muscle spasms. Rarely, patients can also ...Read more


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Muscle spasms legs, feet and side back come and go, mild but noticeable. Had for 1 month. Is it MS, ALS will I get paralysed?

Muscle spasms legs, feet and side back come and go, mild but noticeable. Had for 1 month. Is it MS, ALS will I get paralysed?

No: Someone has been reading too many medical horror stories. It is mega highly unlikely that spasms in an otherwise healthy 20 year old represent anything but overuse or electrolyte disturbance. The diseases you mention generally do not begin like that. See your family doc for an evaluation and reassurance of the correct diagnosis, so you can get this problem resolved.

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Could I have multiple sclerosis even if my MRI was normal? I have a lot of the symptoms (muscle spasm, weakness, tingling down my back and legs), but my MRI didn’t show anything. Can an MRI miss ms?

Could I have multiple sclerosis even if my MRI was normal? I have a lot of the symptoms (muscle spasm, weakness, tingling down my back and legs), but my MRI didn’t show anything. Can an MRI miss ms?

Typically not: Mri is the most sensitive test available to aid in the diagnosis of ms. While there are rare cases of MRI negative ms, the vast, vast, vast majority of patients with ms have MRI abnormalities. Having said that, given your symptoms it would be important to know if the cervical and thoracic spinal cord were imaged. If brain and spinal cord imaging negative then not likely to be ms.

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Numb/tingling in hands, legs, and feet on both sides. Muscle spasms in legs, back and arms. Loss of balance, dizzy, stiff. Is it Neuropathy or ms?

Numb/tingling in hands, legs, and feet on both sides. Muscle spasms in legs, back and arms. Loss of balance, dizzy, stiff. Is it Neuropathy or ms?

Bad choices: You probably don't need or want to pick A or B. Both require a doctor's DX and TX and it might be another thing altogether. A common cause of neuropathy is a diabetic condition w/ other signs too - are you a diabetic? Get into care if 'yes'! MS usually starts a bit later in age. Have an exam to find an answer. Best!

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I have spondylothesis I don't know what grade. I am having severe muscle spasm on both sides of my lower back and constant pain in upper back. What?

I have spondylothesis I don't know what grade. I am having severe muscle spasm on both sides of my lower back and constant pain in upper back. What?

See someone: There are several types of spondylolisthesis, and two are quite common. Depending on the whold picture (all your symptoms, your story), many will do well with an exercise program to strengthen your core (back and tummy muscles) and increase general fitness. Medication and therapy, sometimes injections, sometimes surgery play a role. See your primary doctor or a spine specialist.

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Hip/ butt muscle spasms on left side like charlie horse. Recent MS dx. Possible symptom? Very painful lasted 2 days already. Suggestions?

Hip/ butt muscle spasms on left side like charlie horse. Recent MS dx. Possible symptom? Very painful lasted 2 days already. Suggestions?

SOME THOTS: Pain is very common in ms, and can present numerous ways, and even migraine is present in ms pts at a frequency of 2-4 times normals. However, your muscle spasms could represent a separate process in hip, back, pelvis. (unlikely, but if you were given steroids, check for avascular necrosis in hip). Lastly, do not want to second guess your doc, but there are oral meds now (no needles).

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I have been diganosed with both trigeminal neralgia and occipital neuralgia. I also have some memory problems and muscle spasms. Could I have ms?

I have been diganosed with both trigeminal neralgia and occipital neuralgia. I also have some memory problems and muscle spasms. Could I have ms?

Consult Neurologist: Trgeminal neuralgia has been reported in patients with ms. You have to ask this question from your neyrologist as he/she is the only one can tell you if you do or not based on your symptoms, examination and MRI exam etc. So consult your neurologist about ms and you.

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Do I have a vitamin B12 deficiency or MS? I'm 19, female with tingling, numbness in head/scalp, feet, legs, and hands. Muscle spasm? Anxiety maybe?

Do I have a vitamin B12 deficiency or MS? I'm 19, female with tingling, numbness in head/scalp, feet, legs, and hands. Muscle spasm? Anxiety maybe?

Most likely anxiety: Most likely anxiety but a good idea to get checked out by the physician and try to rule out some of those other possibilities

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Chest pain, briefly once every few weeks. I think it could be just a muscle spasm. I have spasms in upper back from neck oa. I do have high bp/asthma.

Chest pain, briefly once every few weeks. I think it could be just a muscle spasm. I have spasms in upper back from neck oa. I do have high bp/asthma.

Non cardiac pain: First get your heart checked. Once you have determined there is no heart problem, we can begin to consider other causes for your occasional chest pain. This is referred to as non-cardiac chest pain. Symptoms resemble heart pain (also called angina). 23% of the population experiences noncardiac chest pain. Causes include costochondritis, gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), and muscle spasm.

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I pulled a muscle in my upper back I think and it keeps spasming. Would a massage be good for this or will it exacerbate the problem?

I pulled a muscle in my upper back I think and it keeps spasming. Would a massage be good for this or will it exacerbate the problem?

Ok to try: Gentle massage along with mild anti inflammatory is fine in short term. Can also try alternate heat and icing. If doesn't improve over 5-7 days you get formal exam.

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WHat can I do if my upper back muscle spasms woke me up last night?

WHat can I do if my upper back muscle spasms woke me up last night?

Stretches: You can try stretching, as well as ice/heat, and anti-inflammatory meds, and topical treatments such as aspercreme, capsaicin cream. See a physician if symptoms persist or worsen.

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I have back muscle spasms mostly at night on the left side of my upper back. Why?

I have back muscle spasms mostly at night on the left side of my upper back. Why?

If this is mostly: On one side it is probably related to the position you are sleeping in or activity during the day that is leading to issues when your body starts to relax as part of the sleep process.

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Right and left side of my head hurt along with it radiating to my left part of the upper back is this muscle spasms from the citalopram used to be on?

Right and left side of my head hurt along with it radiating to my left part of the upper back is this muscle spasms from the citalopram used to be on?

See your physician: There are many types of headaches (migraine, tension, cluster) and many reasons for each type. Alternatively, you could have sinus or other issues. It would be helpful for you to keep a log of the frequency, duration, location, and intensity of your headaches, along with associated symptoms, and take it to your physician. Http://www. Nlm. Nih. Gov/medlineplus/headache.html

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Can muscle spasm in upper back/neck cause a temporary spinal curvature? Will the curve straighten out once the spasm stop?

Can muscle spasm in upper back/neck cause a temporary spinal curvature? Will the curve straighten out once the spasm stop?

Yes: Hi Charles That is a great question. Depending on the degree of the musculoskeletal spasm, there certainly can be a curvature that develops. There are many ways to alleviate a spasm. Some alleviators are rest, stretches, heat, anti-inflammatory medication, and muscle relaxant medication.

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My upper back has been having muscle spasms with a lot of pain. I had disc replacement in my neck back in september. Was wondering was is causing this?

My upper back has been having muscle spasms with a lot of pain. I had disc replacement in my neck back in september. Was wondering was is causing this?

Not unusual: For spinal pain to persist after spine surgery. Common for extremity (arm/leg) symptoms to improve after surgery, but improvement in the spine pain and spasms is variable. Must follow up with surgeon to confirm no complications. Pt then continued rehab consisting of stretching, strengthening and low-impact cardiovascular exercise is essential to the process of diminishing pain and muscle spasms.

Muscle (Definition)

It is a body tissue that has the ability to contract. It shortens and generates force. It relaxes and returns to its original length. Muscles move joints, stabilize the body, move air and food through the organs, act as valves for bladder, bowel and other organs. They control movement of the eyes. They help us express ourselves by changing the shape of our ...Read more