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Clenched muscles


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#1 Liz

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:43 PM

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in August 2010; the main symptom, a tremor in my right hand, began in January 2010. I'm not on any Parkinson's-specific meds yet, though I am on Lexapro 20 mg. for anxiety, 400 mg CoQ10 per day, and DynaCirc CR 10 mg.

One of the annoying symptoms is my arm and leg muscles, and sometimes my back, feel clenched, as if I were deliberately tightening them. This gets painful and tiring, makes it hard to drive as I'm clenching the wheel, sitting can be uncomfortable, etc. It's also hard to fall asleep as I have to wait until I can get my muscles to stay relaxed--I can relax the muscles deliberately, but they don't stay that way long.

Is this a common Parkinson's symptom? Doesn't seem like what I've seen described as muscle rigidity.

Thanks!

#2 Dr. Okun

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 02:33 PM

This is likely a symptom of PD called dystonia---and is common.

We recommend starting a dopamine agonist or levodopa and monitoring for side effects (impulse control, gambling, shopping, etc.).

Michael S. Okun, M.D.

Author of Amazon Kindle, Paperback and Audio of 10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson's Disease
Author of the Amazon Bestseller Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
National Medical Director | NPF
UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration
Read More about Dr. Okun at: http://movementdisor...hael-s-okun-md/
or Visit Parkinson's Disease treatment and research blogs at:
NPF's What's Hot in Parkinson's disease
or his parkinsonsecrets.com blog for treatment tips


#3 Al needs fixin

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 05:26 PM

This is also one of my main problems. My legs and arms will hurt as soon as I take the pill if I had just been lifting something. it can get very painful and I can get a huge headache. I lose control as they freeze up and I just sit here and wait. I do this every three hours




This is likely a symptom of PD called dystonia---and is common.

We recommend starting a dopamine agonist or levodopa and monitoring for side effects (impulse control, gambling, shopping, etc.).



#4 Dr. Okun

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 06:49 PM

Sometimes, folks actually wait too long to take the next dose and that is what causes the freezing. One suggestion is to consider 2 hour dosing under your doctor's guidance.

Michael S. Okun, M.D.

Author of Amazon Kindle, Paperback and Audio of 10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson's Disease
Author of the Amazon Bestseller Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
National Medical Director | NPF
UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration
Read More about Dr. Okun at: http://movementdisor...hael-s-okun-md/
or Visit Parkinson's Disease treatment and research blogs at:
NPF's What's Hot in Parkinson's disease
or his parkinsonsecrets.com blog for treatment tips


#5 mark11p

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 04:27 PM

One of the annoying symptoms is my arm and leg muscles, and sometimes my back, feel clenched, as if I were deliberately tightening them. This gets painful and tiring, makes it hard to drive as I'm clenching the wheel, sitting can be uncomfortable, etc. It's also hard to fall asleep as I have to wait until I can get my muscles to stay relaxed--I can relax the muscles deliberately, but they don't stay that way long.

 

Hello, I'm only 27, in reasonably good health - to my knowledge, but this is something specific I have been looking for someone else to have mentioned anywhere.  The other night I dropped (or nearly dropped as I caught them after initially dropping them) 7 items over the course of maybe half an hour while helping my girlfriend prepare dinner, and organizing a few things.  Nothing was particularly heavy (paper towel roll even ended up on the ground), and nothing slipped (not everything was slippy necessarily to hold).  They just went from being in my hand to out - and it happened both with items held by 1 hand, or 2.

 

I was led to spinal stenosis as my neck has been bothering me as well -  and eventually obviously led here.  Now I am typing this all out knowing there are other causes for just about anything that can be seen as a pre-cursor.  I am one of those ones that do not do a good job in regular checkups - most likely a social anxiety thing more than anything.  Regarding my neck - I have always hunched over, but catch myself doing it more drastically that I am used to.

 

Starting with the main 4 symptoms I've been seeing anywhere I go:

Tremors -

I've noticed these for a few years now (can't remember which hand it started in probably 5/6 years ago, nor when it became other places than the first hand).  The easiest place to notice it at first would be when I would be sitting normally, just watching let's say TV, relaxed, hands flat on each side on my leg and all of a sudden my pinky would just start hopping off the surface of my leg and come back down over and over again.  It can now happen in any of my fingers, and in general, my hands are no longer steady.

 

I also feel tremors on occation through my calf, quad, or right under my jaw.  The one under the jaw in particular started getting my attention.  It got my attention because it's the same area that I would also sometimes get this tightness feel under my jaw on the one side.  It would feel as if something on the inside was tugging it in a downwards motion, and in general just felt like it tightened up my face.  This still happens on occation - at rest as well.

 

Rigidity - I have read this on multiple sources, but sometimes understanding a symptom to what it actually is is very difficult.  The quoted text above - if that is the lines it is going down, then I am correct, otherwise please break it down as much as possible.  When I drive, particularly in traffic (stress I know can bring out everything more), I catch myself almost all the time now clenching the wheel, my left tightens, and its like I'm trying to push the dead pedal through the car until I catch myself.  Also, my back starts arching - I think this is much newer than the other 2 aspects of driving.  I tighten my back and push it from the bottom.  So it's like my butt stays where it is supposed to, as well as shoulders, but they start hunching forward.  With all that being said, I have more trust in my driving than most people do, I just don't trust other drivers.  I also clench my jaw closed - awake without noticing and I wake up in the moring with it closed tight.

 

Also, just holding my girlfriends hand, I will catch myself clenching and there is this little uncomfortableness that always goes along with relaxing any part of your body.  Whether in this instance my hand, such a small muscle, or actively needing to relax my glute, it feels the same underneath - relaxing.

 

Balance/co-ordination - dropping things is what got me on here - this isn't brand new, but it had never happened like that.  I also have a harder time typing now than I used to.  I grew up at the right time for computers - typing skills being developed from around age 6 - it feels like a hit the keyboard now.  I make more errors, needing to backspace, hit more keys at the same time rather than only striking 1 key.  Also, my hand writing - which has always been terrible, is just straight out terrible now in a rush, or under any kind of stress (ie. taking notes while on the phone with someone for an interview process).  I can still write okay, I just need to take such extra care in each letter.  On that line of writing - when I'm writing or typing, and have something to say, I'll frequently now go 2 words and forget where I was going with them, need to re-read what I was doing, and do it again.  Normally only adding another 2 or 3 letters, and needing to go back and read it all over again.  That is something that is more frustrating than most.  This final thing I'm throwing out here really may be something that happens to everyone.  I know when we close our eyes, balance is hindered.  Specifically when I am in the shower.  If I close my eyes and try moving, it's difficult as expected.  If I just stay in one place though, keep them closed for a handful of seconds, the time as I am opening my eyes in that split second, I feel a loss of balance that is re-gained as my eyes fully open.  So very, very brief loss of balance, and this is just curiosity.

 

Movement difficulties - I have done reading on this, and basically what happens with me, is for example, I am laying on my side on the couch.  If I want to sit up, it's like an extra effort needs to be put forth.  I just don't get up when I say get up.  It feels like I budge a bit on the inside, but really I didn't move, and then I am able to use my muscles to get up.  Something similar happens laying in bed if I want to lift my leg up in the air, it just doesn't happen so immediately.

 

Other physical - I can feel restless - my left leg in particularl while driving just feels more comfortable if I bend it and just let it swing side to side.  My backs of my shoulders tighten a lot, and after I'm left with a dull soreness behind.  My toes I will all of a sudden have gone numb and/or the bottome of my heel.  Most recenly, it was the 3 middle toes of both feet went totally numb before I noticed.  Heels were okay this time.  I used to also have burning sensations in my feet, but that doesn't seem to happen anymore.

 

I also have depression and anxiety - they have been hightened recently.  I have persistent, terrible thoughts, especially the longer I am alone, and especially going to bed alone.  My mind just keeps racing, going over things over and over.  Things that can actually happen - but then it just strays into things that could, and things that really won't happen.  A lot of worst case scenario thinking - almost like I am trying to make things as awful as possible.  I think of the worst, most awful things to happen to family, friends.  The closer they are, the worse I seem to make it.  I obsess over things I just have no control over, and I have no control over what I obsess about.  I could literally care less about something, and it will keep me up 2, 3, even 4 hours.  This means I am up most of the night.  When I do sleep - I generally have a hard time staying asleep.  When I dream, they are generally rather vivid.  I have moved my arms in my sleep.  I've knocked multiple glasses over that I have kept on my bed side table, and even hurt my hand the one time waking me up coming down so hard on the table.  I couldn't tell you about my legs.  My partner has trouble sleeping as well and exhibits so many symptoms as I've already described as well.  Her problem is when she finally falls asleep, she generally wakes up at 3/4am and generally falls back asleep right before it's time to wake up at 7.

 

Bathroom trips - I have gone through spells of needing to make frequent trips to the bathroom at night.  This, like anything else can be pointed somewhere else - drinking too many fluids - but not always the case.  It's been a few years since it started, and isn't really a problem anymore.  My thinking at the time though, is I'm barely 25, why do I need to go as often as my dad is making trips in the middle of the night.  I was a bed wetter until age 11 - was on some kind of medication until it seized to be a problem.  Now, I generally sleep all night without needing to go, but when I do, I need to wait a while for my body to relax enough to start urinating.  I'll sit on the toilet for upwards of a minute or 2 for my muscle to relax enough to let it out.  If I am stressed/worried about something during the day, it can take just as long, or longer...3/4 minutes sometimes if I'm feeling stressed.  I also noticed along the way that I don't necessarily urinate everything while on the toilet, and up to a minute after leaving the bathroom I would feel some more come out.  No more than a teaspoon I would say.  This would make sense if my muscles are tightening up, inlcuding in that region, if they just aren't relaxing 100% like they need to dispel everything.  If I sit on the toilet, and place a hand on my lower back, the warmth helps relax everything, and it finishes streaming out like it normally should.  This is something that combined with everything else has jumped out at me.

 

Irritable bowel syndrome for about 2 years bothered me I would say every couple weeks.  I haven't felt this discomfort since feeling it at work about 9/10 months ago.  It should be noted it was the only time I had to "put up with it" for the lack of better IBS treatments while at work (a 9-5 job).  Every other time IBS generally affected me in the evening.  This is something I found really nothing on in terms of linkages to PD.  I did find one, but that's it.  The reason I mention this one is because it has stopped, and other things have seemingly started.  Nothing has changed diet wise.  I still eat relatively healthy - and still sometimes eat things I really shouldn't.  As regions are so unclear for where PD starts, moves, and how it affects things along the way, could it affect that process?  If the right muscles are not working as they should be, perhaps that drives the pain in IBS since the pain is generally associated with a stool not making it's way properly though the system.  IBS is something I never dealt with prior to about a couple year period, and my diet over the years was not the greatest growing up.

 

I'll end this novel with something very to the point - I have never as far as I can remember had a great sense of smell.  I can still smell things - they just need to really hit the spot it seems.  I know personally, have never been great at IDing a smell as well.  I understand this is believed to as well be a risk factor, however is it expected that you lose a sense of smell.  I guess what I am getting at is, is never having a great sense of smell the same as a concern for someone with a diminished sense of smell.  I have always also had it pointed out to my mom how stiff I walk - so again - can't assess it diminishing as I have never swung my arms while walking.  Final word of wisdom from my mom "you sleep like a dead person".  When I finally sleep, specifically when I was younger, my body would just stay in one place for 10-12 hours, and I would wake up feeling sore on the side I was sleeping on, and sometimes my whole back just had an ache-ness to it.  This still happens, I just can't sleep as long with having actual responsibilities now, but it can be just as bad as it used to in half the time.

 

Stress, anxiety, getting older, depression can generally be put on most of these symptoms individually.  Just as I am ready to post - I just caught myself with my pelvis pushed up from my seat and I was clenching my glute muscles.  I was sitting on my desk chair by having my lower thighs and upper back resting on my chair, and nothing inbetween.  I am not at a point of being terribly worried - just more, since I know I'm in some technical term crazy (the wonderful racing thoughts), looking to confirm I should definitely keep an eye out for a pile of things over the next few years.  My body has done enough to get my attention, and I have read enough over the past few days to have me more aware when things happen again.  There were symptoms that I didn't necessarily associate with PD as I was reading it, and I would just come across one and say to myself, hey, there is that one too.  Hypersexuality was one that hit too many markers on the head.  Recently, this truly has changed.  My fantasies have even changed drastically in the past couple months, right down the the humilistic fantasies of both myself and partner that are seen in rare PD patients.  I have strong urges to even act them out.  A couple of them are brand new, and there are a couple that I had fantasized about, but all of a sudden they came on much stronger with the urge to act on them.



#6 Dr. Okun

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 10:41 AM

Thanks for the question.  These symptoms may or may not be Parkinson's disease related and the best course of action if you are worried is to see a neurologist with specialty training in PD.  We also have a 18004PDINFO hotline.


Michael S. Okun, M.D.

Author of Amazon Kindle, Paperback and Audio of 10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson's Disease
Author of the Amazon Bestseller Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
National Medical Director | NPF
UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration
Read More about Dr. Okun at: http://movementdisor...hael-s-okun-md/
or Visit Parkinson's Disease treatment and research blogs at:
NPF's What's Hot in Parkinson's disease
or his parkinsonsecrets.com blog for treatment tips





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