Cramp-fasciculation Syndrome

I have what now? The addition of this diagnosis in 2017 was disheartening. Perhaps it explains things that Hemiplegic migraine cannot, or perhaps it is just another condition plaguing my daily life. Either way, it’s

I have what now?

The addition of this diagnosis in 2017 was disheartening. Perhaps it explains things that Hemiplegic migraine cannot, or perhaps it is just another condition plaguing my daily life. Either way, it’s mine to handle now.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences describes Cramp-fasciculation syndrome as a rare condition of the muscles characterized by persistent muscle cramping and twitching (fasciculations) in otherwise healthy individuals. This can lead to muscle discomfort, pain, or tiredness. Muscles in the leg are most commonly affected, although this condition may involve several parts of the body. Symptoms are thought to be due to over-activity of the associated nerves. 1

Over the past summer I was able to start walking on a regular basis. I haven’t done much in the way of physical activity over the last several years. If I did it would be days or weeks to recover. Now, I am able to get past the wall of nausea and stretch through the cramp. This has taken some work, but it has been well worth it. I get regular massages, or do everything I can to try to. It’s not a “fru fru” massage either. She gets down in there where the attachments are, and I leave there feeling like I’ve been badly beaten in a brawl. The results are worth all of the pain endured. Well, the day after the massage is usually the worst with extra pain and cramping, however, after that I typically move with much more ease. The areas where I have the most cramping are my forearm, glutes, calves, and along my spine. They can happen anywhere at anytime, or multiple areas at the same time. It’s a treat! The massage really does relieve the intensity of the cramping, even if it’s just for a little while.

The way that this affects my life is obvious. It is always here. Unfortunately, there isn’t much known about the condition and the test to diagnose is no fun at all. An Electromyography (EMG) or repetitive nerve stimulation study may be done to assess the health of muscles and the nerves that control them. In repetitive nerve stimulation studies, muscle responses are recorded when the nerves are repetitively stimulated by small pulses of electricity. 2  I’ve heard that this can be a painful test, but it wasn’t for me. It was uncomfortable, but I wasn’t in any additional pain. I have been searching for other methods of treatment besides the meds, but I haven’t tried anything new lately. Acupuncture is one that I would like to try, but I am terrified of what might happen, or the pain I might feel. It’s needles…in your arms, legs, back…everywhere! Yikes! The fear is keeping me from just making the appointment and doing it. It’s on my list of things I need to do this year without fear! That is the key to what I would like to accomplish. After all, I am writing a blog post which is totally frightening, but here we are? Me, a writer? No, but I am interested in knowing if others are having these same issues and what they do to relieve the pain.

1 The National Center for Advancing Translational Science

2 The National Center for Advancing Translational Science

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