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Neck Cramps

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 539
Joined: Feb 2010

Has anyone had the pleasure of experiencing severe neck cramps after a tongue disection?  I was cut from ear to ear including the muscles in my neck and now I get neck cramps only on my right side. I have learned to divert them but when I can't catch them on time they are the most painful cramps I have ever experienced. Most of the time they come on at the begining of a yawn. If standing, I have to sit because I actually get dizzy from the pain. Last week I had to pull off to the side of the road because I couldn't fight one off. My wife thought I was having a heart attack as she pulled out her check book to make sure she sent in the check for my life insurance. (just kidding) Seems like everytime I go back to the sugeon I forget to ask him. I met up with a guy I seen in my sugeons office 75 miles away from both our homes. We briefly spoke about our personal experiences with throat cancer and about our Doctor and as we parted ways he asked how about them neck cramps so I know others have to suffer through them.

 

Enjoy the day..............I do, every one of them

      Jeff

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8087
Joined: Sep 2009

Have had the neck cramps as you say..., mine tend to be more like an intense charlie horse. It only happens when I'm sitting and happen to move or turn a certain way.

I've pretty much figured out when moving if I'm about to do it, so I avoid that movement, LOL.

Some have had success with bot the cramps I believe and also stretching the muscles there with massage, some with Tai Chi, etc...

If you scan down the SuperThread, you'll see MarineE5 has a link describing massage, others chimed in as well...

You are not alone, we are out there...

Best ~ John

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

I had a left side selective neck dissection on the 7th of Feb. Since then, the muscle running from the base of my skull into my shoulder and the shoulder muscle as well are right on the verge of cramping a lot of the time. I'm hoping it doesn't evolve into a full blown take your breath away cramp you're describing. I'm also hoping the blinding nerve pain subsides as well.... pain killers barely touch that...

"T"

MarineE5
Posts: 754
Joined: Dec 2005

http://csn.cancer.org/node/196680

My Best to You and Everyone Here

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2957
Joined: May 2012

Jeff,

 

I can’t help on the neck cramps I am still waiting for those to kick (the s_ _ _ out of me) in.

 

I was thinking, maybe your wife should get more life insurance (just kidding, you brought it up)

 

I am extremely glad you are enjoying every day and I agree with you whole heartedly.

 

Matt

katenorwood
Posts: 1829
Joined: May 2012

Hello Jeff,

Different dx's but do get the neck spasms.  I'm a bit over a year from surgery, and I too was cut from ear to ear.  My ENT says it's nerve damage because of the depth of the surgery, and the muscles and nerves they had to cut through.  I've tried Gabapentin, doesn't phase them.  But was advised to try Lyrica (pregabalin).  I'm going to ask at my next visit on Wednesday.  They can knock you to your knees.  Keep trying to do the stretches (gently) to work through them.   Katie

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 539
Joined: Feb 2010

 

Thank You Marine for the link. But more importantly assuming by your name you served our great country, I thank you for your service and protecting us all. I did spend 6 months in physical therapy after surgery and radiation and had pretty much all of those in the routine.  I still do the range in motion exercises occasionally when watching TV and will step that up along with some massage around my neck.  Matter of fact I seen a posting on here regarding issues with swallowing and I am wondering if some of these exercises could help those people.

 

 

John, thank you, yes come to think of it they come while sitting usually at night while watching TV.  I may just tell the wife that general consensus on here is they can be caused by doing the dishes and assisting in other household duties. And I will also add, it is a proven fact that soothing television shows such as hockey, football, and baseball help relax ones neck muscles and do not cause stressful binding such as shows on the Opra Winfree network, Lifetime, or QVC. (Think it will work?)

 

 

Fishman, these exercises and massage may be in store for you further down the road. They waited for the incision to heal before they started on me because they really get rough with the massage. She was just a little petite thing but boy could she ever get rough.

 

 

Matt, my wife had the opportunity to kill me legally after the hospital sent me home after the operation with all my drugs. She could have overdosed me and lived happily ever after. All kidding aside, this whole experience has shown me how much she loves me and how much I need her. However she still gets junk mail or at least that’s what she claims, regarding additional life insurance.

 

 

Thank you Katie (also my wife’s name) I will look into Lyrica (pregabalin).  As I stated earlier I will definitely bump up the neck exercises. Truthfully I thought they were only important to gain back my range and motion.

 

 

 

Enjoy the day………………I do……………every one of them.

 

      Jeff

 

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1746
Joined: Nov 2009

My neck spasms, as I call them, started around 2-years after the last rad- that's when they started getting worse. Like John, they do seem to be triggered by movement and head and neck positions. I had no neck dissection- only one surgical biopsy- but got zapped in 20 places/rad session, and the two enlarged nodes were on my left side, which is where the spasms are typical. The little mystery is that there's a spot on the far right side at the base of my neck that is by far the worst of it, though I experience them there far less frequently. Neurologist has me on a med that's in the valium family.

kcass

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8087
Joined: Sep 2009

Well since you are fabricating your own spin on what soothes or induces... Make sure that you add that if she happens to give you a massage while you are watching those non-stressful sporting events, that the ods of having a cramping episode deminishes greatly...LOL

My buddy and fellow Marine as mentioned has the technigue down to perfection on the massage...

Oh, also like Kent, I didn't have a dissection either, so the concensus for me is these are also a result of the many after effects from rads... The gift taht keeps on giving.

Best  John

 

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 539
Joined: Feb 2010

Here all along I was thinking it was the surgery that caused the cramping not the radiation. I only get them on the right side of my neck and the nodes were removed on the left.

John, excelent point, I may even get the Doc to write me a perscription to give to the wife making it all marriagably (my new word) legal.

The radiation may have altered many things but thank God my imagination wasn't zapped.

 

Enjoy the day............I do every........... one of them

      Jeff

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8087
Joined: Sep 2009

Mine are only on the right side, and that's the side of the cancer areas I had... But I did have rads on both sides..., like 70 on the right, 60 on the left...

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