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Spine and Back Health

Muscle Weakness,Pain,Cramps, & Hyperreflexes

10/09/2008

Question:

For a number of years, I have been suffering from muscle weakness and fatigue in the arch of my feet, calves, thighs, and lower back from little effort, followed by muscle tightening and pain from mild/prolonged exertion, followed by cramps and twitching while resting after exertion. I am currently to the point where I cannot walk or stand, write or type, or use a knife and fork for more than half an hour, or lift more than 10 lbs without considerable pain, followed by cramping.

Tests have revealed left side weakness, and general hyperreflex. I also have moderate chlorestorol level (202), esophageal spasms and dysphagia, mild ischemia, and mild hematuria. Recently started leftside temporal headaches, blurred vision and eye twitching, possibly caused by jaw muscles contracting and twitching at night (temporal arteritis was ruled out). The esophageal spasms and muscle cramps keep me from sleeping more than 4 hours at a time.

I`m a male, over 50. Meds I`ve been given concurrently over time: Crestor, AltoCor/AltoPrev, pravastatin; Verapamil, Vioxx, Tramadol, Mestinon; and a host of antibiotics for upper respiratory problems stemming from inhaled food particles. Any help/advice/referrals to type of specialist I should see would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about health but cannot diagnose or recommend treatment. You appear to have some very, very specific questions about your condition, which can only be answered properly by a physician who is familiar with your history, physical exam, and test results. Your questions about the testing results you've been given or the risks, benefits, and alternatives for proposed treatments of this condition need to be directed to your treating physician(s). You should insist that they answer these questions in a way that you are able to understand before consenting to any treatment. If your physician is unable to help you understand these issues, you should get a second opinion.

Regarding the type of specialist you would consult, I suggest that you see a neurologist.

Take care.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University