Arm spasms — Scope | Disability forum

Arm spasms

milo Member Posts: 130 Pioneering
edited March 2015 in Cerebral palsy
Can anyone offer advice? I get arm spasms at night where my hands close up and my arms are drawn up against my chest. My doctor has increased my dose of gabapentin to the maximum dosage with no success. I've asked my physio for night splints like those I had as a kid but apparently they no longer like to use them, although she offered no real alternative. Problem is that I wake up in pain and my left arm is pretty useless for hours after a spasm. Does anyone have any suggestions other than meds and heat to relax the spasms?


  • Rocky
    Rocky Member Posts: 76 Listener

    Hi Milo,

    Night spasms can be very common if you have a neurological disability such as cerebral palsy.  I wonder if the gabapentin is just not strong enough to meet your needs.  It may be worth talking to your doctor and asking if he feels another type of antispasmodic medication may be of help - maybe something like Baclofen.  Also specifically ask your physio if there is anything she can recommend more for exercises to allow your arm to relax and therefore become functional more quickly.  I can understand why she may feel splints would not be the best solution for you as an adult.

  • milo
    milo Member Posts: 130 Pioneering
    It's interesting you mention baclofen Rocky, my G.P is keen to move me to it as she's had with it on other patients. My neurologist ( who seems to have little interest in CP in adults) doesn't recommend it. Mind you, given that I've tried gabapentin and amiltryptoline etc maybe he'll change his mind when I see him in 6 months.
  • Rocky
    Rocky Member Posts: 76 Listener
    I think it would be worth mentioning it to your doctor.  Baclofen obviously does not suit everyone and it can have side effects but so do most drugs and at least if your doctor says No, he should give you an explanation as to why he feels it may not suit your needs.  Anyhow good luck, I hope you find something to help with the spasms.
  • Farshideh
    Farshideh Member Posts: 6
     Hi Milo
     Do you have spasm any other time? At night  it could be your sleeping posture , if your neck is in funny posture you could spasm, if you sleep on your back tone is increased and this could cause the spasm.
    my advise  is to ask your phyio to check your pillow and sleeping pattern. 
    Birkdale neuro reahb centre