muscle atrophy

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muscle atrophy

Postby Guest on January 1st, 2003, 5:24 am

Hi
I was wondering what muscle atrophy looks like.
i'm a 22 yr old male. I was diagnosed by a neuro at a major university with bcfs. I had a clean emg at 4 months. I have a lot of pain in the areas that I twitch. For instance...if my thigh twitches a lot it feels wierd for a while and somewhat painful for a bit...is this normal? Also I notices a little ridge above my knees that runs about 5 inches up my front thighs. It's the same on both sides. does als progress equally on both sides?
thanks for your help!
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Postby Brian_B on January 1st, 2003, 12:54 pm

as far as I know, no ALS would not progress equally on both sides, I think that it would start in one leg or arm and after progressing through it move to another arm or leg.
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Postby twitcher(nli) on January 1st, 2003, 3:03 pm

I've been twitching for ~13 months, and I too have the ridges that you are describing. (at least they sound the same) Needless to say, I have had the same worry as you. Maybe the ridges (tendons?) have been there the whole time, but we just never noticed them. I swear my knees look more bony, but my girlfriend says they look the same to her. Did you recently stop exercising?
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Postby Guest on January 1st, 2003, 5:59 pm

hi
I've been twitching for 6 months. I've had a clean emg as well. I find myself scrutinizing my muscles. Everyday I find myself doing a half squat to check out my leg muscles. I know that my neuro says that its benign but with all the soreness it's sometimes hard to believe. Sometimes I get very afraid of atrophy or weakness. The problem is, before this all started I never looked at my muscles, so I don't know what normal is. Is it normal to have a groove (like a small indentation when I do a half squat) on the front of your leg above the knee, between the inner and outer thigh muscles? I've even gone so far as to look though old pictures of myself swimming, but none of them show enough of my legs.
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Postby twitcher(nli) on January 1st, 2003, 8:05 pm

Oh man guest, I can relate! I have a groove above my knee as well, so I have a feeling it is normal. I've done the picture thing as well. Too funny. Think of how silly this all is. I'm a 31 year old man, but I walk on my toes and do squats all the time just to test my strength. Take it easy and try to do something fun when you find yourself checking your body. Worrying about ALS is pointless. You either have or not, knowing you do doesn't change a thing. Live each day as if it were the last. (easier said then done, I know)
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Postby guestjavens on January 1st, 2003, 9:36 pm

Thanks twitcher!
It relieves my anxiety just to hear that others are going through the same scares, worries and silliness :) . You're totally right. either you have something bad or you don't. I figure...if it were something bad I wouldnt want to spend my healthier days worying about whats ahead.
I actually went skiing in colorado a couple of weeks ago. My ability to do that aleviated some of my worry. I actually had more endurance than my totally healthy wife. We also took a three hour snow hike.
I look forward to the day that this will all be behind me and Ihope the same for you. In the meantime...keep on livin!
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Postby twitch(nli) on January 1st, 2003, 10:55 pm

You're welcome.
Exactly, worrying just wastes the time we have left. Be it 1 day or 50 years. I have a hard time not worrying, but I do try.
If you went skiing and hiking, you're in good shape. Something tells me the weakness associated with "it" is a lot more profound. 8~)
I thought I had this behind me, but it came back a month ago. Odd, I started worrying again at my 13 month "anniversary." I guess I shouldn't have read the 6.7% posts. (I know, no one had an emg in the study. I have had 2 clean)
Have a good one.
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Postby Arron on January 2nd, 2003, 11:05 pm

Atrophy is "wasting", which is a definate loss of muscle mass. Now, with that, EVERYBODY has unequal muscle sizes from their left to their right sides. That is NORMAL and has nothing to do with atrophy or having any kind of NMD.

I have one calf that is almost 2 inches larger than the other, and it's been there since I was a kid... ALL people have variances in their structure, including the face. NO ONE is symetrical, NO ONE, and if you stare into a mirror long enough and have anxiety on top of that, (which you surely do or you wouldn;t be in front of the mirror staring at yourself for so long), then you WILL find odd shaped and different sized muscles and you will convince yourself that something is wrong. Trust me on this one... DON'T DO THAT!!!

As for the pain where you twitch. Think about it... your muscle is WORKING. You may not be commanding it to do anything, but none the less, it is twitching, which means it is contracting, just like it would if you were using it. Well, if it has twitched for several hours or days on end, that is like flexing that muscle for hours or days on end and you would expect that muscle to be tired, after all, it HAS been working itself continuously, right?

It's just like those lame electronic exercise machines you see advertised on TV that stimulate your muscles into a workout. Looks like a major twitch to me! Well, if that gives you a "workout", what do you think your muscles are doing all by themselves... it's pretty simple when you sit back and look at the whole ball of wax... there's no brain surgery here or any big mysteries. The only mystery still unanswered is WHAT triggeres the twitching to start in the first place. So far, everything else has a pretty simple, logical and straight forward answer to it. TThe only one without a logical answer is the "why does it start" question...
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Postby guest javens on January 3rd, 2003, 3:32 pm

why do some people with BFS have no pain and yet others(like me) do?
It makes sense that if a muscle works out it will hurt ...but why only in some people? also, what happens to a muscle when it atrophies?
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Postby Arron on January 4th, 2003, 1:42 pm

Some people get cramping along with their BFS and there is a separate condition that goes along with the pain and cramps called BCFS, which is merely, Benign Cramping Fasciculation Syndrome. Just like some people get headaches and other's don;t, some people feel pain with their twitches and other's don;t. It could also be becaue of a certain enzyme being released in some people and not in other's that could cause added pain, or differences in individual muscle tone and so on.

Why do muscles atrophy? Because they are dying. Dead muscles or muscles that aren't being used any more, shrink. Ever break and arm or a leg and have a cast on for 6 weeks? Well, it's pretty hard to use the muscles under the cast while it's oon and when you go back to the doctor and have it removed, there is almost always a markes shriinkage in that limb simpoly because it wasn't being used and exercised.

Atrophy due to ALS or other NMD's happen because the muscle can no longer be commanded to move by the brain, so it too shrinks and shrivvles-up. Hope that helped a bit...
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Postby DogBone on January 6th, 2003, 2:58 pm

I also have the pain in my feet, legs, arms, and hands. It is sometimes a dulating (phasing in and out) and sometime it comes on quickly and goes away. Some days it is much worse than others. The pain is strange and I called it cramping when I was with the head of the ALS clinic here covering several states in the West. He said, "Cramping must produce and shortened hard muscle" If not, then it is not cramping. To me it sounds like you are not cramping. Now this may not help you with the pain as it does not mine, but it does relieve my mind a bit because with ALS they are looking for cramping. Even though, that too is usually benign. So do you really have cramping?

As for the atrophy - I had a huge hole in my forearm. So bad that when I would show friends they would say "ooohhh gross." And it turns out that two neurologists have told me it is not atrophy, but only wierdness. Our bodies are NEVER the same on both sides. This does not mean atrophy, even though our paranoia tells us that it is.
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