Actually, I WAS thinking about a post viral syndrome, lyme disease, or fibromyalgia. Have you had any testing done for any of these?
What other medical problems do you have?
What medications do you take?
Have you had any imaging studies to make sure that your spine doesn't have any areas of stenosis?
No testing, but Lyme disease is unlikely - I haven't been in any areas with ticks. Other medical problems: history of back and neck pain that had been improving over a period of 2 years until this problem started 10 weeks ago (but the symptoms were not cramps). Otherwise I am fit and healthy. No medications.
I had an MRI of my neck 2 years ago, revealing one small disk bulge, apparently not compressing the spinal cord. Otherwise no imaging.
Lyme disease might be a good thing to test for even in the absence of being in any area of ticks. (I'm assuming you mean that recently - please let me know if I am wrong). Lyme disease can lay dormant for a very long time before starting to cause symptoms. BUT let's put that aside for now and think about other possibilities (just wanted to include it before I forgot).
Do you know what the problem was with your back and neck over the two years? Was there anything suggested besides for the imaging study you mentioned?
What bothers me most is that live it seems that you are quite an active and healthy lifestyle.
My older back problem improved after manipulating a spinal joint at T6/T7.
you asked about the cramp going to distal muscles... if you are having enough pain to be tightening those muscles then it can cause cramps. Otherwise I don't see how it would.
I know you had normal blood test levels. Were they ever taken right after vigorous exercise?
I wonder if you are not processing the electrolytes properly but are able to come back to a normal level. If you are losing electrolytes too quickly during exercise and need them replaced then....
Blood test was taken within 24 hours after vigorous exercise, and 2 hours after I'd had severe cramping.
There isn't any obvious link between when I exercise and when I feel symptoms.
I would probably like to see blood tests shortly after exercise, although honestly I'm not sure if that would make a difference considering when the cramping was in relation to your exersize AND in relation to the time of the blood test
I just want to look something up about this.
Just want to let you know that I'm still with you - my computer is a bit slow.
That's no problem; I'm still here too.
You've got me worrying about Lyme disease. I've always been aware of the danger of ticks, and I've never gone into any forested areas uncovered. I've never had anything like the "bullseye" pattern on my skin, and I don't think I've been anywhere there are ticks for at least the past 3 years. Surely I should be safe?
Sorry :( don't mean to make you worry
I haven't had any of the other more serious symptoms of Lyme disease: I don't think it is that.
Very often that rash never appears. Lyme disease is sometimes called "the great imitator" because it can appear in so many different ways.
Glad you don't mean to make me worry!
I still am not completely satisfied that this is the answer. It is something that should be investigated as wel?
Just to make sure I'm not missing this -- the cramps come in areas that you were not exercising? ie cramp in hand when exercising legs.
When I did the hula hooping, I experienced some localised discomfort. Then, 24 hours or so later, I felt cramps all over, many of them at the level where I was working, or nearby, but also some in locations like my jaw, and calves. I have had cramps on and off for the last 2 days since then.
I'd like to do some more research. Can I try to get back to you later on?
Absolutely. Many thanks for your help so far. Should I at this point rate you, or is it better to wait?
You can rate me now and I will still get back to you later. If you are not satisfied so far then please wait until you are ready to rate me as excellent.
Blood test: they tested for serum creatinine and serum creatinine kinase level. Is that what you mean?
Medications: very occasionally, Panadol for pain relief. Also vitamin and mineral supplements. A herbal remedy "Quiet Life" that I started taking only after the cramping started. Nothing else.
Gatorade while exercising: I did try that once, and it didn't seem to make any difference. Again, my symptoms can come at any time, and don't seem to be specifically related to the time since I exercised.
Smoking and drinking: no.
So, could it be that I've picked up some virus that reduces the threshold needed for my muscles to cramp, so that now I'm less tolerant of exercise, especially one like hula hooping that I haven't done for a while?
[Added later] I think I'm seeing some patterns to the aggravating activities. There were several instances earlier on in this sequence when I went on the stationary bike in the gym, and later I was suffering with cramps, with a peak in symptoms about 48 hours later. It seems to be aggravating to work my stomach muscles: hula hooping is an extreme example. During this time, my long-standing IBS has flared up (increased cramping and gas), although (as ever) it comes and goes. The whole syndrome has been accompanied by autonomic symptoms, such as dizziness when standing up and occasional feeling of breathlessness, often just before or just after a bowel movement -- especially if the intestines are playing up.
I should say that this all started after I pulled a muscle in the thoracic back when doing a back rotarion. To address this, every day for a week in the gym I spent a short time lying on a foam roller to stretch out my back, until I eventually suspected that this was worsening my pre-existing neck sensitivity. Again, I am wondering if this in fact points towards an underlying problem at the abdomen/thoracic level. However, more or less simultaneously to the time I was healing the injury, I started feeling extremely tired for about a week and suffered several episodes of fast and weak pulse. (This seems gone now.) Could a virus (or something else) have infected a nerve in the thoracic area? Or should I be looking for some other reason for my cramping?
Thanks for the ideas. There are plenty of things there I'll need to follow up on.
Just one more thing. Why do you think Lyme disease is more likely than post viral syndrome? Wouldn't they both operate by infecting the nervous system?