Isolated cramp like pain

Hi I have not had a dx yet but have been for a head and spine MRI and am awaiting results. Last night I was woken many a time by the most weird pain first in the middle of my shoulder blade, then in middle of thigh and hen under my little toe. Pain feels very similar to cramp but it is isolated to a small part of muscle, don’t think it is a spasm as there’s no tightening its just the feeling of pain. I have never had this before but have experienced whole muscle cramps/spasms, so I wondered if this is too be expected. It was really sore but thankfully only lasted about a minute. Any info about this would be gratefully received Cheers Rubyx

Hi Ruby,

It probably is a type of cramp. MS (if that’s indeed what it is) tends to cause stiffening and tightening of the muscles - otherwise known as spasticity. Cramps are more likely when the muscles are tight. Also the tightness itself can feel rather like cramp - but not as acute. If these “attacks” only lasted minutes, they probably were indeed cramps. Damage to the CNS can result in failure of the “Relax!” instructions to get through to the muscles, so the muscles think they’re constantly being told to contract, even though they’re not.

It is treatable if it becomes distressing, although I probably wouldn’t bother if it remains limited to one or two isolated occasions. The treatments have to be taken all the time to work properly - not only when you get the cramp. I wouldn’t want to take drugs all the time for something that only happens occasionally, for a few minutes (not unless it was something really drastic like epilepsy!)

Self-help remedies for mild to moderate cramp include drinking tonic-water (active ingredient quinine), and eating bananas (for the potassium).

If it mainly affects your feet at night, you might find it is eased by simple measures like bedsocks, or a hot water bottle in the bottom of the bed (I find it happens most when if my feet get cold). You can also do stretching excercises for the most common types of cramp (lower legs) to get a bit more suppleness back in the muscle. You could ask for referral to physio (preferably a neuro physio), but even a GP would be able to demonstrate a basic calf-stretch for you. Or just Google!


Hi, I think these problems could be a type of shorter spasm. Baclofen is the usual choice of med to redue/stop them happening.

I take quinine tablets at night, plus baclofen and i reckon I get around 85% relief from spasms and restless legs.

If it continues, speak to your neuro about it, when you go for the MRI results, eh?

luv Polllx

Hi, Thank you very much for your replies Tina and Poll, it’s reassuring to know that there is an answer or some advice out there! When I go back to see the neuro I’m going to ask if they’re is anything that I can take for my restless jumping legs as it affecting my hubby now too! It’s funny you should mention the hot water bottle Tina , as after being woken for about the 20th time I decided it was cause I was cold and it did help with the pain… Though didn’t settle my legs :frowning: Thanks again Rubyx

I swear by Indian tonic water with quinine. I have a glass about half an hour before bed and keep a glass with me to sip during the day. I find it helps. Neuro gave me orpine role for RLS and all they did was make me feel really sick and even more dizzy.

That should’ve read ropinirole!!!

Hi I’m off to buy some tonic water in the morning, thanks for the advice, what a helpful bunch you are Regards Ruby x P.s wonder if it works as well if you mix it with gin :slight_smile:


It does for me! (Alcohol is also a muscle relaxant).

But this is not a recommendation, you understand. :wink:

I forgot to mention that some people find magnesium supplements help, if you want to try the DIY stuff, before asking neuro for the big guns.

Strictly speaking, I think if you boost your magnesium, you should also boost your calcium, so I take a combined calcium and magnesium pill. I still need the prescription stuff anyway (Baclofen), but hopefully I’m keeping my bones strong…


Hi Ruby Gin helps too!!! As does ameretto - but doesn’t taste so good with the tonic. And I forgot to mention that yes, I also take a magnesium and calcium supplement…in addition to zinc (for healing), vitamin d (to replenish stores which seems to be depleted in people with ms), vitamin b12 (for structure and functionning of the neurological system) and omega 3 (to support immune health). This cocktail was researched by me and recommended by ms nurse and as a package with the tonic water seems to be really helping me improve and get through this. Catherine