Cramping and spasms

Hi everyone. i was diagnosed with PD in 2021 and have experienced many of the common symptoms. However, lately I have developed very painful cramping in my left arm periodically. I don’t recall any sprain or injury that could be the cause so I am wondering is it PD related. When I turn my arm in a particular direction the cramping can be excruciating. It’s as if my arm goes into spasms. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Hi Boomerang83,

The major cause of muscles cramping is lack of potassium.
The common myth is that it is not enough salt, that is incorrect.
I am a scuba Dive Master, and as you can imagine if you cramp underwater it coulld be disasterous, so we had to learn how to avoid them.
One of the best ways to ‘get’ potassium is have a banana every day.
Please try that.
You could also, of course, take potasium tablets to start.
PD may add to the situation but I’m not aware of that.
I’m sure one of our great moderators or someone on the group can help.

You may be developing dystonias. Probably worth talking to your neurology team. I hope it settles down.#

Hi Boomerang83,

Podd is absolutely correct.
However I do know that both Dystonia and PD are, in most circumstances, treated with the same medication.
It may be advisable to talk to your Neuro if you are already on the medication.
What may also help is, I that found with my dystonia I go for botox injections about every 3 months and that does make an enormous difference.
We really hope you find a way to obviate this.

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Things aren’t much better unfortunately. I am getting spasms more frequently in my left arm particularly when I am doing something with my right hand, for example lifting a plate. The pain in my left arm becomes so painful so I am wondering what on earth is going on. Night time is a disaster with interrupted sleep. When I turn in the bed my left arm takes out completely. So any movement on my part triggers another spasm. Neuro doc thinks I may be under treated so she has upped my Madopar dosage. Any thoughts?

Hi boomerang83,

Just a thought out of left field.
I am a scuba dive master, and what it sounds like is that your are having muscle cramps/spasms
Forget what you have heard, it is not a lack of salt that causes cramps, but a lack of potassium.
Bananas are a great source of potassium and I try to have one every day.
It sounds like yours are really bad so perhaps go and buy some potassium tablets.
It will take a day or two for them to work, but please try that.
When you get the spasm stretch out your arm, yea I know it will be very painful, so do it slowly and then with your arm stretched out bend your hand and fingers back towards your shoulder.
You are then effectively stretching the bunched up muscle and ‘breaking’ the cramp.

Clive V thanks again for your advice. I will certainly act on it. Someone also mentioned quinine as a potential remedy. At this stage I am prepared to try anything, As I said earlier your help is greatly appreciated.

Still having major cramp like pain in my left arm. It feels like a severe sprain and is painful to the touch. If I try to raise my arm I feel a severe spasm coming on and I can do nothing to prevent it occurring. Is this part of PD or could it be something else? I need some remedy soon or I will go nuts. It is impacting greatly on my quality of life. I take some pain relief but ibuprofen, codeine or paracetamol doesn’t cut it. Is there an anti spasm drug put there? Please help!!