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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 8999
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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I have PTSD. My problem is that the muscles around my neck

Customer Question

Hi Dr. Frank, I have PTSD. My problem is that the muscles around my neck harden up off and on all day long. After years of relaxation work I can calm them down and soften them most of the time but this occurs almost every day. If I have a massage sometimes I get a day off. I also grind my teeth brutally and awake in the AM with a bad headache most days. I take pills at night for restless leg syndrome. Recently I've had my first and hopefully last seemingly intractable cramps in some internal gluteal (?) muscles. Should I be seeing a specialist for this or is it primarily psychological? I'm a classical pianist and this interferes with my playing. Thank you. Kitty Scott
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ms. Scott, so I would say to you that you need to see a neurologist/movement disorder specialist, if you have not already (who treated you with ropinerole?, presumably for RLS) The reason being that all RLS is not the same. It is thought to be a problem of depletion of dopamine in the spinal cord, or an exacerbation of GABA, but in some patients, especially with a family history of Parkinson's, there is other neurodegenerative disorders that have to be considered as part of RLS. One of which is cervical dystonia (although most dystonia is familial, or related to arthritic/trauma changes in the cervical cord). The concern in the cramps in the (internal gluteal?, do you mean hamstring muscles?) lower extremities coupled with the RLS (which can be a part of some forms of RLS, or ischemic neuropathy, or other muscle disorders like neuromyotonia) etc. This may be a more complicated case, and I am saying this because I do not get to see you, to come up with a more refined differential diagnosis. But you do need a specialist. I would not say this is psychological, or put it at the end of the list of possible reasons. I would ask you about your cognition, if you feel you have some problems with initiation of gait (a motor apraxia, do you have problems on the piano apart from that caused by stiffness in your neck to move your fingers? ) Get back to me to discuss this further and I will try to help, give you some direction. Dr Frank

Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 1 year ago.

Ms. Scott. after reading what I wrote, I realize I skipped over the PTSD statement at the beginning. You would need to discuss your symptoms in a time line as it relates or doesn't relate to the PTSD. Maybe you can send some information along those lines. Dr Frank

Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 12 months ago.

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