Saturday, March 7, 2015

Newton’s Laws

I am adding two more to Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws:

  • 10 pounds feels much heavier when it is held 6’2” in the air
  • It takes more effort to lift 10 pounds when leaning over

The last twenty days have been interesting. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was experiencing neck weakness and some discomfort in that area. This week, the situation is more severe and appears earlier in the day. I still haven’t been able to find a way to correct, or at least lessen, the weakness. I have:

  • Added a couple of more exercises that are meant to help strengthen the upper back.
  •  Changed some routines that placed more stress on the neck muscles

But, neither appears to be helping. I am now considering consulting with my neurologist as to possible ways to help mitigate the issue.

For those readers who are living with Kennedy's Disease or something similar and experienced this problem, have you discovered anything that has helped the issue?


  1. Hi Bruce,

    If you are experiencing pain, weakness, and cramping all on the same day, the possible cause may be tendinitis or tendinosis. If that's what you have, the treatment would be rest the affected area until the inflammation goes away, then begin gentle exercise. Note that continuing to exercise and work at the computer might be making the problem worse; you would need to rest first, until the inflammation and pain go away, then re-start the exercise program after you feel better.

    Concerning the cramping or spasms, my cramps are made much worse by sodium-rich foods. Try avoiding salt, and eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas for a couple of days and see if that helps. I have also had good results against cramps by using creatine supplements, which are available at drugstores and health food stores.

    When you feel up to exercising your neck again, I suggest the Shaker Exercise, about which you've written on this blog before.

    Finally, you mentioned that you were considering consulting with your neurologist. In my experience, neurologists don't know much about the muscular system and connective tissues. Instead, I'd suggest consulting with a physical therapist who has experience with neuromuscular disease patients or stroke patients.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  3. Hi Bruce,
    Thank you very much for your blog and your inspiring, patient and informative writing both here and on the Kennedy's Disease forum. My dad has Kennedy's Disease; we just discovered what it was 02/2014, though he has experienced progressive weakness for 20+ years.

    Way back about 15 years ago (long before we knew what was going on), he started to experience weakness of his neck and couldn't hold his head up. So we--not knowing what else to do--bought a neck brace and he wore that every day to keep his head up.

    And Bruce, it went away. I don't remember how long it lasted exactly (a couple or several months, not years). I don't know how or why. Nothing else has ever "gone away;" all the other weakness has gotten slowly worse. But after some time of wearing the neck brace around the clock, except while sleeping, he began to be able to hold his head up again. And, amazingly, he has never had issues with it since (and of course I pray this continues).

    I know this isn't tremendously helpful, and certainly not scientific information; it almost seems like a stroke of luck or miracle. But I wanted to pass it along anyway. Maybe it has something to do with total rest for a while and you could try this...? Or maybe I'm just passing it along as a reason to hold out some hope, which can also be good. At least, after 20+ years fighting this alongside my dad, I've started to like hope for hope's sake.

    With great respect and gratitude,

  4. Susan, thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate hearing another perspective.


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