Multiple nerve tics

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  • #1
DaveC426913
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I often find that tics or tweaks or itches or whatever, in places on my body will occasionally occur in more than one location simultaneously, especially if they're strong and sharp.

For example, a pinch on my hand might be also felt in my armpit (as if I got pinched on both places simultaneously). An itch on my shin might also be felt on my pec. A digestive spasm in my colon might coincide with a tweak in my neck.

Does anyone else experience this?

Assuming I'm not the only one, my hypothesis is thus: One body part being stimulated will send a nerve pulse to my brain. In doing so, its pulse will occasionally spill into adjoining nerves that are bundled together. When they arrive at my brain, I have no way of knowing that it's the same signal - I simply interpret it as two stimulae from two disparate locations.
 

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  • #2
Evo
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I often find that tics or tweaks or itches or whatever, in places on my body will occasionally occur in more than one location simultaneously, especially if they're strong and sharp.

For example, a pinch on my hand might be also felt in my armpit (as if I got pinched on both places simultaneously). An itch on my shin might also be felt on my pec. A digestive spasm in my colon might coincide with a tweak in my neck.

Does anyone else experience this?

Assuming I'm not the only one, my hypothesis is thus: One body part being stimulated will send a nerve pulse to my brain. In doing so, its pulse will occasionally spill into adjoining nerves that are bundled together. When they arrive at my brain, I have no way of knowing that it's the same signal - I simply interpret it as two stimulae from two disparate locations.
I can prick myself in my foot and also feel a prick on another part of my body. Isn't this part of what started the theory of acupuncture? That you can irritate a nerve in one place and it will affect another part of the body? I read that in a book on the history of acupuncture, but that was in the 70's, so it's been awhile, but it sounds logical. Sorry for the off topic tidbit.
 
  • #3
Borek
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We don't use optics internally. That's evolutionary failure.
 
  • #4
rhody
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Dave,

Somehow, somewhere in the past, some psycho neurologist performed experiments on you without your knowledge, and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9712668" [Broken] sensory nerves in random parts of your body, to see if your brain maps would consolidate them, sadly however, it appears something went horribly wrong... just kidding...

Seriously though, I have a friend, a dental hygenist who was bit on the neck by a deer tick and unbeknownst to her contracted Lyme disease, and over the first six months developed tics in her neck/head/eye region. She even got Bell's palsy, droopy eyelids, droopy lips, not cool at all. She was eventually diagnosed correctly and still struggles at times with keeping the http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/bacteria/spirochetes.html" [Broken] at bay, prednisone and diet have helped her tremendously. If you are a serious earthy crunchy type and spend tons of time camping/hiking in the woods I would not rule this out. Testing can be tricky too because the little buggers are not easily detected unless they are in their "active" cycle, this is when symptoms are worse. To make matters worse, you may be reported as positive when in fact you really aren't.

However, this may not be what you have. It could be something as simple as vitamin deficiencie(s).

This sounds a bit like Lisa's experiences, similar, but not exact in her thread: "Cure for muscle tic's - how does it work". There is some interesting reading there. For sure, histamine is involved, and supression of it's release is important in relieving symptoms. It is a fascinating subject, there are now 4 known histamine receptor sites in the brain, and I am researching the history and a complete but brief (layman's terms) description of what each site does and why, it is fascinating and complex to say the least. It is a daunting task however, so posting will not take place any time soon.

Rhody...
 
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  • #5
DaveC426913
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I can prick myself in my foot and also feel a prick on another part of my body.
Precisely.

Rhody's overthinking again... :smile:

Isn't this part of what started the theory of acupuncture? That you can irritate a nerve in one place and it will affect another part of the body?
That's exactly what part 2 of this question was going to be.
 
  • #6
Evo
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That's exactly what part 2 of this question was going to be.
GMTA :smile:
 
  • #8
Evo
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Let's go for it, acupuncture, a result of the dual pain points? Supposedly acupuncture has been traced to neolithic times (according to wikipedia), so I can definitely see it arising from this. I have no idea if there is a name for the dual instances of pain or what the explanation is. I do know that it's common.
 
  • #9
DaveC426913
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You know, rhody's contribution has made me wonder if I'm abnormal.

I am constantly getting itches all over my body. I'd always put it down to being hairy. Or possibly to allergies (swelling of skin, irritated follicles, etc.)

It is a source of irritation when trying to settle in to bed, when it tends to sort of flare up. Takes about five minutes of scritching and rubbing before it calms down.
 
  • #10
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There's a spot on the side of my temple, where, if I scratch it, I'll sneeze uncontrollably two or three times. I'm amazed that with the complexity of our central nervous system, our wires aren't crossed more often.
 
  • #11
rhody
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You know, rhody's contribution has made me wonder if I'm abnormal.

It is a source of irritation when trying to settle in to bed, when it tends to sort of flare up. Takes about five minutes of scritching and rubbing before it calms down.

Dave,

It's Post Traumatic Dealing With Rhody's Over-analyzing Syndrome (PTDWROS).

Rhody... hehe :redface:

P.S. Seriously, I have been giving the simultaneous tick issue some thought and am organinzing a thoughtful (and documented) post soon... along a totally different line of thought.
 
  • #12
bobze
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You know, rhody's contribution has made me wonder if I'm abnormal.

I am constantly getting itches all over my body. I'd always put it down to being hairy. Or possibly to allergies (swelling of skin, irritated follicles, etc.)

It is a source of irritation when trying to settle in to bed, when it tends to sort of flare up. Takes about five minutes of scritching and rubbing before it calms down.

Dave, good news; you're normal!

This is the same kind of phenomena that clinicians refer to as "referred pain". Its why your left arm hurts during a heart attack or your shoulder hurts when a lung tumor invades your mediastinal pleura.

In your body you have two basic "flavors of nerves", we call them afferent nerves and efferent nerves.

Afferent nerves carry sensory information (for the most part) while efferent nerves carry "movement" information (innervate muscle contractions, again for the most part).

Each of these flavors comes in two flavors. You have general somatic afferent (GSA) and general visceral afferent (GVA), as well as general somatic efferent (GSE) and general visceral efferent (GVE). The somatic refers to innervation in the body wall and limbs while the visceral refers to innervation in the visceral body structures (like organs).

To explain with the classical example (the heart) on the heart you have GVA fibers. When you experience a heart attack, the build up of lactic acid sends a signal back up the GVA fibers where they synapse in the dorsal root ganglion outside of the CNS. Unfortunately, GSA fibers of the dermatome which innervates the arm also synapse in the same dorsal root ganglion.

Your brain can't tell the difference and assumes your heart shouldn't be hurting so the pain must be originating in the arm. Hence you perceive the pain in the left arm during the heart attack.

It turns out that dermatome maps aren't a hard and fast rule. They are very individualized and some individuals have lots of overlap. Such that, when you get stimulation of one nerve fiber the brain isn't sure which corresponding nerve is the correct one so you perceive the neural input from a "range of areas".

This past Saturday I was in the ER chatting with a patient who underwent gastric bypass and had lots of extra skin removed from the weight loss. Interestingly, when they would scratch at say the 6th rib, they would perceive the feeling much lower, like the 10th rib!

I, like you, am a pretty hairy guy. And I get "sensations" which trigger sensory input from moving those hair follicles around and rather than being "spot specific" they seem to spread. Satin sheets are about unbearable for me as I get a "crawling sensation" over my legs and arms--Unfortunately my wife is a bedding addict and loves the satin and silk:bugeye:
 
  • #13
rhody
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Dave,

Agreeing with bobze's post, expanded:
This is the same kind of phenomena that clinicians refer to as "referred pain".
* Lets start with how brain maps for sensory and motor functions are arranged in the brain.
* Sensory and motor maps are topographical, adjacent to each other on the body's surface and generally adjacent to one another in brain maps as well
* These maps change in the brain constantly, are not universal in size, their borders vary from person to person.
* Both sensory and motor maps are part of the cerebral cortex, lying on the brain's surface. See attached thumbnail.
* Brain maps are governed by competition for precious resources, the principle of use it or lose it applies.
* Maps of normal body parts change every few weeks, it is a normal phenomenon.
* A critical concept to grasp for understanding how brain maps (both sensory and motor work). Brain maps are "time based", if you separate signals to neurons in time, you create separate brain maps.
* Maps organize themselves to become topographical and function in a way useful to us.
* Topographical maps emerge in the brain because, nature performs two translations; spatial organization (fingers of the hand for instance) turns into an organized time sequence, which, in turn, turns into a spatial organization (the fingers on the brain map). As proof, a man in France lost both his hands in 1996. He was fMRI scanned as an amputee, showing an abnormal topography in his motor cortex from the loss of his hands. He received a http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1422660/" [Broken] in 2000, (see attached thumbnail of reattached hands) and fMRI scans were repeated at two, four and six months post operative. The scans revealed his grafted hands came to be recognized and activated normally by the sensory cortex, his motor and sensory maps had reorganized and recreated themselves. Wow.
* Pain is an opinion on an organism's state of health rather than a reflexive response to injury.
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Melzack" [Broken] wrote the most important article on the history of pain. They contend that the body's pain system is spread throughout the brain and spinal cord, and not a passive recipient of pain, the brain always controls the pain signals we feel. This is know as the "gate control theory of pain", the signals can only travel if the brain gives them 'permission" after being determined they are important enough to be let through.
* Our brain gathers evidence from many resources before triggering pain.
* Neurons in our pain system are plastic, no surprise here, following an injury, the neurons in the pain system fire more easily. Maps can enlarge their receptive field, coming to represent more of the body's surface, increasing pain sensitivity as a result. As these maps change, pain signals in one map can "spill" into adjacent pain maps. As a result we develop what is referred to as: "referred pain", when we are hurt in one body part but feel the pain in another. Sometimes, a single pain single reverberates through the body like a ping pong ball in the brain. The pain persists even after its original stimulus has stopped.
* Here is something to consider in case you need surgery where post operative pain is expected. Post operative phantom pain can be minimized if, nerve blocks or local anesthetics that act on 'peripheral nerves" are applied before general anesthetic is used to put you to sleep. The pain killers administered before surgery appear to prevent plastic change in the brain's pain map that may "lock in" the pain. Amazing.

Rhody...

P.S. All other information from: "The Brain that changes itself" by Norman Doidge.
 
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  • #14
bobze
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Dave,

Agreeing with bobze's post, expanded:

* Lets start with how brain maps for sensory and motor functions are arranged in the brain.
* Sensory and motor maps are topographical, adjacent to each other on the body's surface and generally adjacent to one another in brain maps as well
* These maps change in the brain constantly, are not universal in size, their borders vary from person to person.
* Both sensory and motor maps are part of the cerebral cortex, lying on the brain's surface. See attached thumbnail.
* Brain maps are governed by competition for precious resources, the principle of use it or lose it applies.
* Maps of normal body parts change every few weeks, it is a normal phenomenon.
* A critical concept to grasp for understanding how brain maps (both sensory and motor work). Brain maps are "time based", if you separate signals to neurons in time, you create separate brain maps.
* Maps organize themselves to become topographical and function in a way useful to us.
* Topographical maps emerge in the brain because, nature performs two translations; spatial organization (fingers of the hand for instance) turns into an organized time sequence, which, in turn, turns into a spatial organization (the fingers on the brain map). As proof, a man in France lost both his hands in 1996. He was fMRI scanned as an amputee, showing an abnormal topography in his motor cortex from the loss of his hands. He received a http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1422660/" [Broken] in 2000, (see attached thumbnail of reattached hands) and fMRI scans were repeated at two, four and six months post operative. The scans revealed his grafted hands came to be recognized and activated normally by the sensory cortex, his motor and sensory maps had reorganized and recreated themselves. Wow.
* Pain is an opinion on an organism's state of health rather than a reflexive response to injury.
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Melzack" [Broken] wrote the most important article on the history of pain. They contend that the body's pain system is spread throughout the brain and spinal cord, and not a passive recipient of pain, the brain always controls the pain signals we feel. This is know as the "gate control theory of pain", the signals can only travel if the brain gives them 'permission" after being determined they are important enough to be let through.
* Our brain gathers evidence from many resources before triggering pain.
* Neurons in our pain system are plastic, no surprise here, following an injury, the neurons in the pain system fire more easily. Maps can enlarge their receptive field, coming to represent more of the body's surface, increasing pain sensitivity as a result. As these maps change, pain signals in one map can "spill" into adjacent pain maps. As a result we develop what is referred to as: "referred pain", when we are hurt in one body part but feel the pain in another. Sometimes, a single pain single reverberates through the body like a ping pong ball in the brain. The pain persists even after its original stimulus has stopped.
* Here is something to consider in case you need surgery where post operative pain is expected. Post operative phantom pain can be minimized if, nerve blocks or local anesthetics that act on 'peripheral nerves" are applied before general anesthetic is used to put you to sleep. The pain killers administered before surgery appear to prevent plastic change in the brain's pain map that may "lock in" the pain. Amazing.

Rhody...

P.S. All other information from: "The Brain that changes itself" by Norman Doidge.


Rhody, Great post :approve:
 
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  • #15
DaveC426913
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Yeah. Very cool. Thanks both of ya.
 
  • #16
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referred muscular pain tends to be functional, too. if i strain my calf, i may get pain on the bottom of my foot. if my knee hurts, it may be from a damaged quadriceps muscle. from an evolutionary point of view, the only thing that matters is that the pain makes you stop doing the bad thing for a while so that the injury can heal.
 
  • #17
I too have weird nerve signal crossings. There's a spot on the back of my head, where the skull meets the neck, that if I scratch, I can feel a twitch on my forehead, directly above my left eyebrow. I don't even have to scratch it, if I just tap the spot lightly, my left eyebrow twitches. There are several spots on my back that, when scratched, elicit a strange twitchy feeling on my bicep.
But these effects are not reversible, to me at least. If I scratch or tap my eyebrow, there is no corresponding area of feeling on the back of my head. The same is true with my back and arm.
I assumed that these sites are close to each other on my brain's body map, and the nerve signals cross each other. It is an unsettling feeling though, to have an area on your body feel something that isn't happening. I just love the human brain.
 
  • #18
rhody
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Dave, Proton, Texas, Mugaliens,

Face it guys, you are just all a little, well, weird, lol, if you find this mildly annoying and I think you all do, then what about people with multiple types of https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=393977" ? Now there is some really really exotic sensations going on here. The good news for most of these folks who have it, is that to them at least they crossing of the senses is perfectly (for the most part), errr... a normal.

Rhody... :devil:
 
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