General Question

gailcalled's avatar

If you have chronically achy leg muscles or what's called "restless leg syndrome, have you found relief other than from meds?

Asked by gailcalled (53489 points ) May 2nd, 2012

If so, what? And if you are taking meds, what are they?

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24 Answers

janbb's avatar

A friend of my son’s was taking Ambien for it; this was sonme years ago.

john65pennington's avatar

I also have RLS. I have found it very difficult to describe the feeling in my legs, once I lay down in bed.

Hot, wet towels have helped me tremendously, until that feeling goes away.

gailcalled's avatar

@john65pennington: Would a hot shower have the same effect?

YARNLADY's avatar

A hot shower always helps me. I love to visit hotels with whirlpools, my legs feel better for days. When it gets really bad, I get relief from Aspirin, but I try to avoid that. I also have used an electric heating pad, but I can sleep with it on.

I used to have dual control electric blankets, but I never replaced the last one because I read they are dangerous.

gambitking's avatar

i’ve heard tetrahydracannibanol works wonders, but i couldn’t condone it

El_Cadejo's avatar

@gambitking Ive always been a fan of smoking to help but since coming down to Belize I learned something that works much better. If you take marijuana or even just the stems and such and soak it in rubbing alcohol for a week or so and then rub that on your muscles, it works wonders. Helps a hell of a lot with achy muscles as well as stopping a good bit of the RLS at night.

gailcalled's avatar

Tempting as this ^^ idea is, it’s not going to happen, given my predilections, life style and circumstances. Any other thoughts, like acupuncture or massage therapy?

El_Cadejo's avatar

I’ve heard acupunture works well but I havent ever had the funds to try myself so I don’t know. It’s worth a shot though if you can find someone with a good rep. Acupuncture really seems to be hit or miss.

you should just find a stoner in your area and ask them to save their stems for you since most people throw em out anyway, recycle and whatnot. Go green :p

tedibear's avatar

I found that my mild RLS went away went I started exercising on a daily basis. My father has success using a massage tool.

bewailknot's avatar

I got some relief from a hot rice pack. It is a large one but even so I can only do one leg at a time. I think I will try the stems/rubbing alcohol thing.

Kayak8's avatar

You may just want to have your doctor check your magnesium levels.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@bewailknot If you can find it, look for wintergreen rubbing alcohol, it seems to work better than just normal rubbing alcohol, plus it seems nice :)

gailcalled's avatar

@Kayak8: I’ve been taking a moderate daily dose of calcium/ magnesium for years so the mag. level is probably not an issue. But thanks for the thought.

@uberbatman: I am sure that there are plenty of stoners in my area but I probably run with the wrong crowd. I do have a 21 year old guy who does handyman work for me but I can’t imagine asking him whether he or his friends smoke, and if so, could I have their stems.

@tedibear: I have been exercising daily for decades. It’s simply getting harder now with the aging legs.

@bewalknot; What is a hot rice pack?

ETpro's avatar

@uberbatman The problem I found with acupuncture is that for most things it’s only a temporary fix. And the cost to keep coming back for more needles gets a lot more irritating than all those tiny pin ricks.

augustlan's avatar

@gailcalled Hot rice packs are like a cross between a hot water bottle and a heating pad, a fabric pouch filled with uncooked rice. You heat it up in the microwave, and it retains the heat for quite a while. You can also throw it in the freezer for cold therapy.

If I were going to use heat, I’d probably get one of the newer electric blankets that has different heating zones. That way, you could just heat up your legs and have consistent heat all night.

gailcalled's avatar

@ETpro; I agree about the acupuncture. I went to a Chinese woman who had trained in some exotic school in China. After eight interesting session for lower back pain, she said, “You go swim. You go talk someone.” So I found a pool and a therapist, both efficacious.

@augustlan: That would also give you an emergency meal if you forgot to shop.

I am not crazy about electric blankets being on all night; Milo will probably eat a wire and short-circuit the thing. Besides, he serves as as my 3:00 am hot-water bottle.

These moist heat packs come in several sizes and have a safety switch.

Here’s their spiel, which works for me. I use the large one, which I’ve had for years, to lie on for ten minutes before my daily stretching and strengthening. It certainly feels good.

.“The most effective way to use moist heat is by applying a short treatment at a high temperature, then allowing the body to return to normal temperature, and then repeating the process. These treatments are very relaxing and the user may fall asleep. If this occurs, the momentary switch snaps off as the user’s finger relaxes and the unit immediately cools down, preventing burns.

. Penetrating moist heat dilates the blood vessels, increasing circulation and creating blood flow. This takes away waste and toxins which may have settled in the injured area and brings new healing blood cells to the tissue.Moist heat therapy is a means to temporarily relieve pain derived from arthritis, bursitis, back aches and muscle spasms.”

bkcunningham's avatar

Mention it to your physician the next time you go, @gailcalled. It is aggrevating, but it can also signal some serious problems with your kidneys, arthritis, anemia and vitamin deficiency to name a few.

gailcalled's avatar

@bkcunningham; Thanks but we’ve discussed this. I do have arthritis in my knees, I am not anemic, I have no vitamin deficiencies, and my kidneys probably are at the top of the list for organ donation.

Most of it is, I am sure, due to aging. However, I just did 20 minutes of stretching and strengthening exercises, some swinging of dumbbells and 45 minutes on the tread mill. I feel very good other than the ache in my legs. Heat and ibuprofen will help.

ETpro's avatar

@gailcalled Sounds like that might work to reduce edema as well. I have a problem with that in my right foot thanks to an arthritic toe that I severely injured in my early 20s. You and I are in similar straits. It hurts a bit, but not moving is not an option.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I am glad you asked this question, I suffer from this often.

gailcalled's avatar

@ETpro: No toe replacements yet?

I have a friend who had a hip replacement on April 25. She is going home from rehab tomorrow. The therapists tortured her but were able to because at age 75, she was thin and fit and exercised daily and led a very active life.

ETpro's avatar

@gailcalled No. I just discussed options with my doctor. She said there are surgical patches that try to readjust ligaments, etc. But the downsides seem to often outweigh the benefits. They have artificial knee and hip joints, but haven;t gotten down to the level of the toe joints yet.

laurenkem's avatar

I have had RLS for years. What works for me, personally, is massaging my calves vigorously at night with lotion. I’ve also recently started taking Alteril to help me sleep easier. It’s an OTC all natural combination of tryptophan and melatonin and it helps me a great deal as well. I know how those sleepless nights feel, when your body and mind are trying to rest, and your legs refuse to cooperate. Best wishes for a decent night’s sleep.

OpryLeigh's avatar

A work colleague recently told me that RLS is actually a symptom of mental tiredness and not necessarily physical tiredness. She said that she gets relief from lying on her back with her legs in the air (no sexual remarks please!!!)

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