General Question

mirifique's avatar

Restless legs after reducing running schedule to every other day?

Asked by mirifique (1511 points ) April 8th, 2010

I’ve had to reduce my daily 4 mile run to a run every other day due to shin splints, and since doing this, I’ve had a terrible restless legs sensation that is pretty excruciating and pushing me towards what feels like insanity. I’ve looked into restless legs syndrome and it definitely seems like this, although I am fairly certain this is related to changing my running schedule. It’s not painful, and it’s not cramps, but it is this sensation as if my legs are “high” and filled with some sort of drug and need to be massaged. (Massage helps, but only temporarily). However, RLS research indicates that this is a neurological condition, which scares me; could this possibly be the symptom of a neurological disorder? Or is my body just adjusting to the decrease of running? This has been going on for the past two weeks, but seems to be getting progressively worse. I’m trying to figure out if this warrants a trip to the doctor, or perhaps if I should be exercising on a daily basis (but perhaps on the stationary bike on the off-running days). Has anyone else experienced this?

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9 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Switch gears here would be my suggestion! Cut out the running and try riding a bike instead or swimming for a while and see if that helps.

Trillian's avatar

Try some non-impact leg exercises, biking or the ellipse are good.

njnyjobs's avatar

Are you keeping up with your vitamin and mineral intake during your running schedules? Keeping your internal chemistry is essential to the efficient operation of your muscles and organs.

YARNLADY's avatar

Be sure to complete every session with the proper stretching and cooling down routine. Drink more liquids, especially the electrolyte type such as Gatorade

msbauer's avatar

i agree with @njnyjobs. i went to a neurologist for something unrelated to RLS, but happened to mention i was experiencing it at night. i tend to be anemic and she said that RLS can definitely be caused by something as simple as low iron. ive been taking an iron supplement and haven’t had any RLS issues since!...so maybe you have coincidental low iron?

thriftymaid's avatar

I doubt it’s RLS. I would take a multivitamin first to see if that helps. I know potassium and vitamin E deficiencies can cause leg spasms, cramps, and night twitching.

Hexr's avatar

I’ve been told that potassium helps with restless legs. I haven’t tried it myself (I get restless legs too, but it’s more sporadic) but it makes sense.

mirifique's avatar

@Everyone The issue is more that my legs feel like they are on drugs, “high”, giddy, etc. rather than they need to be moved. This is really starting to scare me. I have eggs, turkey every day so I don’t know why I would be iron deficient, but perhaps I should get my blood tested.

msbauer's avatar

@mirifique you may not have issues with iron consumption but rather iron absorption. your body needs vitamin C in order to convert iron into a usable form. so a multivitamin that has both iron and vit C may be a worthwhile try.

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