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painful legs, especially at night

Posted by catherinet (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 12, 06 at 9:31

Hi all,
Are painful legs at night just part of aging? I thought I had them because of knee problems. But I've taken care of the knee problems (surgery, physical therapy), but my leg pain is worse at night. I usually have to use a heating pad during the night to help it feel better.
My circulation is fine in my legs. What's with all this nightly pain??
I sleep on a couch, because of my fibromyalgia, but it's a very comfy couch. I'm 56 and haven't had a period for 2 years. Should I just accept that this is the way it's going to be??

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: painful legs, especially at night

Hi Catherinet. Do you take prescription meds or use herbs? If you do, research the side effects. Some such as chol. meds can cause leg pain.
I have Rh. arthritis and have a lot of knee and leg pain, which seems more irritating at night when I'm still and trying to sleep. My girlfriend has fibrom. as well, and also has a lot of stiffness and pain in her legs. We both take Epsom Salts soak in warm tub before bed. You can also make a paste and put it directly on those achey areas, which works even better.

Have you noticed the pain is worse during times of stress? Those times are particularly painful. You might also take note of when you have these episodes. Mine is much worse when I've been on my legs that day.

I also get some relief by doing gentle stretches before getting into bed. Try leaning your hands against a wall and stretching your leg (one at a time) behind and press down your heel to the floor. It's a good calf stretch. Also, while lying in bed, I bend my lower leg back at the knee and grab my foot, which stretches the upper quad muscle. This one hurts my knees a little if I pull too hard.
Hope that helps. :)

RE: painful legs, especially at night

Thanks grandmapoo,
Maybe I'm just forgetting how much fibro affects me. I'm also doing alot of exercises for my knee. I had knee surgery 6 weeks ago, and have been doing alot of leg exercises since then. I guess I thought they'd actually help the pain, but now I'm thinking it might just be the effects of my exercises on my fibromyalgia. I know they're good for my knee range-of-motion, but they just might be making me hurt during the night. I sure thought the pain from the exercises would be over by now.
I used to have this pain occasionally, and thought it was my bad knee. But the knee is fixed now, and the leg pain is worse!
Thanks for the tip about the epsom salts.
Maybe I'm just on my legs alot, trying to make up for the time I couldn't be on them because of the problems after surgey.
I'm on Toprol, a beta blocker, and calcium and magnesium.
Thanks for your help!

RE: painful legs, especially at night

I have been getting muscle cramps.... must be menopause, because I drink plenty of water, eat my fruit, so I know I am getting potassium... can't figure out any other reason.

RE: painful legs, especially at night

Your welcome Catherinet. It's amazing how easy it is to forget we have an autoimmune problem when we're feeling good. I've noticed a lot of people that are in otherwise good health, tend to that. I know that "I need to catch up" feeling. It just shows that we still have a healthy zest for life! LOL
Finding a happy medium is the key. :)

Heathen1, try a magnesium supplement also. It has a relaxing/calming effect on muscles and the nervous system. My restless legs were causing me so much grief at night, but has pretty much gone away with my potassium, magnesium and calcium supplements. :)

RE: painful legs, especially at night

Hi again,
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but sometimes I think it's the organs in our abdominal cavity falling down that are causing some of this aching in the legs. (bladder, uterus, intestines). I think they are pressing on the nerves that go to our legs.
I know it's alot worse when I have stool in my lower GI tract too. I used to have more leg pain towards my period too.(when the uterus was full).
I would hate to have that "lift-up" surgery and not have any improvement in my legs. (although I wouldn't mind not having to pee every 20 minutes!!)

RE: painful legs, especially at night

I agree with Grandmapoo about finding a happy medium. I'm another 'fibro-gal' for over 20 years. I also take supplements of magnesium(malic acid), calcium, and vitamin E to help with RLS. Some of the meds I've been prescribed over the years for pain and stiffness have actually worsened the RLS, and I've had to stop taking them. When not having a flare, I do a simple yoga routine, as the stretching helps with flexibility. Then of course during gardening season, one day working outside means two or three days inside recovering. Each one of us has to constantly 'tweak the formula' to find that happy medium. I might try the epsom salt paste as the tub in our apartment is not full size and I can't comfortably soak(I call it a 'sit n splash'). I've also found, Catherinet, that my HRT helps with the bladder problems of feeling like the bladder is always full, and weakness under stress like coughing, sneezing, or laughing.

RE: painful legs, especially at night

I had really horrible leg pain for about six months. I stopped eating grains, sugar and dairy and it all went away. I have no idea which food was causing it, I'm just glad it's gone.

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