As some of you may know, I am about 8 wks post op ALIF L4-L5 w/cages. Doing great, just having some achiness in lower back. All my pre-surgery pain is gone, ie, low back/hip pain, leg pain, numbness and tingling in legs.
My question is that I am having some problems with me legs and wondering if anyone else can relate. I had some similar problems before surgery but assumed it would clear up since everything else is improved. My legs have this constant irritation feeling. Like creeping, aching, and just overall bothersome. I have read on-line about "Restless Leg Syndrome" and what I am going through fits my description. My ortho dr just says it's the nerves "waking up" and I just need to deal with it. That is out of the question. I find it impossible hard to sleep at night as this gets worse when I'm laying in bed. I have an appt with my family dr tomorrow because my concern is that this may be more of a long term problem due to my prior disc problems and nerve impingment.
I have read that RLS can be caused by nerve damage or injury. And I have also read that there are medications that can help it.
If anyone knows about this, any help would be great.
PS - I already know that damaged nerves can take up to two years to heal, but this is not just one nerve. It is a problem that effects both my leg, all the time, but sometimes worse than others. And sometimes my arms, but not as often.
I know all to well what you are going through with your legs. Since childhood I have always had trouble with my legs aching a lot, but nothing compared to what I deal with now. I was diagnosed with restless legs after my first back surgery (laminectomy) in 1999. I didn't put it together at the time and thought it was totally a seperate issue. But the longer I have to deal with this, the more I believe it is related to my back problems.
My husband says it's like sleeping with someone riding a bicycle. It really gets bad at night when I am trying to go to sleep. It happens during the day sometimes, but I don't usually notice it unless I have been sitting still for a while. I am currently on neurontin for this. It seems to help a great deal, but I also take my pain meds at bedtime, so I'm not totally sure if it's the pain meds, the neurontin or the combination. I was on it previously for about a year and it got to the point where it wasn't doing a lot of good after my 2nd surgery (fusion L4-S1). I'm not sure, but maybe I built up a resistance to it. I stopped taking it for about a year. Then when I reinjured my back my legs really started bothering me again in a major way. I started on the neurontin again and it is helping for the time being. Just hope it lasts.
I hope all goes well for you at your appt tomorrow and you find some relief. My legs have had me literally in tears many nights. I have also spent many nights walking the floor because movement seems to be the only thing that will relieve them.
Thanks for your response. I had a feeling I wasn't alone in this.
Luckily, I don't have the severe RLS with the kicking or rapid movements at night, that I know of anyway. I just have the creepy, irritating feeling. And there's not too much pain. The only time they really hurt, is after this has been going on for a long time. Then they start to ache pretty bad. Hopefully my family dr can help me.
I am new to this site, came here searching for answers/relief to my problem(s) and came across this post which is exactly what I'm dealing with.
I have experienced restless legs on and off for years. It would bother me for a little while and then disappear just as quickly as it started w/o taking anything for it.
About a year ago I started experiencing restless legs and a day or two later I woke up with a weird "numb" type feeling on my left side from about the ribcage down my left leg and a slight dull ache in my back. I went to the dr. and he concluded that I slipped a disk in my back a few days before the onset of my symptoms while doing some heavy-duty shoveling and the disk is inflamed and is pressing on a nerve that comes down and out of the spine and into the leg. He said the inflammation should subside and my symptoms should go away just as they came. He prescribed anti-inflammatories for the disk and a low dose of Elavil for my restless legs. The numb feeling gradually faded over the course of a few weeks and so did the restless legs so I stopped taking the meds (not sure if they helped or not as I've never seen any other info on Elavil being subscribed for restless legs). Since then I've only had an occasional bout of restless legs that would last for just a day or two but I didn't take anything for it.
That was until last week! I started again w/ the restless legs and my left side is once again "numb" and I have a bit of an ache in my back approximately where the "numbness" starts and this time I have no idea what could have caused it. I've been taking anti-inflammatories and the Elavil but so far it hasn't subsided. Last night I decided to start drinking a glass of wine at night to see if that may help relax my muscles, not sure it it will help or not. I just came from the secton on Resless Legs and saw a post suggesting magnesium to help w/ the restless legs and was considering giving that a try.
I don't really know how to describe the feeling in my left leg so just labelled it "numbness". It almost feels like it's asleep: kind of numb, tingly, heavy and achy but at same time seems extra sensitive: if I touch it w/ something cold it feels more like hot and registers more as pain and I hate when my husband (or anything) touches it, it just bothers me so much I pull away.
I think this is pretty much what all of you have been describing and feel all of my symptoms including the restless legs are associated w/ my back. I'd love to hear more from everyone and hopefully someone out there that has also experienced this has found something to give some relief.
Hi there! Thanks for your response. I have tried a few different meds so far. First my PCP put me on Klonopin (short term), then Requip, now I'm on Permax. I stopped taking the Permax a day or so ago and just went back to taking the Flexeril. Although it makes me a little sleepy, I think it helps some. Everything seems to help some, at the beginning, then the effect wears off. We'll just keep in trying.
I have had restless legs for about 40 years. the only thing that helps for me is a very hot bath just before bed. I have taken all kinds of meds and nothing really worked. they get so bad i want to put my legs thru the wall. Leg rubs make it feel better also. good luck
I definitely agree with you about the leg rubs. They are fantastic. My only problem is convincing my husband to do them. LOL. Actually the only problem I have is when he stops rubbing, the pain is back immediately. I take neurontin for it and it does help for a while, but like everything else I think I build up a tolerance to it.
I was diagnosed with Restless Legs and I have tried everything from Nuerontin to a couple of others that I forgot the name of but I have that Klonopin has become the answer for me. It is wonderful!!!! I can sleep when my back let's me! But it's not my legs anymore. I would recommend this medication to anyone!!!! I hope it helps!
I have been taking Klonopin at night, when needed. The other meds, Requip and Permax haven't helped. I agree the Klonopin does help when my legs are keeping me awake but what I need is to try to find a solution during the day. I have been walking on my treadmill and that seems to help some. Then other days it seems to make it worse. I have found that caffeine definately makes it worse. About a 1/2 hour after drinking any caffeine my legs act up. It's very frustrating. My dr is in the process of trying to figure out what to do. I called last week and he's still "thinking it over". I am already tired of trying different meds but I hope to find one that helps soon.
As crazy as it sounds, Vicodin helps incredibly. I hear that it deafens the nerves. I hate to take Vicodin all the time but that's what keeps me sane. Sometimes I feel like my legs have ADD.
Thanks again for any comments/advice on this. I hope to hear more!
I was reading your reply and I was wondering: what exactly does Restless Legs feel like? I believe I injured my back a little worse a couple weeks ago after sneaking onto a treadmill knowing my doc said it wasn't a good idea. (I know it sounds bad but it looked so tempting sitting there...calling my name!) Well anyway, since then my legs have been feeling uncomfortable and I was wondering if its similar to your symptoms. They burn and ache real bad like they need to be stretched real bad. Almost like a lactic acid feel after a long run but...I didn't do any running. I squirm around to make them feel better but noooooo it doesn't help. I tried baths and rubs also. I'm sure it's not as bad as yours but it gets very irritating.
Anyway hope your feeling better today,
Irritating is a great word for it. I find that the feelings are extremely hard to accurately describe. I constantly want to stretch them. For me, walking on a treadmill gives me relief. Sometimes it gives me a lot of relief but a few times it seems to have made it worse. My legs just feel irritable. It is hard to be still. I constantly move them and change positions. I had this before my surgery (ALIF L4-L5 w/cages June 30) but the RLS was masked by the pain, numbness and tingling I had. Now my back is better and I'm left with this problem with my legs.
Sometimes it feels like little bugs inside my skin, deep down. Other times they are achy and crampy feeling from all the activity.
I hope my problem is temporary. I know I have damaged nerves from a collapsed disc. I just hope that the nerves heal and get better some day and the RLS goes away.
i have had restless legs for years and some nights they drive me mad i find getting out of bed and walking and keeping the legs cool dont let your legs get overheated i have not found anything else helpful sometimes i will have restless legs every night for weeks and then it goes away only to return it disturbs your sleep not much fun