It began when i was about 18 (I am now 34). It started as an irresistible urge to flex my shoulder muscles, it has since spread down my right side and into my legs, mostly my right leg. Its not something which is uncontrollable, its just very difficult to stop, the urge is overwhelming and frustrating rather than painful.
I suffer with fatigue also which can compound the situation as i tend to get even more stressed when tired, which i think makes the condition worse.
I have been to the Doctors several times over the years with fatigue problems and recently the muscle problems and had various tests done, but nothing has been diagnosed and the Doctors are not particularly helpful, mostly saying i was depressed and should exorcise more which is why i went in the first place, i have been a keen cyclist for years but found i am permanently tired when exorcising, even after long periods of exorcise.
Can anyone offer any sensible advise or helpful information on a cause for these symptoms?
Sounds like you suffer from RLS (restless leg syndrome) Find a good Neurologist and he may be able to help. The latest drugs used for this condition are Mirapix and Requip, but remember any drug has adverse side effects and especially Mirapix. Research this drug on the web. The problem with this condition is that you have to try several drugs to find what works specifically for you and that can take some time. And once you find a drug that works or combination of drugs, they will work for a period of time and then you find yourself having to take more and more to the point when it stops working all together. Then you have to start the process all over again, plus the older you get, the worse the symptoms. Sorry to be so negative but this is factual. Reqip leads many times to a condition called augmentation, in other words the drug works fine for awhile but you start getting the restless legs earlier in the day instead of only at night. Mirapix is used to treat Parkinson's disease. It makes you extremely sleepy and sore, achy all over. Check out the Web on these two and judge for yourself. Hope this helps!
I have the EXACT same symptoms you're describing.....mine started in junior high and now I'm 31 and it's gotten progressively worse! The uncontrolable "itchy" feeling I call it........starts---for example at my wrists and I have this feel/need to flex and strech my muscles on my forearms (know what I mean?) etc.... this flexation releases/relieves whatever urge I have---temporarily and then comes right back. The urge always starts at the wrist joints and works the way up to the forearm muscles.....it's like a tickle, itchy fleeing. No pain at all......just more of an annoyance. I also have these issues at my shoulder joints all the way to my shoulder blades (that whole muscle area) and at my ankles all the way up to my calves...
so what is this exactly classified as?
I'm still contemplating going to the doctor, but don't want to be probed really.
Might I also mention, when I exercise.......I hardly ever feel the need to flex to relieve the symptoms.....it's actually relieving.
I have seen many posts similar to yours...and I will tell you what I think. Some of what I think is based on my personal experience with movement disorders. Some of what I think is based on the information I've read in the past two years.
Based on what I've read in the scientific literature your symptoms do not sound like restless leg syndrome. RLS is just that...an involuntary urge to move one's legs. There are other movement disorders that address the movement of legs and other body parts, and one of those conditions is called "periodic limb movement syndrome". I was diagnosed with periodic limb movement syndrom by a board certified sleep specialist, after having a sleep study done. But I don't think you have a movement disorder.
Because you've been to doctors, had tests done, and have had doctors say they don't know (when docs say the problem is stress, depression, or anxiety, in my opinion, they are telling you they don't know what is wrong!!), I am going to make what may seem like a "radical" suggestion....
Over the years a number of posts coming from the UK have had similar symptoms...it's almost as if there's a theme (or an unrecognized epidemic)..and it's similar to a theme that occurs in my area. The theme involves a variety of symptoms (sore throat, rashes, muscle and joint problems, cracking/popping/vibrating sounds, candida, stomach problems, ear and eye problems,and the list goes on). Some people have only one symptom, some people seem to have them all! The symptoms come, the symptoms go...new symptoms come, old symptoms get worse. Nothing is ever the same and the tests reveal little and the doctors blame it on stress, anxiety, and despression.
People with these symptoms have posted on sleep disorders, restless leg, menopause, nervous system, anemia, etc boards....but the only place I have come across similar symptoms and treatments that seem to be effective (antibiotics) are on the Lyme Disease Boards.
Lyme Disease has been found in the ticks in London's Parks so it is in the UK...and given the number of posts on this board, it goes undiagnosed...but that is an opinion based on what I have read these past two years. I'm not qualified to diagnose you.
If you want more info, I would encourage you to scoot over to the Lyme Boards and begin reading the stickies at the top...do lots of reading...too many people stop before they find the info they need.