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Sandra Elizabeth 01-06-2001 11:02 PM

RSD and leg cramps?
I have had RSD in my lower leg for two years now. I have a SCS and recently I have had really bad cramps in my leg. They seem to get worse at night. Does anyone else have this problem? Has anyone heard of any ways to stop them? All suggestions are appreciated!
*Ps. Drs have tried quinine and other muscle relaxers- they haven't really helped.

mags 02-07-2001 06:14 AM

hi i have rsd in my leg and foot and yes ii get cramps all the time wish i could offer suggestions all i get offered is valium, i live in australia and know no one with rsd talk to me any time i feel so alone with this ,cant work, had nerve blocks , was allergic to it am on crutches now for 7 months , does it get any better , and when....mags

gladysf 02-08-2001 10:58 PM

I have RSD in my left foot and leg for 7 years. Since the onset I have experienced many leg cramps, ranging from mild to extremely severe. These can occur at almost any time but especially during the night or when asleep at other times. With all the meds I've been, specific to the treatment of RSD as well as anti-inflammatory and relaxants, nothing has been of any help. From I have been told, over and over, these are not the normal muscle cramps that other people experience but rather RSD spasms which can occur in any affected limb. I tend to go with this because I have experienced similar cramps or spasms in other limbs.

I know that this really doesn't help you as far as giving you a solution but I did want to let you know that these cramps/spasms are not unusual in people with RSD.

I'm hoping that you may be able to help me with something. I currently doing a SCS trial and noticed that you have 1. Would you be able to let me know how it has worked out for you and how much of a difference it has made? I have to make a decision within a few days re having it permanently inplanted but the trial isn't helping me make the decision because the SCS is not functioning the way it should be and the doctor isn't sure why this is happening. I'd appreciate any of your thoughts.

Take care.


Direnee 06-08-2008 07:06 AM

Re: RSD and leg cramps?
The leg cramps hurt so badly that I do cry. I have had RSD since 2000 and recently I have been having severe leg cramps and on a scale of 1 -10 for pain, it is like a 15+.

Michelle94 06-08-2008 02:27 PM

Re: RSD and leg cramps?
I've had rsd for the past 7 yrs. I get leg cramps all the time.. Although its normal for rsd, make sure your getting enough potassium.. Low postassium is also another cause of cramping.. So is dehydration..
The best thing you can do for them is walk it off.. Stretch is out.. flex you foot up and down, you can also try massaging it.. Or using warm compresses.
Hope this helps some,

judiev331 06-08-2008 07:19 PM

Re: RSD and leg cramps?
Hi & welcome,

The cramps have come with each spread. Only a tad different in each spot. I'm on Baclofen since the spread to my legs. The RSD started in my left arm & spread from there. The hand cramps were easier to massage out. The leg cramps seem much more painful. The Baclofen took a long time to work and took away about 30% of the severity & about half of the cramps. I settle for whatever relief I can get.

Hope you had a less pain weekend


Direnee 06-08-2008 07:57 PM

Re: RSD and leg cramps?
I wanted to mention that when you look at my legs, ankles , and fee while going thorough this, it is almost looking like something is possessing it. My calf moves so close into my shin. It is hard to explain.

Direnee 06-08-2008 08:00 PM

Re: RSD and leg cramps?
thank you Michelle. I do take potassioum supplements because I have to take lasix. I drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day. It is hot where I live right now.

disabledDC 06-09-2008 01:04 AM

Re: RSD and leg cramps?

I have also had an RSD type syndrome since '99, and I get horrible muscle cramps, also most especially at night. My "RSD" resulted from a brain injury and was immediately in all four limbs and the left side of my face. I've even had the muscles in the left side of my face go into spasm ... that's really weird!

Anyway, what I wanted to mention is that before you go popping extra minerals, you might want to have your doc run a blood test for electrolyte levels. Electrolytes are really just minerals that are in solution, as ions (charged atoms), in your blood and interstitial fluid (the water in and around your cells). Potassium is often helpful in reducing cramping, but low calcium, or magnesium can also be the problem and thus replacement of these can be the cure. Also, you may find that a combination of minerals is needed.

Be sure to take your minerals (once you know what you need) in their CHELATED form. Usually, as a 'citrate', 'ascorbate', or 'gluconate' (for example "calcium citrate", or "potassium ascorbate"). These forms are much more readily absorbed and are easier on the GI tract.

Finally, if all of that fails, talk to your doc about trying quinine. Yes, that's the stuff they take to avoid malaria and what gives tonic water its bitter flavor. I don't know if anyone has figured out how it works, but quinine has been used for years for "restless leg syndrome" with virtually no side-effects except the bitter taste. I have found excellent relief with quinine when the minerals aren't working well enough. Using the quinine, I have completely avoided adding yet another harsh prescription drug to what I already have to take.

Best of luck to you,


hdladyred 06-09-2008 04:02 PM

Re: RSD and leg cramps?
To chime in with Kevin, if you are already taking Potassium than it is entirely possible that along with the RSD the cramping could be being irritated due to the fact that you now have higher levels of potassium and lower levels minerals. If you are on birth control pills this can be further worsened and most physicians won't test for this or know to tell you. It is worth it to ask for base-line blood work. Most of my leg spasms went away without having to change my RSD meds when we got my electrolytes under control but it took 3 monts of blood work/testing and diet/supplement adjusting to do so. Gentle hugs to you and wishes for warm and pain free days.

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