Back stretches

Please share your experiences, successes, and failures in using non-drug therapies for RLS/WED (methods of relief that don't involve swallowing or injecting anything), including compression, heat, light, stretches, acupuncture, etc. Also under this heading, medical interventions that don't involve the administration of a medicine to the body (eg. varicose-vein operations, deep-brain stimulation). [This forum contains Topics started prior to 2009 that deal with Non-prescription Medicines, Supplements, & Diet.]
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Back stretches

Postby AshleyFrancis » Sun May 11, 2008 2:59 am

A solution.
I am 61 years old and for many years I have suffered with restless legs syndrome for most of my life. It worries me when either going to bed and cannot sleep because of pain in my legs, or having to get up about two o'clock in the morning and doing 15 minutes on the exer-cycle in order to get back to sleep (doing the exercises before I went to bed was not as effective as doing them when I woke during the night). Recently I was getting very little sleep at all. I tried most of the leg stretch exercises but they seem to be of limited help in alleviating the problem and the exercise in the middle of the night no fun.
Thinking back, there was one period in my life when RLS did not affect me as greatly and that was when I was actively hiking and carrying reasonably large packs (20-30kg). I remember one occasion when I had a sore back for several months and in utter frustration went out for a 10 day trip in the mountains and came back with no back problems. After reflecting on these experiences I recently came to the conclusion that my problem may not be associated with my leg muscles rather it may originate from my back.
I started a series of exercises that stretch my back in the morning (which are a series of gentle stretches) and a strong stretch just before I go to bed. I believe the most important one is the evening stretch where I sit flat on the floor and hold my toes for a count of 200. As with most people I struggle to touch my toes initially so I bend my knees and gradually bring my knees down flat on the floor. This is initially a [u]tough[/u] stretch but it stretches the leg muscles and the back at the same time. The reason that I maintain the position for a count of 200 is that I have found that by the time I've got to 200 both the back and the leg muscles are much more relaxed. Sometimes I will increase the time when I believe there is some residual tension in the muscles.
Since starting these exercises two months ago and doing them every night I have been sleeping without any problems. Over that period of time I have got up only three times and repeated the exercises. (This has occurred when I am just not sleeping rather than having leg problems.)
It works for me so I thought that I would share it with others and see if it helps them.

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Postby ctravel12 » Sun May 11, 2008 3:21 am

Hi Ashley and welcome to the group. Thank you for sharing your story.

We welcome any advise and if this helps just one person then that is wonderful. Thank you again.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
Taking one day at a time

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Postby Scarlett46 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:31 pm

I notice that I have better days when I do yoga in the morning - even if it's only 20-30 minutes.

And my favorite "after run" stretch, which also helps when I get jumpy is the half-pigeon yoga pose. That is... one leg stretched out behind you on the floor; other leg bent in front of you (foot towards opposite side). As shallow or deep as you can handle - it gets easier as your muscles relax a bit. Very good for the hip and thigh areas.
"After all... Tomorrow is another day!"

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