RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

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.]
badnights
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby badnights » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:04 am

Fascinating disease - would find it much more fascinating if I did not have it, though!
If I didn't have it, I probably would remain blissfully uninterested in it.
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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ViewsAskew
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby ViewsAskew » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:36 pm

badnights wrote:
Fascinating disease - would find it much more fascinating if I did not have it, though!
If I didn't have it, I probably would remain blissfully uninterested in it.


If I were a researcher, I'd find it fascinating. As a person in the world? I would love to be blissfully unaware and uninterested!
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

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Stainless
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby Stainless » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:49 pm

I don't know how and doubt you can direct oxygen to a specific area but high oxygen can do amazing things to bring back damaged tissue. The best example is burn patients. And it does not hurt the rest of your body (probably helps) as long as you take into account oxygen toxicity which only occurs above three atmospheres of pure oxygen. There is also lung pathology that happens when people are on oxygen for very long times like very old people in hospitals.

I was a very avid jogger most of my life and now do long sessions on the elliptical. I have a hard time thinking my thigh muscles/nerve system are being starved of oxygen but not have an effect on exercise.

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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby Rustsmith » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:08 pm

The information that was provided in the Foundation webinar on hypoxia indicated that under "normal" conditions we actually have enhanced circulation in our legs. From what they said, it is normal for the blood vessels in the legs to dilate when challenged with hypoxia. However, since our blood vessels are already somewhat dilated, we do not see the increased circulation when we become hypoxic and actually fall a little behind.

As a competitive runner, I attribute our normal dilation as providing me with an advantage in short distances races, such as 800 meters. But the reduced additional dilation with hypoxia is the reason why I lose my advantage at longer distances, such as races at 5K and longer. My understanding is that the reduced dilation does not mean that my leg muscles are being starved of oxygen at the longer distances, just that all else equal, I would be getting more if not for the RLS. I believe that my RLS allows me to deliver more oxygen to my legs due to enhanced blood flow in the short races when I am not yet hypoxic, so I have an advantage. But the lesser dilation due to exercise induced hypoxia shifts the advantage to others whose training level is similar to mine.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

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badnights
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby badnights » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:26 am

When we talk of hypoxia in WED, we should remember that it's not just evident in leg muscles. It's happening on a cellular level. Hypoxic pathways in brain cells (SN and cortex) are activated in WED, as determined from brain autopsies, and this links to both iron and dopamine abnormalities.
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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pamhb
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby pamhb » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:34 pm

Reporting back in, after many months ....

The washout didn't work (bummer), but the pneumatic leg pumps seem to be effective. I have RLS symptoms in upper and lower legs and my left shoulder; using the pneumatic leg pumps seems to have quietened my RLS symptoms in my lower legs. I use the VenaPro portable leg pumps, as they are less expensive ($700 CND) than the full pump set and I wasn't sure whether it would work or not. They have a limited life span of 100 hours, so I will graduate to the more expensive set eventually. In Canada, VenaPro is sold through DJO Canada. I had very good service through them. I use them for one hour in the evening before bed. You have to be able to quiet your legs before you use the pumps, or it will intensify your symptoms. I try to do something highly distractive when using them, if my legs are on edge. Whatever brand you buy, they need to be able to inflate for 5 seconds every minute at 40 cm H20 air pressure with each inflation cycle. Unfortunately the pumps do nothing for the RLS in my upper legs. But I'll take what I can get.

More on the topic of hypoxia....
The RLS in my shoulder seems to be tied closely to a muscle trigger point in my shoulder. It had reached the point where I couldn't lie down in any position at night without setting off an RLS response. It seemed to me that my body had created a feedback loop -- the more tense the muscle became, the more it attracted RLS symptoms, and the more RLS symptoms I experienced, the tighter the muscle became. Releasing the trigger point with a lacrosse ball brought only temporary relief. I worked without success with physio and massage therapy treatments to try and release the trigger point more permanently, but we weren't having much success because the RLS tightened the muscle back up at night. As a last resort, I tried "dry needling". Low and behold, it does in fact bring me some longer relief from my RLS symptoms in my shoulder. In chatting with my therapist, he mentioned that one of the theories around muscle trigger points is that the muscle becomes so tight that hypoxia is a potential issue. There certainly seems to be a theme here for me...

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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby badnights » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:46 am

I read this last night and started a reply, but I ended up going to bed before I finished it. I'm glad you shared this, I've wondered about the pneumatic compression devices but won't spend the money without a trial period. I never did call a supplier about it, though. Since you have to quiet your legs before using it, but it does help, when do the effects begin to be noticed? Half way through the hour? or not until afterwards?
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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pamhb
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby pamhb » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:44 am

Any sensation I might have while using the pumps is gone as soon as I take them off, and my lower legs will then usually be still for the rest of the night. If I need to quiet my legs before using the pumps, all I do is to take a bath or hot shower.

I sensed the last time I talked to the distributor rep (DJO Canada), that he might have cut me a deal on my next set if I had asked. I was phoning because the velcro was no longer holding the leg wrap on. However, since I sorted that issue out by sewing on some additional velcro, I didn't pursue the issue of pricing. If you contact DJO about a purchase, it would be worth asking about compassionate pricing, if you have no insurance that will help cover the purchase.

I should also point out that I have fairly severe RLS, for which nothing much works ....

badnights
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby badnights » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:56 pm

pamhb, will you stick with VenaPro when you upgrade ?
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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pamhb
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby pamhb » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:00 pm

Although I like the convenience of the VenaPro portable system, I will likely upgrade to the more expensive set which has has the detached pump which plugs into the wall (the VenaFlow system). The VenaPro portable system is only intended for temporary use, and the battery life is only 100 hours. I'm thinking these legs of mine have more than one hundred hours left if them ;) I had no problems with the VenaPro pumps other than they stopped fastening after a while. They have Velcro "hook" tabs that hook into the fuzzy surface of the leg wrap; after a while, the fuzzy surface wasn't holding the hooks any more because of constant use. I contacted customer service and they suggested that I try sewing a strip of Velcro "eye" material on the leg wraps, which has worked like a charm. I will most likely upgrade before my VenaPros stop working, since I like the convenience of being able to carry my pumps easily when I travel.

badnights
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby badnights » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:50 am

they need to be able to inflate for 5 seconds every minute at 40 cm H20 air pressure with each inflation cycle
For anyone else reading this thread, those settings are from a 2009 study in which a third of 21 patients found full relief from symptoms by using a a pneumatic compression device for one hour per night at those settings.
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby Ladyslider » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:50 pm

I've always had RLS in my thighs. It has never affected my calves. I also get it in my arms. I can not get a pedicure in the evening. I also notice that when I go around lunch time for a pedicure that the massage gets my RLS started. Pedicures and wine together is also a big no-no. Any time I drink alcohol it severely affects my RLS. I take a hot shower during the night to calm my RLS. RLS is surely a strange disorder.

badnights
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Re: RLS and Increasing Circulation in Legs

Postby badnights » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:40 am

I have had some miserable experiences from alcoholic drinks, but not consistently. There seem to be certain wines and beers I Can drink in moderation without WED/RLS, and others that start it up instantly.
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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