Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

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sventory
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Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

Postby sventory » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:59 pm

This past winter I started getting muscle tension in my calves at night. I thought it was RLS, It would often happen at like 3-5am and make it hard to fall back to sleep (also have sleep apnea). I just kind of dealt with it because I hears RLS is common in people with sleep apnea. But about a month ago, it moved to my arms, where my muscles will tense up at rest. And I have to focus on them to actually relax it. As soon as I stop focusing on it, gets tensed up again. I don't actually have a desire to move it, and it's not itching or weird sensation, it's literally just muscle tension.

However, moving does relieve the symptoms. And I notice around 4-6 in the AM is when it stops enough that I can finally fall asleep, symptoms are also much less worse in the morning/early afternoon, around evening time it starts becoming worse again.

I've never slept worse in my entire life, night after night of 2 hours? maybe 3? Is this actually RLS? No where have I found anyone describing RLS as muscles uncontrollably tensing. But other symptoms around it seem to be similar and dopamine circadian related. and man when I get up during in the morning, feels like my arms were working out and exhausted.

Rustsmith
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Re: Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

Postby Rustsmith » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:29 pm

Probably each of us experiences our RLS movement symptoms differently. The feeling is something that is difficult to describe since there are often no similar feelings that we can relate to or use to tell others what it feels like. But with that said, many of us find that stretching the effected muscle often helps. So, describing it as muscle tension is a possibility. Soaking in hot water also helps many of us, which may also relate to what you call muscle tension.

There is no test that a doctor can do to diagnose RLS. It is done with a questionnaire. Here is a link to the latest revision to the questionnaire http://irlssg.org/diagnostic-criteria/.

If you still think that it could be RLS, there is one final step that might help. Your doctor can give you a low dose of a dopamine agonist, such as Mirapex or Requip, that you would take during the evening before the symptoms start. If the dopamine agonist does not resolve the problems, then it is unlikely that you have RLS.
Steve

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

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

sventory
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Re: Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

Postby sventory » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:00 pm

Well I'm not saying its "hard to describe". My muscles are literally tensing up. Like. If I rest my forearm on my knee such that my hand is completely hanging and relax. The hand will droop to a 90% angle with my forearm. Then over the course of a minute, if I am doing something else. My forearm muscles will tense up until my wrist is actually straight out from my forearms. I can see the forearm muscle relaxing when I force it to. Same happens in my calves. But otherwise as mentioned, the symptoms seem identical to RLS around day timings. And the dopamine rush I get in the early morning seems to remove the symptoms.

I guess I can try that, just so scared to try more pills, seems like they eventually cause more problems after a honeymoon period. My doc gave me artane for the symptoms which helps, but prevents me from sleeping. Not that I really sleep at all these days anyway.

sventory
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Re: Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

Postby sventory » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:38 pm

Not sure how to edit a post, but I guess I was just clarifying it's not a sensation but my muscles physically tensing up, and if anyone else had that manifestation? I've been unable to find anyone else describe it like that.

ViewsAskew
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Re: Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

Postby ViewsAskew » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:56 pm

That sounds more like a periodic limb movement. In RLS, you have the urge to move and so you move.

That said, when my RLS is very strong and if I try not to move, my muscles seem to tense without me deliberately moving them. Just for a second, then they release. Of course, this could be what they call periodic limb movements during wakefulness. It seems different to me...but I am not sure.

But either way, the muscle tightens just for a split second, then relaxes. PLMs happen very quickly and include a flexion from a joint, such as a hip, knee, ankle, or elbow. Staying tense is not a characteristic of either RLS or PLMs.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

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Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

sventory
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Re: Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

Postby sventory » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:21 pm

Great, so I have something else doctors can't figure out. My tensing doesn't happen for a split second, it's gradual slow and constant, where I have to focus on the muscle to relax it before the process begins again. I also get tingling too. Sometimes when the tensing is very minimal, there is tingling, heck the tingling doesn't even bother me, it's a relief compared to the tensing. The weird part is, when I am trying to sleep and not focus on it, or awake and focusing on something else, subconsciously I move all over the place to relieve it without thinking about it. Fidget fidget fidget, can't sit still. Then I'll realize what I was doing and why.

This is an anomaly, because besides the tensing, it has every other symptoms of RLS. So it's very sad for me to hear no one else experiences it like this.
What if you resist moving for over a minute? Does your muscles become even more tense?

ViewsAskew
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Re: Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

Postby ViewsAskew » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:23 pm

sventory wrote:Great, so I have something else doctors can't figure out. My tensing doesn't happen for a split second, it's gradual slow and constant, where I have to focus on the muscle to relax it before the process begins again. I also get tingling too. Sometimes when the tensing is very minimal, there is tingling, heck the tingling doesn't even bother me, it's a relief compared to the tensing. The weird part is, when I am trying to sleep and not focus on it, or awake and focusing on something else, subconsciously I move all over the place to relieve it without thinking about it. Fidget fidget fidget, can't sit still. Then I'll realize what I was doing and why.

This is an anomaly, because besides the tensing, it has every other symptoms of RLS. So it's very sad for me to hear no one else experiences it like this.
What if you resist moving for over a minute? Does your muscles become even more tense?


Sorry - I was traveling and am just getting settled.

For me, if I resist, the result is always the same. The muscles seem to twitch of their own accord - tensing over 1-3 seconds and very quickly releasing to a relaxed state. Never takes more than a few seconds and always releases on its own.

I hear you on having strange things, though. My doc diagnosed me with fibro two weeks ago but I am sure that is not accurate. It's more like a body-wide tendonitis along with myofascial trigger points. As you can guess, there is no such problem in the literature! And, she wants me to take an anti-depressant which could make the RLS worse. Being guinea pigs is not much fun, is it?
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



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Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

Postby Polar Bear » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:54 pm

ViewsAskew wrote: My doc diagnosed me with fibro two weeks ago but I am not sure that is not accurate. It's more like a body-wide tendonitis along with myofascial trigger points. As you can guess, there is no such problem in the literature! And, she wants me to take an anti-depressant which could make the RLS worse. Being guinea pigs is not much fun, is it?
[/quote]

I have also been diagnosed with fibro.... some years ago. And yes, just not sure that it is accurate, although I do have all over body aches and pain, and I am constantly fatigued. I have also been prescribed an antidepressant for the fibro i.e. amitriptyline, the reason being that it is also good for sleep. Yeh... right.... the jury's out on that one.

I can't confirm one way or another whether the amitrip affects my RLS symptoms but I have always felt there was no ill effect.
At present I am having symptom breakthrough which is to be expected as I'm currently trying to reduce my ER Tramadol. Instead of 2 2 x 50 capsules per day ..... I am taking 2 on one day, and 1 on the following day, alternating. Been doing this for 10 days so far.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

ViewsAskew
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Re: Can RLS be muscles actually tensing up?

Postby ViewsAskew » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:58 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
ViewsAskew wrote: My doc diagnosed me with fibro two weeks ago but I am not sure that is not accurate. It's more like a body-wide tendonitis along with myofascial trigger points. As you can guess, there is no such problem in the literature! And, she wants me to take an anti-depressant which could make the RLS worse. Being guinea pigs is not much fun, is it?


I have also been diagnosed with fibro.... some years ago. And yes, just not sure that it is accurate, although I do have all over body aches and pain, and I am constantly fatigued. I have also been prescribed an antidepressant for the fibro i.e. amitriptyline, the reason being that it is also good for sleep. Yeh... right.... the jury's out on that one.

I can't confirm one way or another whether the amitrip affects my RLS symptoms but I have always felt there was no ill effect.
At present I am having symptom breakthrough which is to be expected as I'm currently trying to reduce my ER Tramadol. Instead of 2 2 x 50 capsules per day ..... I am taking 2 on one day, and 1 on the following day, alternating. Been doing this for 10 days so far.


This stuff gets so complex! I think many of us have odd clusters of things. Often things that alone aren't a big deal, but together wipe us out. I cannot remember what she prescribed - I was leaving out of town the next day, so haven't even gone to the pharmacy to get it.

I remembered that you were also diagnosed with fibro and you also have the overactive bladder as I do. And, my mom, who is in her seventies, has nothing wrong, lol, but the once in a blue moon RLS episode. Sometimes it just doesn't seem all that fair. OH! It isn't fair!
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



Managing Your RLS



Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.


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