Insomnia / Restlesslegs - update!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by HeavenlyRN, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    I wrote another 2 other posts about dealing with insomnia and restless legs. Last night I was having a real problem getting to sleep. I just couldn't shut my brain down and also my legs and right arm were really jumpy. I got out of bed and was just wandering around when I noticed something sitting next to my couch. It is a chair massager thingee. My neighbor gave it to me when she didn't want it any more. It has many settings so that you can sit in it and massage from your legs to your neck, or you can just massage one area at a time. It also has heat in it.

    WOWEE!!! I sat on it for about 20 minutes and massaged my legs and lower back, along with the heat. When I was finished I felt like a new woman. I went to bed and I think I was asleep in minutes.

    Who knows if it will work again tonight, but I'm sure going to give it a try. Just thought I'd pass this on. BTW, it's made by "Homedics."
  2. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    Hi Kina,

    The "chair thingee" as I so lovingly call it it made by Homedics. It is black and sort of looks like something you might put on the seat of your car to protect it - except that doesn't have the part that covers the back part of the seat also. It has straps that can go over the edges of the back of the chair and the seat of the chair. It is cushioned - with foam I think. I suppose it could also be put on a bed because it does lay down flat. It has 5 separate massaging "zones." You can use them all at once, or cycle them. You can just do the left side of your body, or the right side of the body. It also has heat but the heat only works when you are actually sitting on it. You can also control how fast the cycles go, if you're using the cycles, and the intensity of the vibrations.

    Depending on how sore I am on any given day - sometimes the massage seems a little bit rough - especially on my back. So on those days I usually just do my legs.

    I'm hoping not to have any problems with my legs or arms tonight. But if I do.......I'm heading right for the massager. In fact, I may just put it on my bed for a while.

    Am I still workng? Well. that's a little iffy. I'm actually currently out on short term disability (while will most likely turn into long term disability pretty soon). I am a hospice nurse! My job consisted of going to several nursing homes and taking care of the resident there who had been put on hospice. I love my job, but have a feeling that I will not be able to handle that job when/if I do get cleared to go back to work. Most likely I will have to take a desk job. At least with that I can get up and sit down when I need to.

    Regarding the chair thingee - you might be able to get it at Bed, Bath and Beyond or someplace like that.

    Good luck and let me know if you get one and how it works for your symptoms.
  3. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, Heavenly.

    Glad to hear the "thingy" helps you!

    Somebody else posted that low magnesium can be involved in restless leg syndrome.

    I just want to note that low iron can, also. Measuring ferritin is the best indicator of iron stores.

  4. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    Yes, I have also heard the magnesium connection. I started taking it 2 nights ago - keeping my fingers crossed.

    Tried the "thingy" again tonight. Keeping my fingers crossed about that one too.

    Kerrilynn - wow, it's kind of hard for me to describe what MY restless leg syndrome feels like.
    It's sort of like:
    1. the nerves in my legs are on fire
    2. having bugs under my skin
    3. not having control over my own extremities
    4. the muscles are slightly contracting and relaxing
    5. my legs (and now my left arm) have a life of their own

    Unfortunately, I am now having "restless left arm syndrome" also. The other night my left arm must have looked like a fish out of water. I just couldn't keep it from flopping around.

    My dear, wonderful husband will give me a massage on the affected body parts. I wish he could do it for hours on end but alas, he sort of gives out after a while.

    I have also tried one of those little hand held massagers with the 3 little balls on it, especially on the nights when my husband works nights!

    I'm going to continue using the chair massager "thingy" and the magnesium. Will keep everyone updated, as I know you will all be waiting with bated breath! :)
  5. teacher

    teacher New Member

    I use calcium. I shoot for 2000 mg daily. That has knocked the restlessness right out.

    It took me a bit to work up to that much, but I do sleep better.

    Congrats on the massager. Sounds wonderful.
  6. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    Kramer referred to RLS as having "Jimmy Legs" Not sure why,but I know I get "Jimmy ankles quite a bit,and even a Jimmy arm every now and then! Drives me crazy! I have one of those Homemedic massage "thingies". It's a little too rough for me.~~~Jeanne
  7. ilovepink4

    ilovepink4 Member

    I bought one for my daughter....who has cerebral palsy....but, it was soooo loud it drove me nuts when I tried it...i suffer from anxiety caused by noise though so maybe it was just a personal problem?
  8. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    There are actually two types of conditions involving the type of leg movement discussed in this thread; RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome) and PLMD (Periodic Leg Movement Disorder).

    I have RLS which means I sometimes get symptoms during the day. PLMD only occurs at nigh.RLS may occur with or without limb movements. My lower arms are also affected.

    The "pain" of RLS, at least for me, is similar to the "pain" I get with Fibromyalgia, a deep ache. If I am sitting during the day, I often get these sensations though not as severely. I have tried vibrators, massaging and rubbing my legs and warm baths, but they do not provide relief at least at night. A bath with epsom salts provides temporary relif during the day.

    My RLS is pretty much under control with Klonopin(Clonazepam) and a small dose of Trazodone About two to four times a month I need to take Mirapex which is a drug for Parkinson's Disease, another movement disorder, but at a much lower dosage. Magnesium does not help me, however when I was anemic, my RLS became much worse.

    If anemia might be a factor, you not only need to get a CBC but your Ferritin levels checked as well.

    "Restless legs syndrome is estimated to affect 5% of the population. Approximately 80% of people with RLS have PLMD, though most people with PLMD do not experience RLS."

    Here is a good overview:

    Hope this helps.


    ETA I do not get cramps nor "charlie horses". As with many medical conditions individual symptoms may vary.

    [This Message was Edited on 02/10/2010]
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    you may have read one of my previous threads, but here go's. Havent been officially diagnosed with RLS but regularly get woken up at night with lower leg pain. Have been on lyrica for this which has helped but recently this has stopped working for me, and although hasnt really put any weight on me, while on it find it difficult to lose while on lyrica. Now i have been on topamax for almost 2 weeks and it has been working great, no leg pain and sleeping well also, have had no side effects but have heard it can help with weight loss which i hope it does.

  10. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    Wow! Just reading the responses to this thread just proves to me how alike - yet different - we all are. We all seem to suffer from the same things, yet get results from different modalities.

    Yes, the chair massager is quite loud (and powerful). I was using it the other night and my husband, who was sitting on the other end of the couch, was also getting a massage - without the massager!

    As far as it being too loud, I wonder if putting a blanket on it while you're using it might help to diminish the loudness and the intensity of the vibrations. I haven't tried it but that thought just came to me as I was sitting here in my early morning headache fog!!

    I use Requip for my RLS but I think it is beginning to lose some of it's effectiveness. I'm trying the magnesium route and will wait to see how that works.

    Good luck to all of us!!
  11. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Funny you should mention this now. I recently got one handed down to me from my Mom. I think it would be easier for me to sit on if I had a recliner or something to lay back a bit. It seems like I'm sitting really upright. It's great how you can set it to where the vibrations start at your legs then move their way up your body. For some reason the heat on mine doesnt work, I think we're missing a cord.
    would you mind looking at yours and seeing if there's an extra cord needed?

    Restless Legs - I noticed I had what I would call RLS when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. Even when I was laying down, very relaxed, I would get this uncontrollable urge to move my legs. Very hard to describe. It's like you HAVE to move them. It's a very uncomfortable feeling.

    What I've had though for the past couple of years must be the Periodic Limb thing. My body jerks like crazy- sometimes it actually hurts. It can happen when I'm relaxed on the couch sitting up. My legs will just kick, or multiple parts jerk. It causes a spontaneous moan because it's surprising and often almost painful like I said. When I lay down to sleep, even my head/neck area will jerk. WTH?

    Not only magnesium, but I know having potassium is important as well - ESPECIALLY if you're getting any charlie horses/cramps (which that is a whole other story for me)