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Pain in calf muscles and legs waking me up at night

Discussion in 'Pain and Inflammation' started by Gingergrrl, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    The last few nights, I have been woken up by pain in my calf muscles and a feeling like my legs need to move. I always have bruises on my calves but not sure this is related. I don't think it is Restless Leg Syndrome b/c I don't feel like anything is crawling on me and it does not happen every night. I've tried putting heat or ice on it and also taking salt stick tablets in the middle of the night but it doesn't seem to help much. What do others do for this?
     
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  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hmmm, when that happens to me its extreme calf cramps, and its obvious. That responds to calcium and magnesium. I do not know what this might be.
     
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  3. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    I get this too sometimes and I'm not sure why. It was happening a few weeks ago and then just went away. It was actually one of the very first symptoms I had. Sometimes magnesium/potassium seems to help. Sometimes it feels like cramping but sometimes it's just a sharp pain.
     
  4. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    Potassium and magnesium always helps with things like this, most the time the symptoms of low potassium and magnesium occur late at night especially.
     
  5. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    i've had this kind of problem which has been resolved by twice daily calcium/magnesium tablets at the grocery store. Nothing fancy.

    Best wishes.
     
  6. Dufresne

    Dufresne almost there...

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    Dr Shoemaker writes about the extremities cramping during the night. That it can be extremely painful in the calves. Ever consider biotoxin (mold) illness?
     
  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    For me it's magnesium that help with that. Do you get muscle twitches, spasms, and/or cramps?
     
  8. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    If it is severe enough to wake you up then it most likely potassium. It landed me in A&E before I knew what it was.
     
  9. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Any electrolyte except for salt!
     
  10. harmoniics

    harmoniics

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    I get this all the time. I think it's to do with the combination of DOMS (delayed onset muscles soreness), and the anatomy of triceps surae (calf muscles). It's where blood tends to pool when 'normal' people are on their feet a lot, standing of walking/running for a long time... in extreme cases they can get something called 'compartment syndrome'.
    I don't think we get compartment syndrome, but we can get fluid and blood build up with much less exertion because of the way CFS/ME affects our muscles. Magnesium tablets and drinking water helps to manage the symptoms, but you need to get the blood and oedema flowing back towards your heart . I usually lie on the bed with my legs elevated on the wall if it is really bad. After about an hour I lie down with my feet elevated on double pillows. I may have to sleep like this to alleviate the symptoms. If I have to be on my feet, I have learnt to take mini breaks where ever I can and sit with my feet up. The more you can do this during the day when you are busy, the less you are in pain at night.

    If your symptoms are milder than mine, you could try going to sleep with just one pillow under your feet. Try two if you need to. Also try gentle stretching of your gastroc & soleus (together make the triceps surae) muscles. I find it better to stretch the next day after I have rested and given my muscles a chance to heal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  11. maddietod

    maddietod Senior Member

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    I'm like Valentijin - I only need the magnesium.
     
  12. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my question. I already take a high amount of Magnesium and Potassium every day plus drinking Pedialyte and salt stick tablets (which have sodium & other electrolytes.)

    But your responses made me realize that I do not take any calcium and no one had recommended this to me. Is calcium something that most PWC's take every day? @alex3619 and @Kati just curious, what type and dosages of Calcium do you take and does it interact or interfere with any other meds/supplements or pretty benign?
     
  13. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Gondwanaland Just curious why you would say not to take salt? All of my doctors told me that I need to increase my sodium and to take salt stick tablets if I am having muscle cramping or other certain symptoms?

    @harmoniics

    What is compartment syndrome?

    I have not tried either of those (elevating legs on wall or sleeping with pillows under legs) and will keep this in mind when it happens again.

    Thank you and I will watch your video with the calf stretches and see if I am able to do them. Thanks again!
     
  14. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I do not take calcium every day, just if I have severe muscle cramps. Almost anything with calcium should work, at quite low doses, including many antacids. How calcium interacts depends on what the formula is. I have not investigated most but antacids would decrease stomach acid and so interfere with normal digestion.

    I do not recommend calcium made from sea shells. It can be contaminated.

    Calcium and magnesium need to be in balance. I think we need magnesium more than calcium, but if you supplement with magnesium without calcium you might wind up with a relative calcium deficiency.

    I take whatever the normal dose is, starting at the low end and increasing to maximum recommended dose if necessary. If it doesn't work, and this shouldn't take more than a few hours, then I will not take more.

    So usually when my calf muscles clump into a hard ball, very round, and I am in pain I take one tab of calcium carbonate. However I do something extra, which I am not recommending, which is slowly and carefully stretching the muscle while the calcium kicks in.

    If I have magnesium to hand I will also take a magnesium tab, again one.

    Your problem does not appear to be cramps, so I cannot make any further suggestions.
     
  15. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Please apologize my ignorance, but I have never heard of taking salt orally for muscle pain before (I am no doctor nor health carer). I know that a warm bath with sodium bicarbonate counteracts lactic acid - so perhaps it could work orally too. But from what i have read so far, and from my own experience with muscle pain, the electrolytes to be taken orally that help are potassium, magnesium and calcium. How to balance them? No idea...
     
  16. Kina

    Kina

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    I get this at times, it's soooo painful. I find a combination of Vit D3, Calcium Citrate, Magnesium Citrate taken at night is very helpful.
     
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  17. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    My ca/mg tablets are 333mg/166 mg all in the same pill. i've been told that these 2 need to be taken together. Also for us women heading towards menopause, calcium intake is important especially if we are not active, since menopause, inactivity and low calcium intake are all risk for osteoporosis. (Meeting your daily recommended calcium intake can be verydifficult if you are not drinking milk or having dairy)
    i started taking this supplement because of my legs cramps and never looked back.

    A word of caution, calcium supplements cannot be taken within 4hours of thyroid meds and if you are taking iron supplement you should not take it with calcium as iron does not ablsorb well with calcium. iron should be taken with fruits (vitamin C)
     
  18. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Kati I do not eat any dairy (since June) and wonder if the lack of calcium is adding to my leg cramps at night and I was low on calcium in a recent blood test. Do you (and everyone else who takes calcium) have an opinion which is better to take- calcium citrate or calcium phosphate (I hope I am getting the terms correct!) Alex said not to take the one made from sea shells but I am not sure which one that is? If I order calcium, I want to get the best one for PWC's if there is such a thing?!!
     
  19. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    It usually says "from seashell hydroxyapatite"
     
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  20. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    @Gingergrrl my honest opinion here, is pick up a bottle at the grocery store, save your money. My bottle says there are a few kinds of calcium in there, along with different kinds of magnesium, and there is Zinc too as a bonus. It works for me. 'Better' calcium (if there is such thing) is not needed. Best thing to do is to give it a try.
     
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