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Periodic Limb Movement (restless legs)


13 Aug 2014 @ 20:37PM

This disorder is causing much distress in our household and there seems to be no answer. I have been unable to share a bed with my husband for the whole night for more than three years. Soon after falling asleep he starts kicking, sometimes quite violently, around once a minute, sometimes more frequently. It goes on for hours, sometimes all night, but he is mostly unaware unless I wake him or he kicks something. This is NOT restless leg syndrome - he doesn't have any symptoms when he's awake. We've tried everything - acupuncture, massage, supplements, hypnotherapy - and we are getting desperate.

He started suffering with this, we believe, after being wrongly prescribed a combination of drugs. He'd been taking Amitrityline for about 10 years for 'nerve pain' and to help him sleep but was then prescribed Tramadol for back pain on repeat prescription. It took a nutritional therapist to work out that the two should not be taken together. Disillusioned with prescription drugs and the NHS he weaned himself off of both drugs - first Tramdol (the withdrawals were frightening) and then Amitriptyline, which took a year. He took the last dose one year ago this month and is really well now (the acupuncture and massage worked for his original back pain!) but the kicking remains.

Searching for information about PLMD on the internet is frustrating - basically the medical world doesn't really know what causes it. Standard treatments are iron supplements and quinine - he has tried both - and drugs used to treat Parkinsons, which he is very, very reluctant to try as the side effects look awful and he is very sensitive to drugs. They are also known to lose their effectiveness over time and symptoms can return worse than before if treatment is stopped.

Dopamine seems to be the key, but the door is proving hard to unlock! He tried Muscleze initially, on the recommendation of his nutritional therapist, which worked miraculously for about a month, but it came back and we've never been able to recreate that relief, even when he tried it again.

With two teenage children in the house and no spare room, one of us ends up on the sofa every night and it's a very depressing situation. Any suggestions very gratefully received!

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