British Lung Foundation
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need help

hi when i go to bed at night i get this hurting in my legs and it makes the nerves in my legs jump its terrible i try moving them about to try and help it but it just gets worse ok i sit in my chair all day but i keep doing excersises with my feet and legs to keep the blood flow going and was wondering does anyone else get this problem at all its quite frightening i have copd /emphysima but wouldnt of thought this problem would have anything to do with that so thought i would ask if anyone else has this at all thank you jan x

13 Replies

Hi Jan, don't know if it is the same but I get what I call dead leg. My legs just ache and I have to keep moving them don't seem to be able to relax them its take ages to stop.

Have had it for years don't know why.



hi pollyjj oh thanks for that information i am doing just same as you but i get so scared sometimes because they really hurt but as i said i keep moving them about even when sitting so to keep the circulation going so like you i.m at a loss as to why it happens perhaps its just me hahaha old age but thank you very much pollyjj xxxx


If you have swelling also to hands or feet this symptom will be useful information for your GP when you are able to relate this experience for assistance with mobility. Noting down times and how long since your last inhaler use is relevant to night cramps and pain,hope you find some relief soon.


hi hergernt yes i always get swelling in my feet especially they sometimes feel like they are ready to explode as they get so tight plus i do get it sometimes in my hands but when i have been in hospital they have seen this but they just told me to sit with my feet up lvl with my body my gp has also seen it but didnt do anything


Showing a respiratory consultant these symptoms as you may be suffering from odema but as a none qualified patient this is only my own opinion based on previous experience of this.


I still have mild Odema (aka Dropsy), fluid retention in the legs. My GP gave me 'water tablets' some time ago but they did nothing. My legs hurt when I stand for too long, or have been walking.

I've since tried to keep my legs up when sleeping, I had been spending the night in a chair, sat upright, as it was the only place I could get comfy. I've since changed to the sofa and prop myself up at one end so my head is resting on the top of the back with a pillow, and my legs are then straight instead of dangling down. It helped, a lot.

When I tried researching the problem I found some odd suggestions, like wear pumps or drainpipe trousers, even that a tap on the ankle may help, then I found this useful page

Always get things like this checked out with your GP, don't just assume that this is the answer, there could be more to it than just swollen legs.

I've even tried support stockings, but they were very uncomfortable and left me sore where the top elastic had rubbed around the back of my knees. I couldn't get them right up over the knees due to them being so tight around my swollen ankles and calves.


oh gordon hhahahahahahah, you do make me laugh, not the fact that you got edema, the drainpipes etc


hi gordon thank you for all the information you have given me i have read your link that you gave me its really interesting my hospital dr gave me water tablets a long time ago now but they did nothing at all when my feet swell i can barely see the end of my toes so you can tell how bad they get my resperatory consultant just says to keep my feet up lvl with my body when the swelling comes which i do but they really hurt then until theyv gone down its terrible i really feel sorry for you having to suffer this its bad enough with everything else we have without this but bless you for trying to help me i really do appreciate it can i ask do you have a social service ot at all because she can help you get a electric bed so that you can have your feet up and your head to help with your breathing i was told this by a lady at dwp offices but you take care now and i hope you are ok jan xx


No electric bed I'm afraid. I was recently seen by the lady from the council and she seems to think my sleeping arrangements are OK as I have a bed, I can get in and out of it, not being able to sleep in it is not their concern.

The came and fitted a second handrail on the stairs and I have a squatting stool for when I'm in the kitchen. I didn't tick the right boxes for anything else.

The advice you've had, to put your feet up, is about the best you'll get it seems.


oh my goodness gordon thats terrible what they are doing to you your council is so wrong my ot had the council fit me a stairchair to get upstairs as well as grab rails in my shower room and she also got me a shower chair so that i can sit whilst showering so what they have told you is sooo out of order and when i applied to see if i could get help with electric bed the lady from the dwp phoned me up and said get onto your ot and they can get those things for you so i phoned my ot and she said you have to apply for that through social services ots so it can be done oooh my i cant believe they are leaving you like this its disgusting you take care now gordon and bless you xxx


It's all down to how they assess an individual. On the day I went for my blue badge the OT guy there spent an hour talking to me and then made the decision to award the badge. The lady that came to see me at home to look at my needs is from the same office, yet thought I could cope around the house most of the time.

I have to agree that I can, I am quite OK most of the time and it's only when I'm feeling a bit rough that I struggle. I tend to plan things out, to save effort, so will put things for recycling on a worktop near the door and only take them to the box when there are a few things to go. Heading to the loo upstairs is also planned out, taking bits of ironing up with me and bringing some washing down.

My biggest difficulty is walking over a distance. The bus stop over the road is about my limit without needing to stop. At home I'm not going as far, and have taught myself to do things in moderation, then take a break if I need to. Because of that I am not 'bad enough' for things like a stairlift or shower chair, I am able to do things myself - most of the time.

She has said that if circumstances or my health change then all I have to do is call their office and they'll arrange a re-visit.

The bed problem isn't with needing help in and out of it, or being able to raise my feet at the touch of a button. I can shove a pillow or rolled up blanket under the mattress to do that. It's that I always seem to roll over onto my front, and that puts a lot of unwanted pressure on my chest as my head is tilted upwards on multiple pillows or a wedge. I can't get to sleep 'flat', no need the head support. I don't wake up when I roll over, so wake with a stiff neck and chest pains. It also tends to upset my stomach, which is a different story :-o

No matter what sort of bed I have, they can't stop me rolling over, without adding restraints or cot sides - I'm not ready for that yet.


hi gordon bless you i just cant help feel sorry that you are having to put up with what you do but as long as you are happy and alright with it all then i.m happy for you it just seems to me like a postcode lottery one thing for one and something else for someone else its just so wrong it really is but bless you and you take care now jan xx


see this - maybe 'restless leg syndrome'.....


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