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Hi everyone I've had rls since I was a teenager and I'm 34 I also have arthritis and take tramadol which Ive seen people mention plus other meds for my arthritis. I had a terrible night sleep due to rls which is now affecting my arms, which is why I came on the Internet to find info on condition. So glad I've come across this forum good to know I'm not on my own.

8 Replies

  • Hi Reggie and welcome to the forum.You are definitely not on your own we all suffer with RLS in varying degrees,RLS -UK is a good website to get reliable information about different medications etc.Another site is www.rlshelp .org

    That is an American site but most of meds are the same , some go under different names.You need to say if you wantvto which other meds you are taking as many meds can make RLS much worse for some peopleThe main culprits are antidepressants, antihistamines and anti nausea, also some have problems with others too.Get your Ferratin iron checked out, its just a blood test, it needs to be over 70 which is higher than normal. Have you started any new meds recently which could be making you worse? At least now you have somewhere to come where people understand how it affects you.

    Just a thought -Tramadol works very well for many but it can cause RLS to get worse due to Augmentation. This is where symptoms come earlier in the day and spreads to arms etc.As you have mentioned your arms this is a possibility. Put Augmentation in the search box gor more information about this.Once again welcome! Pipps

  • Hi Reggie,

    Welcome. Pippins has given you good information. Visit the sites Pippin has mentioned and please do not hesitate to ask questions. We all do our best to help and support each other on here. You can also do a search on this forum for answers to any questions you may have. I suffer with osteoarthritis too. It sucks doesn't it?


  • Morning reggie11 I am on Tramodol at the present am trying slow release ,what are you on and how long have you been taking them

  • When you have arthritis or any pain.. you can get a really tight braid of pain/rls going and for me, one irritates the other.. I seem to have both going on at the same time.. the more that I move the limbs- as we do with rls forcefully, the more pain gets in there and wrecks sleeping.

    I'm going to go out a limb here and suggest this..

    Tramadol is a great pain relief for some - it has a sedation effect on most.

    Tramadol might not be enough to calm your pain if you have been taking it for

    some lenght of time - for some that means as little as 2 weeks before our pain

    receptors start shutting down to THAT particular medicine.. then you end up

    still getting some sedation but not pain relief.. you might need something stronger

    for the pain .. which will give you more sedation..

    Sedation and RLS are enemies if the sedation is not quite strong enough to produce

    sleep but strong enough for you to feel the "tired" - so your limbs (rls) becomes

    highly activated - rls is going nuts and you feel extra tired... bummer.

    If a stronger narcotic is given.. sometimes the same process starts all over..

    you might need more and more of the pain drug to get you out of pain and

    into a good sleep.. it's possible that the sedation is stronger than the RLS is..

    but it won't last if you continue.. or if it does, you are one of the few..

    It's not impossible though.. I had a good combination of a dopamine/ pain pill

    that lasted for a at least a year before doctor/ family decided that I didn't "need"

    the pain pill anymore and that it wasn't doing my body any favors.. NOW I am

    back on it after a week and I feel like a human who CAN get sleep, can settle

    the legs down.. it's an oxycodone.. not many are allowed to take that drug

    let alone stay on it for a year.. but it worked for me, reduced my back pain/neuropathy pain greatly and wiped out any remaining RLS.. so I would say that it can work but probably only if you take just one pain pill only to get to sleep without RLS/ pain...

    but I am told that it stays working for less than 3% of the people after 2 weeks.

  • Hi, I have osteoarthritis and have had it for 4 years now, also on Tramadol. My restless legs started after some arthroscopy on my knee, not sure if this is just a coincidence. Rls driving me crazy, trying to work full time still but don't sleep. I can fall asleep for about 2 hours then awake all night with it. Medication doubled in dose recently but makes no difference. Looking for ideas if anyone has any? Thanks for reading

  • How long ago was your knee surgery Clare? Did you have a spinal anesthetic rather than a general? People report RLS (who never had it before) or a worsening of symptoms after a spinal numbing agent... that can last for several months. You are probably pre-disposed to RLS but never felt any symptoms until your spine was messed with. You'd be amazed at how long those numbing agents can last. A numb spinal column is a poor road for that much needed neurotransmitter, dopamine, to travel. That signal which originates in the brain has to travel down our spines and get all the way to our legs to quiet them.

  • Hi

    No it was a general anaesthetic rather than spinal and i have had arrhroscopy 3 years before that on the other knee and it wasnt starting then. I have had my pramipexole doubled recently which helped for about 2 weeks or so and now back to being bad again and starting earlier in the evening now!

  • Well, what other meds are you taking? How's your spine? Are you in the mood to read through a 100 pages of posts on here and see if anything fits the bill? After your recent knee surgery did they give you any new meds? Blood thinner? The other possibility is that the increased tramadol usage to overcome the pain of the knee surgery has down-regulated your already genetically down regulated dopamine receptors. If those receptors go too low, there won't be enough dopamine being released from them to allow you to sleep at night. People with Parkinsons Disease who never had RLS in their lives develop it after being on high doses of the dopamine agonists for long periods of time. The agonists will down-regulate everyone's receptors. But those that were born with already bad receptors will develop RLS from the agonists. But not everyone with Parkinson's will. And not everyone taking double dose tramadol for knee pain will develop RLS, but some will. Remove the down-regulating substances, allow your receptors to get back to baseline, and you might just say good-bye to your RLS.

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