Restless Legs Syndrome
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Hi all. Not usually a fan of msg boards but think I can help a few ppl. A bit of background. Male, English, 62 years, full renal failure, rejected kidney transplant, 4x week dialysis, end in sight. Have suffered rls for number of years ranges from mild foot tapping thro to violent whole leg movements where knee shoots up into chest. Impossible to get to sleep or wakes me if already asleep. Seems to last about 4-5 hours. Due to pain in other parts of body I take codeine (2x30mg). After experiments and lucky observation found that codeine dose calms the rls to the extent that i am free from it for periods. My body takes 20 mins to absorb the tablets so only have to suffer 20 min before kick in. A single does taken at right time of day actually keeps symptoms down. I have my own theory of why this may work and the underlying reason we have it. Let me know if your interested. Good luck

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Hi Marc- welcome and sorry about your situation.

Yes- opiates are the most effective relief for rls available.

Most doctors won't prescribe them for rls alone- usually only for severe pain - if one is lucky enough to have that particular pleasure.

Thanks for your input.



Hi Marc, thanks for your post. Very sorry to hear how things are with you - not an envious situation. You are spot on; codeine (and other opioids) can be VERY effective against RLS. All theories are interesting - especially with a little understood (but very troublesome) condition like RLS. It would definitely be interesting to hear yours. I have found I have increased my understanding of it a lot by absorbing the opinions and experiences of others on these boards though I do also have the main medical text books - I have learned more this way than from my sleep consultant in any event.


I'm new to this forum so someone might have suggested this before?

I am currently undergoing chemotherapy for bowel cancer which has peripheral neuropathy as one of its side-effects. This has led me also to suffer from RLS and all of the associated sleep problems.

I have found that wearing flight socks, usually used to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis on long-haul flights, works well to reduce the symptoms. They are not perfect (here I am at 2:25am writing a post!) but I certainly get more sleep than I used to.

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I have heard of people who have had success with compression socks and tights. All the attention regarding cause of RLS is on the neurological side but it seems pretty certain there is a circulatory element also - most people find that standing for long periods will inevitably set off the legs.

Welcome to the forum - although sorry you had cause to seek it out. Take a look around because there are lots of suggestions for alleviating symptoms. It is good to have a bag of tricks. Sometimes they respond better to one thing and sometimes to another.


I have found the opposite - if I have anything which constricts/compresses my ankles or calves, it makes my legs worse! yet another illustration of the "individual nature" of RLS. My main culprit is stress - I can literally feel my legs start to go through the "warning signs" when I am in a stressful situation. My legs got very worse recently when my father's prostate cancer started to really cause problems, needing the family to be involved in his care, etc.


Yes; RLS the disease that unites and divided us. I believe there were many who cannot cope with the sensation of compression.


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