Restless Legs Syndrome
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Can shoes make a difference in rls pain?

Hi everyone. I just figured something out. I'm usually at the computer about this time trying to distract myself from the pain and strange feelings in my feet and lower legs. About six months ago I bought a new pair of shoes. Won't say the brand but spent over $100.00 US$ on a pr of all-terrain tennis shoes that felt wonderful in the store. Anyway, thinking they would support my knees and feet I began wearing them all the time-even at home. Tonight I went in to shower and changed to my blue, cheap/no support fuzzy bedroom slippers that I wear just in the bathroom. My routine is to immediately go back to my expensive shoes after shower and don't remove again til I'm sitting on my bed. Tonight I got side tracked/busy in the kitchen and still had on my slippers. Then I sat down and posted for a while. I just realized that for the first time in months my feet/legs don't hurt or feel squirrelly or anything. Hopefully I'm onto something. Can shoes make a difference re leg pain and other 'funny sensations?' Has anyone else found that their shoes make a difference. This sounds so silly I almost didn't post it. But I feel so good with these silly blue bedroom slippers (which I had cut the toes out some time ago), I'm almost manic and had to share! Open to comments about shoes possibly helping rls leg/foot pain while up and awake. irina1975

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To be honest, i havent a clue. But at least it seems to be helping you. :)

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At least I slept 4 hours straight. which is something I haven't done in a long time. I woke up at 6:30 AM wondering if I could wear my slippers out and about. Probably not but then my brain kicked in and I thought maybe it's the difference in heel heighth that took some strain off the small of my back. So going to give that some thought and maybe try some flatter more 'earth-friendly shoes-like Birkenstocks maybe. Will start with that approach. irina1975

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Hi Irina

Perhaps it is the fact that you’ve cut out the toes. I wear open toed walking sandals all the time. When I wear shoes I feel pressure on my big toes and need to fidget my feet.

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At this point I think that is worth trying. It took numerous neurologist visit before the only relief I get is oxycodone. Been on it for five years I am now up to 80mgs at bedtime. I've tried medical marijuana but did little to help. Thank you for new Idea!

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I'd like to try some but hesitate to ask. President 'T' is on a tear re opiates and many doctors who do understand the pain probs of rls are skittish re prescribing them. They are under a lot of scrutiny! Big brother is here-alive and well in the US. irina1975

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Sorry irina1975, though I totally agree with you about the shoes, I also totally agree the President ‘T’ about doctors. Did you know that some doctors are prescribing opiates for every little thing like a little pain in your finger or a toe? Just like I see doctors giving handicapped parking tags to people with bursitis in their elbows! Those are only supposed to be given to people who are having a very difficult time walking. Doctors are very much to blame for the opiate problem here in the USA. Do some research and you’ll see for yourself.

And again, thanks for the shoe thing!

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I do understand about the drug abuse and agree for the most part. And I probably should keep my mouth shut re "The President". Anyway, I also agree re meds. There is a lot of abuse on many people's part.I take as few as possible and often tell a doctor I don't want something offered unless he can explain why I REALLY need it. All meds deplete the body so it's a balancing act re deciding what to take and what not. I also take few pain meds even after surgery. But this rls is a new can of worms for me pain-wise and I think I'm a little panicked about needing them down the road and not getting help with pain. I do think there are many other things to try. In fact Elizab32 just posted a list re investigating SIBO and stimulating the vagus nerve to relieve attacks. It's an excellent post and filled with good info. I've also seen so many people who park in handicapped spaces and, though a person's disability isn't always visible, some of them look suspiciously healthy and able to get around. Who knows. I think many people feel entitled and don't show respect for others. I only take a few meds. I have afib and decided in2016 to have an ablation and a pacemaker which allowed me to get off all cardiac meds except coumadin. I have felt much better not taking those cardiac drugs. And in January chose to have a procedure (Watchman) to enable me to get off anticoagulants. They are needed by many but coumadin is a very harsh drug. My last dose will be March 6th. and I can't wait. Just have to have some tests to see everything is healed. Am working on the shoe thing. I think unrecognized foot problems extend all the way up the leg to knees, hips, and back. Probably all those years of pretty high-heeled shoes haven't helped us either. Hindsight is 20/20! Take care. irina1975

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Do not believe the hype on the opiate crisis. The DEA, the FDA and the CDC are creating this, NOT doctors. SOME doctors over prescribe, yes. But the real war on opiates was and is about heroin/fentanyl overdoses, that comes from ILLEGAL drugs. I work with the Pain News Network, and Chronic Pain News, and legitimate pain and RLS patients are being denied meds because of the CDC "guidelines" that are NOT the law, but they sure are scaring the crap out of people. there are 2 sides to this story. People who have functioned quite WELL for YEARS on the SAME dose of opiates are the ones being punished, therefore driving some of them who cannot stand their pain to go to the streets. I could go on and on, but cutting down the pain meds at the doctor's offices is going to make little difference in overdose numbers, in fact it will cause MORE. There are always people who abuse. But I work with legitimate chronic pain patients (CPP's) who survive much better and can function when their pain is controlled. This "one size fits all" approach to the CDC guidelines do NOT cut it. People are individuals, and need individualized treatment. So, the CDC saying that you have to be below a certain MME is ridiculous. Everyone is different, and if you start cutting pain meds to people who need them, and I am one of them, we are scared to death of where this is going. and for the AG to say "Take 2 aspirin and stop smoking pot" as his "plan" for the opiate crisis, is not fair and not right. I am sick to death of governments telling the medical community how to practice medicine.

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Hi Nightdancer. This is what I believe and want to say. It boils down to people who have no idea about chronic pain/ no interest in the needs of average people if it interferes with their agenda/ and who- as long as they have the money, resources, and 'yes' men to help them get their needs met are not interested in the welfare of the rest of us. Many of the ideas and changes that are thrown our way here in the US are scary to me. So far, I feel I still have the right to free speech but worry about that too. I agree with you. I am very sick of the government. What I see is more and more being taken from the people to get the money for 'the wall."

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And, everyone has a different story. opiates are not for everyone, but the "one size fits all " approach they are taking is wrong, plain and simple. You do not treat a 400 lb man the same as you would treat someone my size and lots of people cannot take opiates. I have been taking meds since I was 14 and broke my back, 3 back surgeries and 2 neck surgeries, so my story is not your story or anyone else's. I am not going to get into it on here, BUT there are many sides to this manufactured crisis, and it will be a manufactured shortage this year, as driven by the DEA. THIS is what I do, and RLS groups, but now the opiate thing is the main thing. Do you know how many people have to take opiates because nothing else will work for their RLS?? Opiate treatment is affecting RLS world, and bad things are happening. Like I said no one has the same story and opiates are not for everyone. BUT, many many people cannot control or survive RLS without this class of meds. I , for one, cannot take dopamine meds, which are the most prescribed for RLS, but that class of meds is falling out of favor with the RLS experts. As we can see from the posts here or in any group, what works for one does not work for the next person all the time. That is the story of RLS, no one thing works. So, while people take all kinds of things, natural and pharmaceutical, we all have to find what works for us. I am not going to debate pain meds and our government on this forum. There is a huge study going on at Mass General by an RLS doctor I met at an RLS conference in Boston in 2009. His study is a 2 year pilot study on 'appropriate use of opiates in treating RLS" when all the rest of ANYTHING will not work. The doctor is among several I deal with on a semi regular basis, all researchers and active practices for RLS. He is doing this study along with many others, to prove that we need to have the option of opiates to use for RLS. it is IMPORTANT.

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I agree and I hope our posts are not looked at as being political and off subject but will be viewed as valid concerns about available care for a bonafide illness-rls-whose future care is being threatened by political agendas. irina1975

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Thank you! You are a sweetheart!

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I’d be interested to hear more. I forgot to mention that I have restless body syndrome, and end up crying for hours till it finally lets up.

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Thank you for your work and involvement in this issue. irina1975

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It is a LOT of work right now, but I am driven to Chronic Pain Rights, and this does affect RLS, because many of us can ONLY use opiates, and I can tell you I would not be here without them, after 45 years of severe RLS. So, that's my experience.

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What you wear on your feet can definitely make a difference. When I got orthotics and really good shoes, my legs and feet felt much better. I still have RLS, but I can sleep now with the help of 300mg of Gabapentin.

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Yes, my partner who's got RLS finds that by updating his most frequently worn shoes every year, he reduces some of the leg movement at night. The older the shoe the more it irritates his legs. Of course, that impact is most noticeable if he's been active all day...

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In a book on podiatry, I read that the feet are like a second heart. All the muscles below the knee are foot muscles, and 80% of the venous valves in the body are in that region. They form a venous pump called the foot heart. If anyone were to be tied in an upright position to a tree with a rope restraining their feet, that person will black out in 15 minutes, after half an hour brain damage begins, and by an hour to an hour-and-a-half, that person will be dead. Without foot movement, all the blood settles in the legs. When crucifixion was a common form of execution, this process was well known. It struck me that when Peter asked to be crucified upside down because he wasn’t good enough to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord, he must have known that being tied in an inverted position will not necessarily kill a person. His request wasn’t out of humility: it was a ruse.

More important, this podiatrist says the foot is built to function best on the natural terrain of the earth: trails, pathways, meadows. The earth has been paved to accommodate the wheel, but flat floors are the primary thing that damages our feet. Only people with short, stubby feet and toes are comfortable walking on flat surfaces! He recommends doing what I’ve done for years: walk on the strip of lawn or dirt beside sidewalks. I can do heavy yard work for hours and feel great, but I come into the house and instantly on our hardwood floors, my feet, legs and back all hurt.When a person walks on varied surfaces, it makes the muscles on the bottom of the feet perform a squeezing action that pumps blood back to the heart and increases circulation. Running on flat surfaces even lyses the blood cells in the capillaries in the soles of one’s feet and can actually lower one’s hemoglobin.

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Thank you, I believe there is a lot of merit here. I've also begun doing some foot exercises like making circles with my ankles. I am surprised by how stiff my feet are-I guess from disused muscles. Also, those expensive shoes don't allow my feet muscles/joints to move independently and I think this is part of my problem. They are made so strong and heavy it's like being in a cast. It's still winter here-no snow but cold. I have gotten out an old pr of sandals and am using socks to keep my feet warm. Also I've noticed not having flexible feet has caused much more knee pain-which is slowly feeling better since I stopped wearing the 'problem shoes' a few days ago. I've thought of buying some real ballet slippers so my feet can be totally mobile. They are soft all over and don't bind feet in any way as even the soles are soft. I can still wear them outside. Take care. irina1975

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Hi Bajatom. Back to the 'shoe issue'. When I read the part of your post that talked about the muscles on the bottom of the feet performing a squeezing action that increases circulation by helping to pump blood back to the heart, I realized something. While wearing the 'expensive' shoes continually over the last 6-8 months I always had a small amount of ankle swelling I couldn't get rid of. Now wearing my bedroon slippers and going barefoot when posssible (at home) the ankle swelling has resolved, I believe it's because the foot and ankle muscles are free to function and not being held stationary by the 'well-made- sneakers. For me this is a great unexpected"side effect". The muscles are allowed to do their job. Thank you for the podiatry research. irina1975

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Hush Puppies are the best. Keep your feet quiet!!😆😆😆😆😆

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As much as we would all like to find anything which will work for our RLS rather than take any meds, its not an option for many of us. We have to take meds to get relief from RLS, otherwise we would go insane. I have tried all sorts over the years, and nothing works only the meds for RLS. I am sure many on here do take anti-depressants, some because they have chronic depression that they have suffered with for years maybe, then those who are depressed from sleep deprivation. We dont know the people of here and their background or their history past or present. When people ask which are the best anti-depressants to take then i inform them and i dont judge on why they need them. I have Primary RLS, inherited from my father also a brother who suffers. Its my genes that are a reason for my RLS.

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Hi Elisse. When I read your post my perception was that I have been critical or less understanding of people who rely on meds for whatever medical/mental situations they must cope with. If this has been what my comments have seemed to say. that has never been my intention. And I apologize, We all have our own stories and difficulties. I try to speak for myself re meds. My story re medications has been most of my life if there is a side effect to be had I will get it. I have had very few problems when I asked for pain/prn/ antidepressant meds. I am usually referring (re my personal experience) to some of the "Big Pharma' expensive meds that I feel have been hard for me to take.Statins/some cardiac meds/anticoagulants and such. For me some of my side effects have been so severe I would rather have the illness than suffer thru the meds. Re rls meds, until I was dx last year I had no idea of the seriousness of the pain, the side effects of meds currently prescribed. I was given an Rx by my PCP/GP for Mirapex which I filled and started to take.The Universe must have been watching out for me because into the 2nd wk just after raising my dose as recommended I went to the E.R. with a severe reaction. They stopped it and soon after I began to read about (a new subject for me) augmentation. The more I read the more I wanted to avoid this class of drugs so as to save myself down the road of trying to come off the DA's. There are many people that need various meds to have a decent quality of life. When I worked as a nurse I always saw that patients got their pain meds. I did not judge nor do I ever try to second guess anyone's level or tolerance to pain. I also at times encouraged patients who were clearly in pain but felt bad about taking them to take the medicine and allow it to work effectively rather than wait until pain was so severe that medication may not 'catch up' and relieve. I learned this concept in school along with whatever I was doing-short of being in the middle of an emergency situation-to stop what I was doing and administer pain meds when patients asked. Their pain relief should take priority over routine tasks. My reluctance to take medications has everything to do with what I've learned over the years about how my body is susceptible to side sffects. Also re research and development, I used to trust that drug companies were honest and ethical about evaluating drugs for FDA approval. Then my hospital was involved in helping to gather data about drugs being evaluated. This experience was a real eye-opener for me. And I no longer trust many of their findings. There are many good drugs and ethical people in the drug industry. But there is also the money aspect of the agenda and too often, in my opinion, takes precedence over safety of patients. I have already made my decision about how I will handle my rls pain if and when I cannot manage it without meds. I will do what I have to do to lessen my pain. What makes me angry right now is all the conversation about opiates in the US (from the administration) . It seems such a black and white issue, for the most part ignoring patients who take their meds responsibly and truly need them for their QOL. I am seeing a new neurologist in March and am taking a copy of the new rls guidelines in order to have a conversation re where he stands. My recent visit to my sleep doctor revealed that our philosophies re rls tx will not ever mesh so I have checked around to try to find a doctor who better understands rls. Sorry for going on so long-I always do- but I wanted other posters to understand I will never underestimate their need for treatment/meds best suited for them. For myself, my reluctance over many meds is my own reactions to them and the lack of faith I have in many of the companies that manufacture them. I believe their #1 goal is their bottom line. This saddens and scares me because I don't want to have to fight with beaurocracy to get what I need for my health-meds/treatments/etc. Thanks for taking the time to read this. It's long but I wanted to be clear about my beliefs and opinions. Take care. irina1975

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irina i wasnt referring to you. I agree with you on the opiates situation going on in the States right now. Nightdancer is working hard on that. I was actually replying to the comment above mine.

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I wasn't sure but thanks for letting me know.I appreciate all the work Nightdancer, you, and everyone is doing to help rls patients. I never really appreciated how chronic pain of any kind could affect someone's quality of life. Until it came my way. That's all I want-the ability to live without constantly focusing on pain. Take care. irina1975

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I'll pay attention. It never occurred to me, but maybe u r on to something.

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