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Leg spasms at night

Don’t know if this is the right place to find out about about MS equipment, but… My legs have spasms when I am asleep, so I use a T-roll/T-bar to keep my knees bent, this stops my legs for spasming. My heels also get sore at night and I have been given a pair of Furry Boots that keep my heels from touching the mattress, hence, no pain. Incidentally I also place a bedpad under my bottom in case I have any ‘bottom accidents’ at night. When I say I do any of these things, it is my wife that does most of them. With all this equipment (including my hoist, electric chair and other equipment) my wife is starting to feel like we live in a hospital.

Anyway, to the point, I was hoping for some advice upon ‘Elevating Legrests’ and whether these would help to combat my nightly leg spasms if I used them during the day.

For more info see - - YouTube

​ - https://www.quickie-wheelchairs.com/wheelchair-parts/sunrise-medical/quickie-m6/seating-positioning/hangers-footplates/manual-elrs/manual-elr-hangers/elevating-legrest

Thank you in advance,

Dagoz

Hi,

I’m not a wheelchair user, so someone better-qualified than me will probably be along soon, but I’m rather dubious whether anything you use with your wheelchair during the day will have a major impact on spasms that occur mainly at night.

I’m not saying the legrests have no purpose, but if your main reason for getting them was not to make you more comfortable in the day, but reduce spasms at night, I think you may be disappointed.

You don’t say whether you are already on any medication for the spasms? This might be a more reliable route, before you spend (I’m guessing) quite a lot of money on something that may have little effect.

I’m also concerned to learn that you are lying on a bedpan at night, “just in case”. This surely can’t be comfortable? “Accidents” are quite common in people with MS, but there is likely to be a more comfortable and practical solution than literally having to sleep on top of a bedpan. Have you sought the advice of a continence nurse?

Being uncomfortable in bed could be contributing to the spasms. I can’t see how you can have a natural sleeping posture with something under you like that. Although I am (so far) nowhere near as badly affected as you, I know that even lying on a tissue or handkerchief I have with me in bed causes discomfort, so I can’t imagine how you can get any rest with a bedpan underneath you. There have to be better solutions than this. Bedpans are not meant for all night use in case of accident.

Tina

1 Like

Hi, thanks for the reply.

As far as medication goes, I take 4 Clonazepam a day (2 of them at night), 2 Modafinil a day. 2 Baclofen during and 1 more at night and 2 Senna 3 nights a week, taken at night. The reason for my bedpads (not bedpans) is that I become incontinent when my body relaxes.

During the day I am wheelchair bound and my legs are bent, but my legs do not spasm. When I am in bed I lie on my back, my legs are bent over the T-bar, my legs to not spasm when in that position. When I lie in bed without my T-bar my legs spasm quite frequently. The problem with the T-bar is that it gets in the way of any kind of intimacy between me and wife.

My theory is that if my legs were straight during parts of the day using leg raisers then my spasms would not be as prolific at night and, over time, I could find a balance to lessen the frequency of my spasms.

Regards, Dagoz

I replied, but my reply has disappeared, I’ll look elsewhere. Thanks

Tina,

I just read the OP and your reply - he’s using a bed pad not a bed pan at night. This would make a little more sense in the degree of comfort!

Sue

Oh, dear, sorry - I have visited the optician’s recently, and am due new glasses - but need hardly say they are not here yet! Until then, muddling on…

Yes - a pad would make a lot more sense, and shouldn’t be causing the problems. I thought no wonder the poor fellow had problems, trying to sleep with a bedpan under him.

For Dagoz - your reply has now appeared. I think they are not instant with new(ish) members, because we had such a problem with spammers.

Also, I would give it a bit longer before concluding nobody has any suggestions. The forums are a bit quiet at certain times of day. It doesn’t mean nobody will see and answer, but sometimes you need to give it a while - especially if you are (ideally) looking for someone with the exact same problem, and what helped for them.

Failing that, you could try asking a physio whether it’s likely to make any difference. It may spare you an outlay on something that doesn’t work, and they may have other suggestions.

Tina

have you tried cannabis at all?

Hi, I also suffer with leg spasms plus body spasms and I take 3 clonazepam but I take them at night and not during the day. This way I find I don’t have any spasms at night and only a few during the day that way I manage to get a nights sleep.

Janet

x

Thanks for your replies folks.

I have found that if I put my feet onto the middle tier of my cat’s three tier climbing frame then my legs are at the perfect height, I still cannot move around while my feet are up, obviously, but I can move my feet off quickly if need be, or I can ask my carer to pass the remote control, bring me a drink over, etc. while my leg are raised.

I’m hoping that my legs become more acquainted to sitting in a horizontal position and the spasms become less severe. Well I’ll keep trying, no point in sitting here doing nothing.

Oh Anitra that’s classic!

Hi

I suffer from leg spasms too. I can walk a little bit (with FES and a walker) around the house so am not entirely wheelchair bound. I use the chair for anything constructive (like in the bathroom, kitchen etc) and really only walk for a little bit of exercise. Typically I sit on the settee and put my feet up on the seat of the walker through the morning and some of the afternoon. Later I lay on the bed and in the evenings I sit on the settee and put my feet on the wheelchair seat. I always think that putting my legs & feet up helps with warding off the spasms.

The trouble is that I still get spasms in the afternoons and nothing really works except Clonazepam. It doesn’t seem to matter if I walk more or less in a given day; whether I put my feet up more or less; the length of time I lay on the bed in the afternoon. On one day I’ll have awful spasms all afternoon and the next day I won’t. I typically take 500mcg of Clonazepam in the mid afternoon, together with 20mg of baclofen. At night I’ll have another 1000 to 1500 mcg of Clonazepam, together with 30mg of amitriptyline and 20-30 mg of baclofen. Generally I can sleep ok. On the nights I can’t I’ll have a Zopiclone to help me sleep. It seems that this drug cocktail works unless it’s very hot, when I’ll get a cold pack out of the freezer and put my feet on that.

Yesterday I received cooling ankle bands that I’d ordered (from Amazon) which I think sort of worked a bit in the afternoon. They are activated by cold water and you wrap them round your ankles. Stupidly I ordered large ones that are too big but I tucked them round my ankles anyway. They’re not as cold as an ice pack but definitely cooled my legs down a bit. So I don’t know whether it was the drugs or the cooling bands that worked yesterday, or maybe a combination of the two.

I really have no idea what is working or whether it’s just that one day I’ll have bad spasms and the next day I won’t. I just know that without Clonazepam the spasms wake me up in the night and just keep me awake for hours!

Hopefully you’ll find a means of raising your legs and this’ll help. After all, the cat might want his climbing frame!!

Sue