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ANYONE KNOW WHAT CAN HELP ACHING LEGS?

maggie_wilson's picture
maggie_wilson
Posts: 616
Joined: Nov 2009

sisters,

since i've been taking gemzar, my right leg from ankle to hip as been aching and keeping me up at night. i've tried ativan, which helps a little but i can't be constantly taking that. has anyone found something that reduce the ache? it' just this knawing pain that doesn't stop. i know others have complained about this in the past on this site, and just wondering if someone found something to relieve it. bath? hot shower? some kind of ointment? ice? whatever you've come up with that helps would be greatly appreciated.

thanx, so much.
sisterhood.
maggie

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi, Maggie--

I don't know whether drinking eight ounces of tonic water in the evening would go against your dietary considerations, but the quinine in tw is very effective in calming leg cramps. Also, I have peripheral neuropathy; and I find that rubbing Vick's Vapo Rub on my feet really calms the pain (although my neuropathy does not involve cramps).

I hope you get some relief.

Jill

nempark
Posts: 583
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Maggie: So sorry you are having these annoying pains. When I had pain the only thing that really helped me was when my husband massaged it. I combined rubbing alcohol and baby oil and used that as a rub. I was also taking an anti-depressant and that made me rest. Somebody told me to soak it in hot water with epsom salts. I just remembered Maggie I also used a hot water bottle. Oh!!! I can feel that pain. Hope you feel better soon and I know you will. Love June.

Susanna23
Posts: 66
Joined: Dec 2010

Dear Maggie
I have followed your posts with great interest and wish you very well with your chemo treatment.
Aching and restless legs have been my only side effects from carbo/taxol (so far) and I am coming up to the fifth of six treatments. I haven't found a complete solution unfortunately, but Nurofen Plus and co-codamol have helped with sleep (the former is the strongest painkiller I can get without prescription, the latter recommended by my doctor) but not every time. I also rub in an energising leg emulsion by Clarins which does seem to help. Find it is useful to take the painkillers about half an hour before bed.
The aches usually clear up within a week of the treatment. Thanks, Jill, for the tip about Vick and the tonic water.
My doctor classifies this side effect under peripheral neuropathy, although I don't have that. Restless legs run in the family - my aunt has it and my father did also! I used to suffer from time to time but now it is predictable and more severe - comes in the day or day after a chemo treatment.
All best wishes
Susan x

cleo
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2009

I have peripheral neuropathy after surgery and radiotherapy. I find that taking 600mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid daily stops the aching legs and I sleep at night. I feel more comfortable about taking a 'natural' supplement and Alpha Lipoic apparently has other favourable benefits for us. Could be worth a go. Celia

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

I was also taking L-Glutamine for peripheral neuropathy. You can Google the recommended dosage, but I am not sure that the treatment for neuropathy will work for restless legs. Nevertheless, if you want to try natural products first--rather than tonic water, which has sugar--this mineral (?) might be worth a shot.

Good luck.

In sisterhoood,

Jill

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

I remember that damn pain....that knawing feeling is so bad. Some nights I would just cry...I would make sure your magnesium levels are okay if the pain does not go away...Mine used to come like 3 days after chemo and last for another 5...then it subsided. Mine seemed to be centered in my knees...

Sending healing thoughts....

Laurie

norma2's picture
norma2
Posts: 486
Joined: Aug 2009

Sorry to hear that you are in pain, Maggie. I remember pain from the taxol/carbol treatments. I walked the floor many nights. Massage helped a little. I took pain meds during that time. Hating to take meds I would cut the pill in half. Then if the pain was wasn't going away after an hour I would take the other half. After the treatment the pain went away gradually.

Thinking of you, my dear. Sending you positive thoughts. Norma

jmnye
Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 2010

Yes - L-Glutamine is the best. Take 1 Tbsp dissolved in 8 oz of water or juice. Take 3x day with meals. Magic.

This was recommended by a nutricionist and oncologist.

Truly made a huge difference.

Jane

cleo
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2009

I just Googled L-Glutamine as I had not heard of it and thought of giving it a try but read that it shouldn't be taken by cancer patients as it could worsen the disease. Would appreciate more info from this site please as an oncologist recommendation would belie this statement. Celia

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

My oncologist gave me permission to use the L-Glutamine while I was on chemo, as I was having a terrible time with peripheral neuropathy. He is a top oncologist at a top cancer center in NYC; and if there were any concerns about this mineral's safety, my doc would have had the inside scoop. How about checking with an oncologist whom YOU trust?

As a matter of fact, you might want to Google "Sloan Kettering Cancer Center treatment for peripheral neuropathy." That cancer center developed a protocol that I believe includes L-Glutamine and/or alpha lipoic acid.

Good luck!

Jill

Cindy Bear
Posts: 560
Joined: Jul 2009

Have you tried a warm bath in epsom salts? or what about a linament for sore muscles. Some people seem to get relief with a B-complex vitamin.. (of course run that by your Dr. first) Good luck and hang in there.

jmnye
Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 2010

I was given this recommendation by my Oncologist at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, CA. My nutritionist also said the same thing for leg pain. It helps with any smooth muscle issues, like intestinal distress, mouth sores, etc.

I worked like a miracle while I was on chemo. Note: I am allergic to some many things, that I would not recommend this unless 100% safe during chemo.

I got mine from GNC, but it is available from Health Food stores, too.

It is pricy - $50 for a large jar.

It is a white powder - an amino acid that is also used by body builders.

No problems - only benefits. My doctor recommended it. And, she saved my life from IIIc.

I know cancer patients that continue to use it even after chemo is over, to reduce neuropathy pain in their legs, feet.

Jane

cleo
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2009

Many thanks for the info. I live in a country that does not have a specialist cancer centre so read this site with great interest as it has been a great help in giving me insight into various types of chemo/treatment etc. I am aware that the internet info gives knee jerk reactions so appreciate the additional knowledge from you. Am going to try it!
Celia

Later. Have ordered capsule form. Will let you know.

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 201
Joined: Oct 2009

I also take L-Glutamine daily. A neurologist who I saw after my chemo ended gave me a copy of a study specific to chemo induced neuropathy. He said I could try it. I still take it. Also if your magnesium is low you will get muscle pains. I too remember the pain. It was like I had lightening bolts shooting in my legs. At about my 4th chemo session I ended up getting Magnesium intravenously (which helped). I still have neuropathy in my feet and fingertips (to a lesser degree). My internist has given me Gabapentin 100mg capsules that I can titrate to a dose that gave me the best relief without gorking me too much. I was taking 400mg at night and 200mg in the morning. But decided to stop taking as I gained 10 lbs on the drug. Maybe no relation, but really didn't get that much improvement in my neuropathy anyway. I also take Effexor 37.5 mg daily to help with hot flashes. That also is supported in the medical literature. So we sisters live with the neuropathy. My neuropathy did get better (a little) the first few months after chemo.

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

How are the legs doing?? How is the rest of you doing...LOL

Check in!

Laurie

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

How are the legs doing?? How is the rest of you doing...LOL

Check in!

Laurie

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

How are the legs doing?? How is the rest of you doing...LOL

Check in!

Laurie

susafina
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2010

Hi Maggie, Jane Laurie and Jill,

I haven't posted in awhile but when I saw this post I wanted to cry. I understand your pain Maggie. When I had taxol/carbo the leg pain was tough to bear. Little to nothing helped. I really thought that I was the only one. But now 8 months post treatment the neuropathy is hard to deal with. My docs said that studies have shown that treatmnet related neuropathy peaks in 6 months and may last a year or more. I have been struggling so hard with it. I am going to try all of your suggestions because I am at the end of my rope. Sometimes I don't know which is worse the numbness in my feet and hands or the "pins and needles" up and down both legs. I am on neurontin and elavil at night but it makes me feel tired. I have continued to work but at the end of my shift my feet and legs are screaming! Friends and family don't understand. I have had more than one person tell me your treatment is over why do you have problems. What I want to know is does it ever go away? Right now I feel like I don't know what to do. anymore.
All of you seem so brave and have such a fighting spirit that I feel like a defeated wimp. I will try your suggestions. Also it seems that I have also developed some lymphedema in my legs as well. I am suppossed to go to a lymphedema clinic to see.
MAggie I hope and pray that you feel better soon.
SUE

bots's picture
bots
Posts: 53
Joined: Sep 2009

How much L-Glutamine do you take? Do you take it with juice? After reading the responses on this thread, I have decided to try it. I am one and one-half years post treatment, but my story is much like susafina's. I took nortriptylene for a while and it did help, but it also caused drowsiness and weight gain, so I decided not to stop it.

Susafina, I really sympathize with you. If you are a wimp, so am I. One of my great joys is taking my Golden Retriever for walks, but after three or four blocks my legs ache and feel weak. Walking up the stairs of our house is enough to do me in for the day. If the L-Glutamine doesn't help, I think I will try the nortiptylene again (perhaps along with lots of coffee).

cleo
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2009

I have just started taking L-Glutamine after reading this site. I am taking three rounded tspns a day in iced water or juice. I certainly feel the benefit already and also have more energy. I understand that you can take more ie 3 x TBLS but I also take alpha lipoic tablets as they help the neuropathy so will see how I go with the tspns before upping anything.

Re lymphedema. The sooner you get to a specialist for massage and to show you how to self massage the better as it keeps the problem in check.

susafina
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2010

Thanks for all of your advice and kind words. I will try anything to relieve this pain. I will keep you informed. Thanks again.
Sue

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

I am taking 600 mg. of Neurontin each day, which is not enough to eliminate the neuropathy but is sufficient to make it tolerable. Right now, I am also on several other meds that cause drowsiness; so I break the Neurontin into two pieces and take only 300 mg. in the morning and before bed take the other piece and all of the rest of the drowsiness-causing meds.

My chemo ended 2.5 years ago, so I guess my neuropathy is my new normal. During chemo, L-Glutamine helped; and after treatment, I started taking B-100 complex, which I believe also helps.

This may seem counterintuitive, but very long walks help me. About once a week, I walk seven miles or more. When I return home, I'm tired but my feet feel better. In addition, rubbing your feet and/or hands with Vick's Vapo Rub can ease the numbness and pain.

Jill

nicolegarza's picture
nicolegarza
Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2011

Oh I know that pain oh to well! I had it from carbo/taxil cocktail... I had to use a cain it was bad two days after chemo for about 4 days... My dr gave me gabapentin (i could be wrong on the spelling) It helped but after the pain went away my toes stay'd numb for like 3 months after I was completely thru with chemo....

Hang in there! I wish there was something else I could help with! I pray the pain goes away!

(((huggs)))
Nicole

Ladygeek05
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Maggie,

I am being treated with Taxol/Carboplatin for Stage 4 endometrial cancer. I experience bone pain, particularly in my legs after they give me a Neulasta shot the day after my chemo. When I reported it to the doctor, he gave me a prescription for Tramadol. It doesn't take the pain away completely, but it helps quite a bit. Maybe you can ask your doctor about it. Good luck! I'll be praying for you!

Michele

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