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keep getting twitching (like an electric shock) and itching in my feet ...
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keep getting twitching (like an electric shock) and itching in my feet when I try to go to sleep.

Hi, I keep getting twitching (like an electric shock) and itching in my feet when I try to go to sleep. After a while it seems to spread to my hands and even my ears after a while; then I just become itchy overall (in addition to the above etc). This has become much worse over the last month but started happening about 4 or 5 years ago – it was only every so often originally (once every month or so) but as from a month ago, it’s been happening every night  pretty much! I do have some problems with my back and suffer sciatic too. About 9 years ago I had a ‘slip disk’ and discovered that a few disks were dehydrated and in trouble. I take Tramadol for this but are sure that the itching is not related (it’s a known side effect but the itching from that is different – feels different).
When this started originally, I found that putting a fan on full on my legs seemed to stop it enough for me to get to sleep, but no such luck nowadays! It seems to start just as I am trying to go to sleep – I can be in bed reading and be 100% fine, but then as soon as I start trying to sleep, it starts and keeps going; getting progressively worse as the night goes on. I found that taking huge amounts of antihistamine tablets seems to help for some reason, even though are sure that it is not an allergy. I ruled out allergies because I have changed nothing and it, while being often, does not happen every night. Some nights I get absolutely no sighs of it at all. Other nights I will get no sleep at all because it is so bad.
I assumed that the feet twitching / electric shot jolt type thing was related to my back problems because I have some numbness in certain parts of my feet and legs from my back and figured that these areas were numbing more or thawing out etc – more my back hurts the more that type of thing happens. But now think that the twitching and itching is a different problem completely.
If the restless legs / feet was related to my back, then why am I getting it in my hands (they seem to become extra hypersensitive – mainly in between my fingers and on the palms of my hands) and then progress to feeling generally itchy overall. Also, why would antihistamines help and additional painkillers not really have any impact on it!
In fact, then only thing that occasionally helps is to put a TeNS machine on to my back (one of the electric shock machines directed toward blocking pain signals appose to muscle training). I think that only helps because 1) it blocks pretty much all signals coming from my legs, and 2) I am probably that tired by the time I get to the stage of wanting to get up and mess around electrocuting myself, I’m likely to be close to coma anyway!
I know many others seem to suffer at least some of my symptoms, and unfortunately for me, most seem to be pregnant women (I am a 34 year old male! Lol) but can’t find anyone offering advice or cure.
Can anyone help please!?

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465013 tn?1289264742
I was reading about leg weakness (one of my problems) and read about something like that. I wish I could remember where I read that. I was chasing a rabbit trail that led from leg weakness and spine problems and got off into neurology. I learned that there are many things that end up being simple little neurology problems. Unfortunately, there aren't enough neurologists, so the wait is long. Dig up whatever info you can find, take it to your doctor and see if you can get a referral to a good neurologist. Get in line as soon as you can.
Avatar m tn
Hi Tim, thank you for your response.

Unfortunately I have already been to my local GP with this, and (keeping in mind that I had already seen a back specialist by this point) were referred to an allergy specialist. They just prescribed me another version of antihistamine; but did note that she thought it generally unlikely that my symptoms were caused by an allergy as it only happens when I go to go to actual sleep, and because the symptoms do not always manifest even though the variables are identical (i.e. have not changed my bedclothes or changed shampoo etc). The back specialist I am under attributes some of my symptoms (i.e. restless legs) to the problems with my back. However, if the itchy / twitchy feeling in my feet and legs are related to my back, then surely good painkillers would put a stop to that. Moreover, if parts of the itchy / twitchy feeling in my legs and feet are a reaction to some form of allergy, then you would expect the antihistamines to eliminate all remaining symptoms - wouldn't you!?

This leaves me with, as you say, the next logical step of neurology. However, I am unsure about this as I do not suffer symptoms all of the time, and when I do experience the symptoms, they seldom seem to be related to any other symptom/s that would leave me feeling ill--in fact, the only way that they do make me feel ill, is purely because of fatigue through continued loss of sleep!

Thank you again for your response Tim, and if you remember anything else from the article that may help, then please let me know.

In addition, if anyone else has any ideas or suggestions, then your response will be very welcome $:-)


PS. Another symptom which i did not mention before, but was worse than ever last night, is that the palms of my hands feel hot inside! By this I don't mean that they are hot to touch, they just feel hot inside (but the skin itself is normal temperature), if that makes any sense!? Crazy hey! $;-0
874521 tn?1424120397
Hi Tim?....just to tell you a small slice of my background pain than maybe we can find a common ground?
I have DDD(degenerative disk disease) herniated disks/osteoarthritis/sciatica all isolated to my lower back L4-S1.
For many years....12 at least I had shooting electric like pains from my butt to my feet, sometimes these shooting pains would actually raise my leg up abt a foot off the bed....this ALWAYS happened when laying down in particular when trying to fall asleep.
I tried muscle relaxants/massage/trigger point therapy/tylenol also got by with sleeping on hard objects like a soup can just to put pressure on the area around upper buttocks where the pain appeared to originate from....worked SOMEwhat for a few years, but pain got increasingly worse over the years.
I was finally diagnosed and told this was NERVE pain...and sciatica and put on an antiepileptic medication (these work for neuropathic pain)...the medication is called gabapentin but there are many others. that was 7 years ago. and this medication was a God send for me, I was finally able to sleep comfortably for a full night.
Over the 7 years it had to be adjusted occasionally.
When there is burning/shooting pains/numbness....this is called neuropathic and its either due to being diabetic OR having a nerve impingement somewhere in your spine...the lower spine impingement will give pain in the lower limbs while an upper cervical impingement will cause these symptoms in the upper limbs.
Its possible that you may have multiple nerve issues since you are experiencing these symptoms in upper and lower set of limbs.
I am no doctor just relating my own symptoms and you can make your own conclusions from this.
My case was finally confirmed with an MRI....
have you had one of these tests?
have you seen a neurologist?
712802 tn?1274649085
I agree with opus88; I am male 56 and have similar problems to yours and hers. I have taken gabapentin, now taking Lyrica - similar. I have found that sometimes I simply can't sleep lying down - I have to sleep in a recliner. You might give that a try if you can sleep in a comfortable recliner. Also, look into the antiepileptic drugs. Good luck.
Avatar m tn
Hi opus88 / tanglewood - sorry I saw the name Tim and didn't look any further lol.
Thank you for your extra input, it has been helpful. Yes, I had an MRI about seven or so years ago and like you were diagnosed with DDD, sciatica etc and in similar regions to you; the hospital have been offering to replace two disks and fuse a third for quite a while but I keep putting it off until I really have to have it done. The reason why I was a little sceptical about all of the itching symptoms coming from my spine is because I have no detected problems around the cervical/neck area. In fact, the centre of my spine is perhaps the highest that any of the bad disks are. Also, it would mean that the disks on my lower and upper spine are all playing up all at the same time. But taking on board what you have said, I will see what can be done in that direction. Actually, thinking about it, my dad takes Lyrica so I might try one of those – our medical histories are similar enough to not be concerned about taking his medication.

Thanks again,
Avatar f tn
Hello, I was wondering if the Lyrica did work for you? I have very similar problems to yours, but I have tried Lyrica, Cymbalta, Savella and Gabapentin and none of them helped with my pain or tingling in the hand and feet.

Thank you,
Avatar m tn
Hello Clive
Sorry mate about your twitching I no exactly how it feels soon as I gett ready for bed fall asleep it starts most horrible thing can't sleep passes after a while found. If put e45 cream on keep socks on works wonders
Good luck      
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