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Monday, August 31, 2009 RAYMOND, Community Member, asks

Q: WHILE SLEEPING ON RIGHT OR LEFT SIDE, I EXPERIENCE CHRONIC SEVERE PAIN IN BOTH THIGH MUSCLES - LIKE

WHILE SLEEPING ON RIGHT OR LEFT SIDE, I EXPERIENCE CHRONIC SEVERE PAIN IN BOTH THIGH MUSCLES - LIKE A TOOTH ACHE! LAYING ON MY BACK, IT TENDS TO GO AWAY - BUT I SNORE BADLY SO THIS SOLUTION DOESN'T WORK.. I AM 71.. HAD BI-PASS SURGERY 3 YEARS AGO.. THE PAIN STARTED ABOUT 24 MONTHS AGO.. I NEVER GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP ANYMORE. PLEASE RESPOND.

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Answers (4)
Cort, Health Guide
8/31/09 9:37pm

Muscle cramps at night do increase with age and they can be caused by a wide variety of conditions. Have you had a checkup with blood work lately? That would probably pick up many of the conditions that can cause nighttime muscle cramping. Most leg cramps, however, just seem to occur.

 

There are some things you can try; stretching exercises and massaging your thighs before you go to bed may be able to relax them enough that they don't go into spasm when you sleep. Using either heating pads or cold (whichever works better for you) before you sleep can help. You should also make sure you're well hydrated. If you're taking blood pressure medication you could be low on  potassium -which could cause cramps. If so you should increase your potassium intake either through foods or supplements. These things taken together often work. 

 

If they don't your doctor can prescribe muscle relaxants that should be able to help. You should be able to make some progress with this. Good luck getting a better night's sleep! 

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sandy, Community Member
1/26/10 6:19pm

I also have severe pain in hips and thighs while sleeping cannot sleep very long on either side, went to my arthritis specialist and found I have bursitis in both hips. possibly this may be your problem good luck

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8/31/09 10:45pm

One more addition thought to Cort's good answer... the problem you speak of sounds mechanical since the pain responds to position changes. Most likely this pain is related to lumbar stenosis. Nerves that are mechanically pinched by a stenotic spine can cause pain in the legs. If the mechanically pinching is relieved, the pain diminishes also.

 

If you are anything like my patients your age, you are sleeping on the same mattress you have had for the past twenty years. Getting a new mattress can make a big difference because it will improve the support of your spine's alignment. Personally, I prefer the TempurPedic mattress (you can even find one to try using the hotel locator at www.tempurpedic.com).

 

In regards to medications, I suspect that gabapentin (Neurontin) would be the best first choice for muscle pain related to stenosis. Most of the time, muscle pain represents a type of nerve irritation. This pain responds to medications that work by calming the nerves down. Again, you should talk to your doctor and get an accurate diagnosis before proceeding further.

 

Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

 

 

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Marlina, Community Member
1/17/11 7:38pm

Hi Raymond..I am a 34 year old female with the same exact symptoms to the "T"..the pain is a very deep,hot ache,like a hot fireplace poker lying on a bone(dramatic yes but the only way I can explain the pain) and if I were not to move when I get this pain it increasesuntil it is literally unbearable ,so then I go to the otherside and the same thing happens with the opposite leg that I am laying on,the only relief is to sleep on my back...any news ,I hope you have found some relief it is getting exhausting

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Lapenye, Community Member
4/ 5/11 1:45pm

While sleeping on right or left side. I experience chronic severe pain in both thigh muscles-like a toothache! Laying on my back,it tends to go away. Same issue when sitting for a long period of time, standing and walking helps.

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By RAYMOND, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/05/11, First Published: 08/31/09