Painful Knees, Joints, Feet and Limb Control

Pain in Legs, Soles of Feet, Shoulders, Knees, joints and Involuntary Leg Movements (Funny Walks) 
Within the first 2 years of my illness I experienced many scary circumstances where my limbs seemed to let me down. All of my muscles had become comparatively weak since the onset of my illness. I believe that this in turn left my joints with less support, as the joint muscles themselves were weak anyway. Here are a few of my symptoms:-

  1. I could be walking along steadily and suddenly my knee would seem to give way - leaving me grasping anything within arm movement distance, and wondering where I was going from there. Did I wait till this silly weakness passed? Or just carry on walking with whatever help I could find? Hobbling.
  2. My leg muscles hurt on walking. A feeling similar to having lactic acid muscular pains after a heavy workout the day before. I would wake up with these pains in my thigh muscles. However on walking the calf muscles would start to hurt; the pain would increase with each step until I could no longer bear it any more. Sometimes it was difficult - painful - to go from my sitting room to the kitchen. I have sat on many a kerbside, doorway, in a potted plant and even rested under a tree in a main paved busy high street in Stratford-on-Avon.
  3. For some reason  the soles of my feet were excruciatingly painful to the most gentle touch.  Practitioners with any reflexology knowledge would tug on a toe resulting in my yelping, then proceed to tell me which organ was causing my sickness. Not one of these therapists ever realised that every toe touched, hurt; therefore I shall conclude that maybe every organ in my body was affected, based on the reflexology principles. I would be kept awake at night because the soles of my feet were painful, as if they were bruised. They would be painful when I rose in the morning but the pain would ease off during the course of the day. I could imagine being beaten on the soles of the feet with bamboo and that's just how it felt. I have since realised that the cause may have been something to do with my low thyroid levels. I have since discovered the cause - Low thyroid levels, hypothyroidism
  4. Sometimes when out, my legs would start going all over the place. I had no control over them although I could still, sort of, walk. My feet and legs would kick out. I did not lose my balance, amazingly. I received some very strange looks from passers-by. Maybe they were thinking  is she drunk? on drugs? or maybe she has some dreadful neurological disease, like Huntington's Chorea? The cause was neurological, possibly, resulting in the involuntary movements of the legs. Using a walking stick stopped the stares - although I did not really need one. By this stage of my illness I was starting to accept that anything could happen within my body. I was no longer surprised by these occurrences. (Far stranger things happened not in relation to my limbs)
  5. Shoulder pains can be scary too. It is impossible to not give some consideration to having cardiac pain, as mine was on the left hand side, the side of the heart. The pain rendered me to have difficulty bending or reaching my feet to put on socks - because the pain became worse 
  6. My knees were always painful. Sometimes a little swollen.  Chondritis ( inflammation under the knee-cap) was diagnosed by a doctor associate. It was a strange pain - there most of the time. When my GP tried to examine my knee - I would instinctively pull my knee away. He said I was afraid of pain.  Was I afraid of the pain? Maybe. I doubt it, because it shifted by instinct - I had no control over my knee. I 'googled' painful knees, and came across a symptom known as 'touch-me-not-knees'. I knew that. There was no proffered remedy.
  7. Muscle cramps and spasms. Cramping can occur in the legs and this can be a sign of     low Magnesium levels. Similarly muscular spasms can also be due to inadequate balanced mineral supply  of Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium to the muscles. As mentioned, there is a need to follow the rules if  taking Magnesium to ensure an adequate Calcium balance and avoid discomfort and insomnia. Quinine tablets ( prescribed) and homeopathic Arnica and or the Arnica cream, both OTC, applied to the painful part of the limb has also given me relief .
A well earned rest by Dr Joseph Valks
I now know that the joint pains were definitely caused by an overloaded highly toxic system, due to impurities in food and toxins in the environment. I again experienced some of these pains during a recent highly successful liver cleanse - the cause being the body working hard to get rid of all the rubbish I had accumulated in my system, over a lifetime. When the M.E was full blown, my immune system was sluggish.  Waste products collect in the joints as they do in the body tissues. I believe they can be a main cause of inflammation.

When I had all these randomly occurring symptoms I was not taking any supplements or quality nutritional support. With the addition of many of those remedies listed below, taken  from time to time (excluding the pain-killers) and better quality sleep most of my symptoms were  reduced. 

 OTC (over the counter) and Prescribed Painkillers (Analgesics)

I would first like to mention the disadvantages, even risks taken by using any prescribed or over the counter medications eg. Tylenol, Panadol, Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, NSAID's . They have a damaging effect on the natural body processes and taken over time can result in organ (e.g kidneys, liver) damage and in extreme cases - death.

Dr Mercolas post on painkillers containing acetaminophen

Andreas Moritz discusses the effects of taking Asprin and the small amount of blood loss with each Asprin taken. He talks about the long term effects of all analgesics; claims that there are 16,500 deaths a year and 103,000 hospitalisations every year in the U.S due to all anti-inflammatory drugs and prescription painkillers.

(The late) Andreas Moritz - painkillers by prescription and OTC

Other Remedies to consider:
  • Natural Painkillers: Boswellia, Sulphur, Devil's Claw, Bromelain - from pineapples, MSM, SAMe, Ginger tea, Cayenne, Curcumin ( Turmeric root) - well recommended and publicised for being far stronger than Brufen. I take the latter with Vitamin C, see below. Details of  specific use and dosages of most of these listed in both articles above. Too many to list' 
  • Adequate daily intake of high quality Sea Salt e.g Himalayan Rose , Celtic  for over 80 beneficial minerals and elements Benefits of Sea Salt . Any Sea salt crystals are better for you than none at all or common refined table salt. Helps reduce inflammation
  • Intake of 2  to 3 litres  of pure water daily is one of the easiest methods to reduce the pain- it helps eliminate waste products among other things, which reduces the sources of the pain. See:  Benefits of drinking adequate water daily          Pain Relief from Water  
  • Vitamin C is a natural painkiller. It was recommended to me by a medical doctor who also had M.E. The recognised maximum dose daily is 1000 mg x 3 times a day. Start with a lower dose - if there is no effect such as diarrhoea, take the larger dose. If there are still problems with diarrhoea - try the buffered form of Vitamin C, Calcium ascorbate with fruit juice to disguise the bitter taste
  • Omega 3 - fish oils, taken daily reduce joint pain and promote lubrication. Must be pure - free of mercury - and of good quality. Cheap supplements are not very effective. This supplement may take time to have an effect
  • Evening Primrose oil - proven by medical research in UK to benefit M.E and CFS - was available on prescription in UK - now withdrawn due to cutbacks 
  • There should be a good absorption and chemical balance of the 4 vital minerals - Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium and Sodium
  • Magnesium (see post on Magnesium and the symbiotic action with Calcium ) 600mg daily - can cause drowsiness in large doses - any looseness of stools then reduce the dose. Magnesium relaxes the muscles so is good for muscular pains. Research has shown this is beneficial for all the fatigue illnesses
  • Calcium supplements if required (see detailed post on Calcium and the important symbiosis with magnesium)
  • Potassium requirements - available in supplement form - I eat a banana daily
  • Sodium requirement is best taken with Himalayan (pink) salt which contains the micro nutrients not only those required, but in the right proportions matching that of the blood
  • Anti-oxidants in diet, with superfoods at each meal and additional anti-oxidant supplements ( e.g CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Blue-green Algae)
  • Juice greens and apples on a daily basis with a slow revolution juice extractor- to preserve the enzymes - the apples clean the liver and the greens detox the body:   Slow extraction juicing

A solution, for involuntary leg movements and any problems with standing or walking:  a walking stick. I could balance perfectly well without it but it had other advantages for me: 
Sunset Silhouette by Nerian
  1. I could lean on it when standing in a queue, for example, when my muscular pains would get worse (on standing).
  2. It helps if your limbs or joints give way and if you have a 'funny walk'. In this case no one stared at me when my legs were going all over the place.
  3. The downside to this is forgetting the stick, getting up and walking off without it! Retrieving it is embarrassing - no-one then understands why you needed it in the first place!
You may also be interested in  Causes and cures of leg pains 

                                                       Natural painkillers