• Leg pains after chemo - anyone found good exercise or effective diet, supplement??

    Asked by cranburymom on Sunday, April 1, 2012

    Leg pains after chemo - anyone found good exercise or effective diet, supplement??

    I have been getting leg cramps - upper front legs (right side is worse) and upper inner thigh. Pains in upper legs are bad - cramping even when resting, and hurts when moving. My dull pain in upper left comes when I try to rest - sometimes I woke up due to pains. Not that bad to mention to my Doc, but it discourages me from being active.

    This could be from Taxotere and Carboplain as they can cause a long-term neuropathy. I do not want to be on Lyrica or similar meds. Hoping to get some tips from this community.

    I am taking multi-vitamine, Mg++, Ca++, eating a banana, etc. So far I see no difference.

    My hemoglobin is still low (~8) and I was 11 before the chemo. So this could be contributing but not sure.

    Similar experience? If so anything worked?

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      My hemoglobin was also super low...
      Have you thought about adding glutamine?
      It helps with side effects... Very effective.
      As your doc about adding it...

      The number one thing that helps with cramps is moving... Use the muscles... If it's painful to move, try cycling... or swimming? Something with a very smooth movement...

      Regarding hemoglobin, consider adding b-vitamins. They help with building that back up. Again, though... Ask your doc.

      almost 5 years ago
    • cranburymom's Avatar
      cranburymom

      Thanks Leepenn.
      I was thinking of you when I took my bike for the first spin. It was soooo fun!! My legs were a bit tight during up hill, and I remembered what you said. I did some stretch right after.
      I forgot about glutamine! I used to add it to my protein shake...
      I will add this somehow to my ever-growing supplements. And yes I will mention next time I see my ONC.

      Thanks Leepen!

      almost 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      if your legs are tight on the hills... two options...
      one - down shift down shift down shift... there's NO REASON to struggle on the hills.
      if it's a super tough hill... then just walk... take your time.
      with your low hemoglobin, hills are just plain hard.
      hills sure were hard for me when my hemoglobin was at and slightly below that 8 mark....
      and then enjoy the heck out of the downhills!

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I've had the same problem since my 4th chemo (taxotere and carboplatin). It's tough, but keep moving...walking, biking, etc.

      almost 5 years ago
    • judalou's Avatar
      judalou

      Are you getting a "neulasta Shot" after chemo ? It is given to stimulate bone marrow. Many have the pains described here. Claritan or Loratadine (non-drowsy antihistamine),or steroid help me through the 5-7 days of bone pain....

      almost 5 years ago
    • cranburymom's Avatar
      cranburymom

      A question to tmercer - just to confirm - are you telling me VitD3 50,000 unit??? I am taking chewable Ca2+ which comes wiht 1000IU VitD. Do you take horse pills? I am not taking statins. If works, I will mention to my Doc. Thanks!!!

      I am no longer getting a neulasta shot - thanks to heaven - that gave me pains from sholder down to my hip (lower back) plus night sweats. Claritin helped me recover from blurred eye visions. Not so much for the bone pain, but I was more afraid of not being able to drive or work....so Claritin was my hero for that week. Judalou, thanks for mentioning Claritin. I am sure others can learn from your comment here.

      Makiko (Cranburymom)

      almost 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      The VitD3 50,000 units is for people deficient in their Vit D levels. If you've had yours checked, and you are deficient, then your docs will likely prescribe this. The pills are actually quite tiny and a nice color of green...

      However, if you are not deficient, then you do not need to do that... How much is the right amount of daily vit D? Good question... there's quite a lot of controversy. If you are getting 1000 units from your calcium... and you're getting some sun each day this time of year... you are probably sitting pretty. Plus, you take a multivitamin, which also has vit D... So you're probably sitting quite pretty. If in doubt, ask your docs... They should have good answers for you.

      Neupogen never gave me bone pain... but neulasta sure did! What a difference. My main bone pain was in my sternum... and my lower back... and it would PULSE with my heart rate... There were a few times when I would have rated that pain with something in the neighborhood of 8 or 9.... The bilateral mastectomy never hurt that much. And it's such a bizarre pain, I think.

      almost 5 years ago
    • cranburymom's Avatar
      cranburymom

      Thanks for chiming in Leepen. Neulasta is very tricky - one of those "helper drugs"or supportive medicine which comes with a laundry list of side-effects. I read the PI of Neulasta, but it only lists those "life-threating, serious ones" that most people will never get.

      I am not sure how other patients had been briefed on this, but I wish that my medical team (ONC or Nurses) gave me some "heads-up" on Neulasta - i.e., information on "common side-effects" and alternative option, i.e., Neupogen. Since I did not know about this, so I thought the Chemo was doing it and did not report back to my ONC in time.

      It would be great if more physicians are aware of these side-effects and how this could impact on our quality of life, or, simply our routine.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Irishsurvivor's Avatar
      Irishsurvivor

      If you haven't had a ferrous iron blood test done,you can request it from your doctor. My hemoglobin was good. My Onc. at Mayo Clinic also did a ferrous iron blood test as she said if the ferrous is low it may be what is causing my leg cramps, leg pains and like a restless leg syndrome. To my surprise my ferrous was low! She put me on Ferrous Sulfate 325 mg twice a day and what a wonderful difference! My legs rarely bother me now! I have been taking vitamin D twice a day, as my vitamin D level was low before all this. Be careful not to take too much vitamin D, etc. as some of the supplements can be toxic if taken in too large a dose, best to always check with your doctor on doses.
      Best of luck to you!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Charlieb's Avatar
      Charlieb

      Before I was diagnosed with MM I had been dealing with peripheral neuropathy small fiber. Leg and arm cramps was a regular for me and my Neurologist suggested Tonic Water. This has worked very well for me and may do the same for you. If you can tolerated the taste (I used to put a little Gin in it) it couldn't hurt.

      My vitamin D level is also low, and I am now taking1300mg daily.

      almost 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      Oh yeah - my grandfather did that for leg cramps, except that he included the gin.... Tonic water.

      As for neulasta versus neupogen. I think the name of the game is to keep that immune system as close to working as possible. The big difference between neulasta and neupogen is how long they last - neulasta is one shot every two weeks.... neupogen is a daily shot... I don't know why I had so much more pain with neulasta... It was the WORST when I'd be riding... and then would have to wait at a light. When I was actually in motion.. It was fine. But when I had to be still for a couple of minutes, it was this pulsing pain that felt so alien to me....

      I was fortunate - the health care providers on my team knew the side effects, and so I wasn't surprised when I got some of them. The thing they kept telling me was don't stop moving. Inactive people really get the roughest end of that stick.

      almost 5 years ago
    • cranburymom's Avatar
      cranburymom

      tmercer, this is very insightful. I noticed some difference among physicians (i.e., Surgeon, ONC, and Radiologist). In my case, my surgeon and raiologist are very supportive to my exercise. They truly encourage me to continue my training. It never occured to me to ask them for supplements. But I will for sure now! Thanks.
      My ONC is a different stroy. He is not too interested in hearing my list of supplements or leg cramp issue. He just told me not to do ANY exercise. His reason was ..I will get disappointed with myself on performance. So why should you try. I challenged him on this assumption but in vain. So I became more conservative on communicating my complaints to hm.
      I will ask him to refer me to a nutritionist who is familiar with herbal remedies. Interested to find out how he responds to my request.

      almost 5 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar
      mgm48

      I have been cycling throughout the chemo cycles and now feel lousy any day I don't get on the bike. It's low impact but good cardio and seems to help the circulation and muscle tone. Definitely, had to push myself to get started but now it's automatic and I'm addicted to something good.

      Keep it positive and smile:)

      over 4 years ago
    • LadyM's Avatar
      LadyM

      I posted a similiar question about pain. I exercise regularly - walking swimming, etc. and it does help. However, when I am idle the pain seems to escalate as if demanding my attention.

      over 4 years ago
    • cbutinski's Avatar
      cbutinski

      No answer to your question but Thanks to you it gave me some answers I was also on Taxotere and Carboplain and after a year and a half I am still experiencing leg pain, I did not know that it was a long term neuropathy.

      over 4 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar

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