Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Leg ache issues

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 4 Replies
  • Posted By: incircles
  • May 18, 2009
  • 02:16 PM

I've posted here before, but never with a lucid, complete description of my symptoms.

Much of the time for the last year, I've had a strange aching sensation in my calves. It's relatively subtle in the sense that it's not painful -- more of an unplesant, queasy sort of feeling. Sometimes this ache extends into my knee and above my knee to my lower quads, but it seems diffuse and is difficult to ascribe a specific location to. Pressing ******n the back of my calf causes literal pain, but blocks the ache. Changing my posture seems to change the source of the ache. When this ache is present, my legs feel wobbly and heavy, as if I have trouble maintaining my balance. There does not, however, seem to be any objective weakness when it comes to things like calf raises or running short distances. I seem to have full use of my muscles; they just feel strange and unpleasant. I'd love to be able to exercise, but exercise just seems to exacerbate things. Last week, I used the elliptical a few times for 10-15 minutes each and it felt GREAT, but I'm wondering if the recurrence of symptoms I'm experiencing is due to that.

There is no tingling. There are, however, occasional fasciculations.

When driving or playing piano for extended periods of time, my achilles area and sometimes upper calf will hurt and burn. This is immediate when playing drums and the burning sensation in the calf will sometimes last for days. Walking two miles can, but does not always, cause the same symptoms. Could be an exaggeration of normal muscle soreness.

Sometimes, driving or sitting can cause pain in my right hip and behind my right quadriceps. This does not last past the activity.

Occasionally, I also have an itching sensation in my heel that is impossible to scratch (i.e. not a real itch). This seems to correlate with pain and aching in the area.

I have upper back pain, for what it's worth, and suffered a groin pull rock climbing a year before this started. I've seen a rheumatologist and a neurologist, and my levels of everything seem fine. I'm a pescevegetarian, but I think I get enough of everything essential. My physical therapist thinks it *might* be spinal. I'm in good health in general, and was in great shape before said groin pull.

Anyone know anything that might help?

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4 Replies:

  • Sometimes this ache extends into my knee and above my knee to my lower quads, but it seems diffuse and is difficult to ascribe a specific location to. Pressing ******n the back of my calf causes literal pain, but blocks the ache. Changing my posture seems to change the source of the ache. When this ache is present, my legs feel wobbly and heavy, as if I have trouble maintaining my balance. There does not, however, seem to be any objective weakness when it comes to things like calf raises or running short distances. I seem to have full use of my muscles; they just feel strange and unpleasant. I'd love to be able to exercise, but exercise just seems to exacerbate things. Last week, I used the elliptical a few times for 10-15 minutes each and it felt GREAT, but I'm wondering if the recurrence of symptoms I'm experiencing is due to that.The main calf muscle-- the gastrocnemius, attaches above the knee (origin; 2 heads-- medial and lateral condyle of femur/ insertion; Achilles tendon)-- this is why the pain goes higher. It can also be why you feel it in your heal. It's still the same muscle, just different attachment sites. I'm thinking that your pain sounds pretty normal for someone who uses their calves regularly (normal muscle aches due to exercise). If, when your calf begins hurting-- try lifting your foot up like you were coming off a brake pedal (toes up). This is called reciprocal inhibition and should relax the gastroc. The only part of your story that worries me......you need to be checked for DVT-- deep vein thrombosis. This is a blood clot that causes pain (and usually bruising, but you don't mention that) that can dislodge and travel to your lung. It's really more common than you might think and needs to be ruled out. In the absence of DVT, I recommend continuing to work with your Physical Therapist, who should be able to help you with this problem.Best of luck to you!
    Harmonium 322 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hm, I don't think it's normal aching at all. Maybe that which is described in the latter paragraph. But I used to do martial arts regularly, and MAN my legs ached and hurt for a couple of days sometimes, but it was a healthy sort of ache. This isn't. It feels wrong somehow.I haven't exercised at all for a few days and it's really bad today.The itching sensation doesn't sound strange?
    incircles 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • The itching sensation is a bit strange. Sounds like a nerve issue to me. Also, because it is worse when you sit (like while driving) I'm lead to think things like sciatica (can stem from your spine or compression of your piriformis muscle in your rear). However, that itching on the heal could also be the beginnings of plantar fascitis, which would be a natural evolution from gastroc issues. If it begins hurting in the heal rather than the 'itch' feeling....begin to look at the plantar fascia. If you state it's not normal use pain, I'll have to defer to your assessment. Only you really know. Some people with less exercise experience than you interpret normal muscle pain as something more sinister. I do think you have the experience to know the difference, and I did not intend to offend you in any way. I still think DVT should be ruled out. That would be my primary concern. A MRI of your lumbar spine might be useful to rule in or out any spinal issues. Again, best wishes with this. Keep trying until you find the answer!
    Harmonium 322 Replies Flag this Response
  • yESI HAVE JUST BLOGGED TO FIND OUT I HAVE UPPER LEG MUSCLES ACHING I M THINKING MAYBE ITS A BURSITIS INFECTION OR SUCH WHAT DO YOU THINK COULD BE MUSCLES NOT A HEAVY PAIN JUST TIED I KNOW ITS THEIR GENTLE PAIN I WILL TAKE A VOLTARIN AND A PANADOL IT WILL HELP DO YOU THINK I SHOULD HAVE SOME TESTING LIKE BONE DENSITY ALSO MY BONES AROUND THE BACK OF BOTTOM ARE REALLY STIFF AND SORE WHEN I BEND DOWN TO PLANT A FLOWER ETC I AM 62 YRS I TAKE FISH OIL AND GLUCOSAMINE WITH CHONROITIN I AM WEIGHING 96KGS AND 5FT 3INCHES HELP FOR MY TIED BODY I PLAY TENNIS TWICE A WEEK USUALLY BUT I AM ALSO ACTIVE AT HOME CLEANING AND STANDING FOR LONG PERIODS WHEN I HIT THE BED I WANT TO STAY SO MUCH IN BED BUT FORCE MYSELF TO GET UP SAY 7.30AM 8.30AM GO TO SLEEP ABOUT 10 O"CLOCK WHAT SAY ANYBODY OR IS IT JUST THE PYSICAL BODY TIED AS I HAVE BEEN ACTIVE ALL MY LIFE NOT A LOUNGE GIRL
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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