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2.5 Year Calf Pain Mystery: can RFD find the cause?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 14th, 2011 11:09 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Sep 5, 2010
1985 posts
182 upvotes
Toronto

2.5 Year Calf Pain Mystery: can RFD find the cause?

Hey guys, I have pretty much run out of options, so thought it doesn't hurt to come on RFD and seek yet another opinion on what could be causing my pain. It is a pain in my right calf, and it has been with me since about summer of 2008.

The pain is there all the time, and I can duplicate it 100% at will. All I need to do is stand on my legs or walk for about 10 minute and the pain comes. It is a numbness or a feeling of tightness around my calf calf soreness) , that radiates up and down the calf. Once I sit down, the pain is gone within a minute or so, as if nothing has happened.

I have done Chiro treatment for three months, Physiotherapist for another three months, bought special orthotics, taken special anti-inflammatory medication and so much more, yet none of these treatments have reduced the pain by one bit. Of course, I am an active GYM member and have never stopped going because of the pain. However, I have drastically reduced my cardio workouts since I can't stand on my leg for more than a few minutes at a time.

Today, after 5 months of waiting, I had an appointment with an orthopedic specialist that my doctor had scheduled for me. He asked a few questions and referred me to do a CT scan. I had a lot of hopes that this doctor would finally get to the bottom of this. But not so fast, not until I do my CT scan at least. He did mention something about 'Sciatic pain' and that this could be caused by my back? any truth to that? I don't know much about this 'sciatic' thing? Moreover, I have never had any pain in my back before (I am 30 years old)

Anyone has any idea what is happening? is it really my back? could it be pressure caused by herniated or bulging disc? (as my chiropractor speculated) ? or could it because my right leg is jusssssst slightly longer than my left leg, hence more pressure is being applied to my right side? (as my physiotherapist speculated)

By the way, most X-Rays and ultrasounds I did didn't show anything wrong with my legs, except for one that showed some deformity with my left pelvis (not right, where the pain is)

Some have recommended that I skip all these Chiropractors and Physiotherapists (who are only interested in prolonging the treatment to make more money) and do a Chinese-style acupuncture?

I can't live with this pain, it is really annoying and inconvenient. I can't even walk in the mall with friends anymore because I have to stop every few minutes to take a rest.
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7 replies
[OP]
Deal Addict
Sep 5, 2010
1985 posts
182 upvotes
Toronto
by the way, I have never been in any accident, trauma or anything.

And even at the GYM, as much as I am active there, I don't push myself to the limit. So I don't think that could be the cause of this pain either.
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Newbie
Apr 16, 2010
55 posts
8 upvotes
Toronto
Sorry for all the questions, but it's hard to get a good idea of what's going on. Calf pain can be caused by a few, but very different things.

Did something happen in the summer of '08 that could explain the issue, did it start suddenly or gradually? Is this pain worsening as an overall trend? How far above and below the calf does the pain radiate? From how you describe it, the pain is brought on by 10 min of walking and alleviated by sitting, but how about after 10 min (or any duration) of standing? And if you stop walking but remain standing, is it alleviated? The pain is numbness or tightness, but any weakness or "pins & needles" or burning sensation in the leg/foot?

Any current or past medical conditions/surgeries/hospitallizations?

What medications have been given so far? Are you on any other medications? What was the chiropractor and physio attempting to treat, ie. what was the working diagnosis?

What do you do for a living, (is this potentially work related? ie construction, etc).

Any specific findings mentioned to you on physical exam?

Could you be more specific on what investigations were done, specifically what was X-ray'd and U/S'ed so far? What is going to be CT'ed and is it with contrast? Also, was an ABI done (Ankle brachial index)?
Newbie
Dec 15, 2008
36 posts
Hi,
Sorry to hear about this annoyance and challenge you have!
A few points-
- the left hip issue COULD throw the right side into compensation mode
- right leg is symbolic of moving forward .....not kidding here.....but is there anything unresolved issue "holding you back"? I have seen this happen!!!! And this is theBACK of the leg!
- yes, try the acupuncture or see on Osteopath and a specialized Kinesiologist for their odd seeming theories.....hey, one might work.
I am guessing you have looked at sodium/ potassium balance issue as well as calcium / magnesium?

Good luck!!!,
Ski
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2009
814 posts
49 upvotes
Sciatica resulting from lower back issues would be painful, all the time. It's not usually weight-bearing related, and it would likely hurt more sitting than exercising. You would also feel it more in the thigh, as opposed to the calf. However, a pinch in either the peroneal or tibial nerves (which the sciatic separates into behind the knee) could be causing your problem. You could have a cyst or calcification on some structure of the knee, that's putting pressure on these nerves.

Another possibility is deep vein thrombosis. You might have a blood clot in one of the veins in the calf, which is blocking circulation, and starving muscles of oxygen when you're exercising. DVT usually produces symptoms such as swelling and tenderness. The CT scan will show you what the deal is and it was a good idea.

Keep us updated on what happens!
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Feb 20, 2007
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NeverNeverLand
You need a good RMT for "trigger point" therapy....I had a similar condition. Pm me for details.
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Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2009
814 posts
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frankyflwrs wrote:
Mar 13th, 2011 11:59 pm
You need a good RMT for "trigger point" therapy....I had a similar condition. Pm me for details.

+1. This is also likely. What often happens in the calves is that the fascia surrounding the muscle is too tight, and as soon as blood enters the muscle and its compartment, it can't expand enough to accomodate it. The result is pain. Massage will help break up the fascia, but it is supposedly excruciating.
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