Light Tingling / Popping Sensation in Legs After Jogging
I started a walking / jogging program about 5 weeks ago. I've been steadily progressing, walking less and jogging more, without any real problems. The last two times I've worked out I experienced a strange sensation in the back of my legs after exercise. It felt like tiny bubbles were popping all up and down the backs of my legs- especially in my thighs. It does not hurt in the least. In fact, it's actually a pleasant feeling. I stretch well before and after exercising. It is during the stretching that I notice the feeling, but I think it starts when I'm running. I'm just too busy to notice it then. Should I be concerned about this?
It feels like there are small bubbles on the back of my legs which are bursting- inside the muscle, just under my skin. They feel like they're all over- maybe an inch or two apart at most. I can't think of a better way to describe it. This is exactly what it feels like.
i get that tingling sensation too in my legs after jogging, i just assumed it was due to the increase in blood flow or something like that. i also get "restless legs" occasionally which stretching seems to help a lot. I do have a few varicose and spider veins in my legs so maybe that makes these symptoms worse??
No no no. I know exactly what you are talking about. Not tingling. Popping. I have been looking for what it is for a very long time and medical boards only come up with things that have to do with cracking or popping bones or tingling or things that hurt. This never hurts. It doesn't do it if I run very quickly, only when I walk briskly for at least 15 min. After I stop walking and am completely still, it will start within a minute. It does it all over and around both legs, right above my knees up to my behind and continues for about 3 minutes or so. It is directly under the skin and feels like if I put my hand there while it does it, then I could feel the "pop" underneath the skin! I can't count them but I would estimate that it does around 50-75 "pops" each time before it is through.
I have nothing that I can think of to cause this: I'm 26, healthy (5'6, 145), I do have the most weight on my thighs and butt though. I have pretty low blood pressure and since i've always experienced other weird things from that sometimes (like vision blackouts for a few seconds when standing up quickly) maybe that could be it.
I don't regularly excersize now, though when I did, it happened everytime. Today I walked for the first time in months and it happened again. It's just a weird feeling! I pretend it's the fat popping off of that area and getting flushed out. lol.
I know exactly what you are talking about...it feels like your thighs are bubble wrap and your muscles are popping the bubbles against the inside of your skin....or like tiny air bubbles trying to escape all over your thighs. I experience the same sensation everytime I use the treadmill for 15 min. or more, but I don't know what causes it! If you find out, please let me know.
Strange sensation in legs after walking/jogging
I have also been having this strange sensation in my legs immediately after exercising. I have been totally puzzled by this and decided to google which pulled up this forum. I don't feel so silly now after reading these posts.....but I really wish I knew what this is? It is all over my thighs front, sides and back and feels odd but not painful at all. It only lasts about 5 to 10 minutes. I describe it as tiny little explosions going off under the skin. Weird!
Does anyone have any answers to what this might be???
I have the exact same feeling. My husband said when you exercise and elevate your heart rate your blood starts pumping into your muscles. When you stop exercising and feel that popping sensation it's literally the blood in your muscles still pumping. Nothing to fear, it's completely normal.
My wife has been mentioning this for a few years - tingling or popping and all of the posts make sense. I'll share this with her. I think what ambassador's husband says make sense but I don't thinkn all people experience this sessation. I walk, run and ride and have never had that feeling. I was wondering if happens to woman more than men - I guess checking the people in this poll wouldn't be very scientific but would be interested to see if it was more one than another - not that it really matters. Anyhow thanks for clearing this up... B.
I get the same sensation. I read somewhere that it's cellulite fat cells dissolving. Is this wishful thinking? I also carry a lot of weight in my thighs. And I agree, it's not unpleasant at all. It does feel like something good is happening, even if it's only blood flowing.
i am 40 and over weight and have noticed a popping sessation on my leg also somtimes on my arm somtimes you can see it popping it doesnt hurt i was scared it was a blood clott or somthing put you have put my mind at rest any ansewers
I also have this sensation regularly after walking at a decent pace for 20 or more minutes. However, I did not have this my entire life...just the past 6-8 years. I thought it might be increased circulation, however when I REALLY used to work out with strenuous aerobics, and my circulation was as max as it could get, I used to get itchy on the upper layer of skin due to increased blood flow and it was nothing like what I feel now. I am a slim to normal weight, but this seems to be happening where I do have some body fat. I am curious, but not anxious about this at all.
so weird! I have this exact same feeling sometimes after I sit down from walking somewhere. I recently decided to google it because I was kind of worried about it even though it's not painful. There were only a couple sites where people were posting their experience with the popping sensation. All the medical sites seem to talk about tingling or a numbing sensation but that's certainly not it at all! I wonder what this is actually caused by??
I have been experiencing this same thing for about the past six months. I am 55 years old, slender, and walk six miles briskly nearly every day. I only experience the sensations when I am lying in bed, and they occur between my knees and ankles rather than the thighs. I agree that it is not painful, but rather annoying. I have very low blood pressure--no idea if this is related.
I have the same thing. I am 27 and it has been happening for about 3 years. I am slender, but any extra weight I happen to put on is in my thigh and butt area and that's where I get the popping sensations. I go on 30 minute brisk walks and I get it after that. It doesn't hurt at all, but I really want to know what it is. It is nice to know that other people experience the same thing!
The internet is amazing - this was the first thing google showed me after i searched for 'feels like bubbles popping in back of legs'
I also only started getting the sensation this year after I walk or run. I also on started getting cellulite this year and was pretty convinced that this 'feeling' is cellulite forming. Does anyone who experiences this NOT have cellulite? I hope to God i'm wrong.
I dont have any cellulite! I am 20, healthy, very athletic and my legs are pure muscle and i too experience the popping/tingling. Your legs/thighs house some of the largest muscles in your body and I honestly believe its just increased blood flow into those muscles that makes the sensation.
I am 28 yrs old, 5'6, 140 lbs...I have had this feeling in my legs for years after I do intense walking, jogging or biking. I am taking spin classes three days a week and when I asked the instructor he was a little puzzled and said he had never heard of this before! But he thought more than likely it was lactic acid releasing out of my muscles. But I am so surprised there are so many other people experiencing this but there is no real answer!!! I have seen the answer as being lactic acid, increased blood flow or cellulite dissolving. The first two seem alot more likely but has anyone heard any other answers on here? Some other answers seemed to point to an injury of some kind but like all of you this is not a painful feeling, just a little strange..but oddly enough I know I've had a good workout when this happens!! Just wondering what else is out there on this???
I am so glad to hear others with this feeling. It has happened to me since I was a teenager, whenever I walk for more than about 10 minutes, when i stop, I feel it. I was thinking maybe veins in my legs aren't as flexible or something and when there is increased bloodflow I can feel the blood pushing through or something, but then when I do really strenuous workouts with my legs and continuous kicks in karate and biking and squats and stuff it doesn't happen, only when i walk... it's still a mystery!
I get the popping sensation in my legs too after a good fast walk !! Like my legs are literally a pop corn machine! Tsk tsk......... and i always thought it was fat bursting into nothing!! But now it seems it's just blood circulation :(
I have always always wondered what this popping is! I am athletic average weight/size female that runs or does some for of exercise every day. I feel likr i get the poping- which is all over my legs when i am slightly more out of shape- or havent run in a few days. So what isi it? anybody? is it related to fat or cellulite cells?
I have had this feeling forever, esp after a walk or something. But I get it randomly too when I am sitting. Has anyone asked a doctor about this? My husband is a very new doctor and he has no idea (and I would say he is pretty smart) - I showed him this forum and he at least understands a little more what I mean.
I saw this article on Restless Leg Syndrome that said:
"People describe the strange sensations, which tend to worsen with age,
as feeling as if they have ants or bubbles in their veins. With a more severe form of the disease, the feeling can occur not just at night but anytime someone is at rest, leading to interrupted movies, miserable plane trips, as well as insomnia."
I am sitting here post workout with my butt and thighs "popping" away and I have a giant grin on my face! Yes, I too experience this and have always jokingly said it was my fat cells popping (disappearing)! Too weird. I would love a definitive answer on what this really is! We need some sort of exercise physiologist (I have no idea what that is) to come in here and straighten us out!
I really thought I was the only one that experienced this!
I always thought it was simply increased blood flow through the large leg arteries, but that is just a guess. It is odd how it seems to have no correlation to how hard I've been working out or how exhausted I am I get it from a long walk, but not a hard as I can go aerobics class. Weird.
Has anyone found out about the "popping" sensation in the upper thighs/legs yet? I would really love to know what this is. I have been reading all the posts, but have not yet come up with an answer or have seen one. This has been happening to me for as long as I can remember. PLEASE somebody, we need your input!
Well, just to say I have never experienced popping in my leg until I had varicose vein surgery 4 weeks ago! yes I agree, its not painful but a very strange feeling its as if u could put your hand on your skin and feel the popping going on! I spoke to a district nurse last week about this and she said it is air trapped in the tissues of the skin!
I get this too...after walking for a mile or more. It just pops all over my butt and thighs where I have more fat. Doesn't hurt, just feels weird. I do not have varicose veins or anything. I really hope it is just fat popping! It does it every time and I actually feel like if it doesn't happen, I didn't exercise enough! LOL! I'd love to know what it really is!
I've been searching for information on this for sometime and this forum is the most I've found on the internet.
I've been afflicted with the after-exercise-popping sensation all over my legs and butt for more than 5 yrs, I am 5'2" and weight about 145, and have a very muscular build and I too carry my little extra body fat in that area, and I also have really low blood pressure. It seems like there are too many similarities in these descriptions for this not to be a medical condition.
I am worried about this because for the last 6 months I've started experiencing extreme fatigue. Like getting short breathed after just 2 flights of stairs and the muscles in my legs feel so tired like I need to stop and rest after the climb. I am in my young 30's, don't smoke, eat healthy so you wouldn't think that I should tire so easily...? But at the same time I can walk/jog for three miles no problem, I do get the popping sensations, but the extreme fatigue hits me when I'm climbing stairs.
If anyone is experiencing this too, please message me.
I actually have went through 3 doctors trying to find the answer to this question/. I got laughed at by the first doctor.This really scares me. I do not work out like most of you and I have experienced this for about 3 years and had some blood clotting issues in that time. I get the popping throughout my legs and arms. They happen the most in my lower legs- the only place I don't really have fat. I really think that it has more to do with the nerves or circulation over anything to do with fat cells. I am walking or standing all day (I am a teacher) and do experience this more during school season. I think the answer that suits best so far is the restless leg syndrome but I really think that it is a little serious because Restless Legg can be a sign of poor circulation. -Tracybeans
Actually, it is your nerves still firing and making your muscles twitch after strenous exercise, especially after intense aerobic exercise. These muscle twitches are known as fasiculations, which are a small, local, involuntary muscle contractions visible under the skin arising from the spontaneous discharge of skeletal muscle fibers. Fasiculations can be caused by certain motor diseases but are more commonly caused by electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, stress and fatigue. Fasiculations are a normal body response to abrupt changes in activity levels such as running for 30 mins. and then suddenly ending the activity. Their intensity is heightened when it has been awhile between exercising routines.
This sensation after exercise is a very healthy sensation, as it is caused by cellulite (small pockets of fat), popping and being dissolved. It is nothing to worry about, rather it is something you should be looking for as a reward after exercise, particularly if you have an excess amount of fat around the thigs and butt area.
Just finished watching Dr. Oz on Oprah, and there is absolutely no way to get rid of cellulite so get some nice pants and a pretty long sleeved shirt and be happy! As for the bubbles, thank you for this great post as I thought I had some serious vascular disease, and you have set my mind at ease.
i too have this popping sensation very superficially in the back of my thighs and bottom after exerise - mainly after walking and jogging. strangly enough i do not seem to experience it after full on aerobic workouts.
i do like to believe that it is the fat cells releasing energy however i was curious to find out what it actually was so i googled it and came up with this forum.
i too have low blood pressure (experience dizziness and sometimes blackouts) and poor circulation - maybe they are related
I was experiencing this sensation after walk for approximately 5 years. Recently, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. Ever since I started taking medication, I have not had this problem reoccur. Since low thyroid function effects every cell in your body, it can manifest itself in a lot of ways. My recommendation would be to get a blood test to see if your TSH levels are high. Good luck!
I was experiencing this sensation after walking for approximately 5 years. Recently, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. Ever since I started taking medication I have not had this problem reoccur. Since low thyroid function effects every cell in your body, it can manifest itself in a lot of ways. My recommendation would be to get a blood test to see if your TSH levels are high. Good luck!
After the exercise the power of contraction of every heart beat increases it opens the miniature capillaries or blood vessels in the periphery as well as increases blood flow to the nerves in the peripheral part of the limb.Expansion of these capillaries & increased blood flow which is good for your health is making you feel like this.A good article concerning with the physical effects of exercise can be assessed at following link- http://www.shelfieldpeonline.co.uk/html/effects_of_exercise.html
I don't have the popping feeling but I do get a fabulous tingling sensation on my thights and calfs when I work out hard or have run hard. I really like the feeling and know that I have had a great workout if I get it. I get other feelings in my legs as well. I have parts of my legs taht will feel like someone has put their very hot hand on my skin. I have wondered if they are related. Does anyone have this one as well?
I get the "fat pops" after any cardio exercise too. No tingling or pain. I know it's not the fat cells actually popping, but i wonder if it is fat being burned/metabolized. It does leave the cells after all.
It's absolutely NOT muscle twitches, i can tell the difference. My thighs and butt carry lots of fat, and the popping is in the fat, not the muscle, i even feel pops close to my skin, and trust me my thigh muscles and skin are separated by thick layer of fat.
i have had this since i can remember, i am 22 and i never excersise reguraly which is why i thought this was because i need to excersise more, i told my doctors about this when i was also having depression issues and we decided the best way forward for me was to start excersizing, when i told him of the bubbles he wanted to send me for a blood test and being scared of needles i said i would try the exersises and see if it helped, i now walk an hour to work and back everyday and i seem to be getting it more than before, i am also getting a numb ache in my left leg alot even when i have done nothing, i am going to go back to the doctors for a blood test to be sure everything is ok. but is nice to see i am not alone in this.
I would suggest you to explain your symptoms perfectly with the Orthopedician. Do not get scared for blood tests, they have to be done if they are required and they would help your case to be diagnosed.
Also check your blood pressure, blood hemoglobin and blood sugar.
This is the first time I have actually found something online regarding popcorn thighs! So glad to find this forum.
I have read all your posts and have found a common thread with several of us. Low blood pressure issues. I have numerous health issues as well and just wondered if people would post a brief health bio so we could compare notes...
I've been experiencing this popcorn sensation for several years and actually brought it up to my doctor as well. He looked at me like I was nuts and said he had no clue...
So here's my health bio.
I have been diagnosed or had issues with the following:
1. Postural Hypotension (Low blood pressure) At times blacking out, passing out, seizure type jerking.
2. Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue
3. Benign Hasimoto's Thyroid Disease (Had Thyroid removed 24 yrs ago)
4. Bowel Disease
5. Rheumatoid Arthritis/Osteoarthritis
7. Meniere's Disease (Inner ear issue causing Roaring or ringing in ears as well as vertigo)
8. Numerous Allergies
10. Anxiety (probably due to all of the above- ha ha)
I'm forwarding our info to my nephew at Cal Poly so he can research and try and get some answers for us. Might take a few months but I will post any info available as soon as possible.
I have the "popping" sensation after walking as well. It feels good, I just assumed it was increased blood flow, when I normally sit all day at work. I also typically have low blood pressure. Interesting.
That popping feeling is called Fasciculation. When you work your muscles they contract and the blood vessels dilate. When you are done exercising and your body is returning to a normal state the twitching can occur. It should go away shortly after you
finish your workout. This is normal after a good walk or jog..and usually sitting to rest. The feeling results in a "popcorn" feeling at the skins surface.
I think I understand what you are all saying, but to describe the sensation in my outer thighs after being on my feet for an extended period of time or walking, I get a sensation like water being poured down the side of my leg. It is not painful unless I continue to be on my feet for hours. Then it sometimes builds into pain. My thoughts have been either claudication of the arteries or a pinched nerve in my lower spine. I am heavy and short.
I am 33, a former college athlete and very active now. I've read the threads for this - and I also have a popping sensation in my lower calves, though I only really notice it when I'm lying in bed. I don't think it feels good - it makes me more worried than anything.
I had this several years ago - when I was 25 - and then it literally just went away.
I also have very low blood pressure, was once diagnosed with fibromyalgia but later another physician said I didn't have it. I am active in my daily life, I probably run on the anxious side of the spectrum, I don't smoke.
I have also just moved to a rainy climate. When I had these symptoms before I was in a rainy climate, but later moved to the high desert and didn't have the symptoms at all.
I recently asked an orthopedic surgeon about the popping. He said as long as it doesn't hurt its likely benign. But I still worry.
I'm really glad to have found this thread - it makes me feel like I'm not crazy!
I have the same popping in my legs. I think it is stress related. The pops happen many hour after exercise, and in fact they are happening right now as I type this, and I have not exercised today.
A month or so ago I had a muscle twitch in my shoulder that lasted for about a week and has not come back.
I took about 10 days off of work over the holidays spending time with my wife and kids, and the popping subsided significantly. I completely unplugged from work and symptoms were nearly gone. Of course upon returning to work, the popping began again...
I am going to have a physical in the coming weeks. I think a blood test is a good idea..perhaps a thyroid prob, but I think stress is the culprit!
I am 22 and also have this feeling. It is only recently i have felt this after moving offices and walking up stairs more. I am fairly active and was confused as to what this could be. Like many others on here it doesn't hurt and feels like i am doing work but curious as to what this is.
I am going to GP next week so may mention this, was alarmed when a couple of posts mentioned vascular problems as i suffer from thread/spider veins in that region. Will post if i find out something
I've experienced this feeling of bubbles popping, and it is definitely NOT restless leg syndrome, as I've felt what that feels like, too. The latter is extremely uncomfortable and happens rarely and then, only when I'm trying to fall asleep. It's a weird sensation of my leg wanting to jerk, and not at all similar to what we're all describing here.
Based on my experience, I only get this bubbly feeling after a "low-grade" workout.... as in, I've been working out at a lower intensity for at least 10 or so minutes. I most often experience it after a long walk, and never after a high-intensity run. Like others have mentioned, I feel it mainly in the areas where I have some body fat.
These two factors - body fat and low-intensity workouts - are related. Like a car, the body uses its "higher octane" fuel (glycogen) when it needs to really perform, while lower performances require "lower octane" fuel (fat). Think of your body as a ferrari when you're running, and a toyota when you're walking or jogging. This is a general statement as your body burns a bit of both during both types of exercise. (Weightlifting, like intense running, also requires glycogen stores, as opposed to fat stores.)
Time is also a factor as after about 12 minutes of burning glycogen, your body realizes that it may run out of energy stores, and so fat burning enzymes kick into gear.
In my unprofessional opinion, I think that what we're all feeling is the enzymes breaking down the fat cells. And while our bodies have fat all over for the protection of organs, etc, it burns fat starting from the last place you gained it... which would explain why people feel it commonly in their hips and thighs, as opposed to someplace near the internal organs.
I also have had this sensation for about seven years, and I, too, have very low blood pressure. For those of you who think this is cellulite popping, I WISH you were right. But fat cells do not pop, they only shrink. I tend to believe the post from "MM749, Aug 18, 2008 05:57PM." That seems like the most logical explanation, as these sensations (at least for me) are definitely not muscle twitches.
I love that this discussion has been going on for over 3 years !! :)
As a number of people have pointed out, this is known as benign fasciculations and it tends to be more common in people who are overweight and/or have low blood pressure, although it's often genetic as well so even people who are in good shape can experience it. Also note that lactic acid being released is correct as well, so when you are having these be sure to drink water to flush this out, and stretch well after working out.
I noticed this sensation for the first time ever last night after a 60 minute power-walk. My daughter (14 yo) and I have been working out for the past 5-6 weeks and often doing walks as well so when I felt this last night for the first time ever I was definitely surprised. This site is a wonderful thing and I am very glad to know that I am not the only one experiencing this!
Many of the comments here about why this sensation happens makes perfect sense! I am really happy I found this site!
It is really good to know that I am not the only one. I was never very athletic and just starting working out about 4 years ago but have only experienced this sensation since I lost 20 pounds and starting gaining a lot more muscle. Now when I walk or run more than 15 or 20 minutes I get this sensation. It is really weird b/c I play racquetball about 5 times a week and it does not happen even if I play for 4 hours straight. It only happens on a steady walk or run. True, it does not hurt. I agree it feels kind of good. I would just like to know what it is to know if I need to eat more protein than I am already eating post workout or if I need more water? Would be nice to know.
It's so great to know I'm not the only one concerned or experiencing this. I started working out about 2 months ago but more recently my work outs are a little more intense. My question is how long do you notice the sensation? I only experience the sensation at rest and just noticed this yesterday after laying down. It's a very odd feeling and feels like random popping and muscle twitching but with no pain. It also feels like the blood is circulating more vigorously (if that makes sense). Should I be worried? I feel like the older I get the more of a hypochondriac!
My twin sister and I are cracking up. We thought we were the only ones with this popping sensation. We work at a gym and just got done walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes and we were sitting in the office talking about how both of our legs were tingling and poping. Hmmm lets google it and we found this post. From just reading I dont think it has to do with your fat cells/cellulite due to all the ones that exercise regularly, However the Fasciculation, makes total sense.
I also get this sensation. I can definitely say I don't get the feeling from the underlying muscle, but in the skin. The bubble sensation is the best description I've heard so far. I've read a lot of solutions that talked about the underlying muscle, I've felt that before, this is very different. It's definitely in the skin, the underlying muscle isn't jumping, or tightening, it's actually pretty relaxed.
The sensation isn't painful at all. It's actually very pleasant, like an internal skin masage.
Yes, I am in nursing and have learned this. It is "Fasciculations". Some reasons for the tinging or popping in the muscles are from lack of Magnesium in your diet, or your electrolytes are off. They recommend to eat plenty of banannas, almonds, and drink plenty of water or Gatorade.
I have muscular dystrophy and I am confined to a wheelchair. Recently my old leg exerciser failed on me and I bought a new one. The new power leg exerciser goes much faster than the old one. I still do 30 minutes a day and I have it set to FAST. Probably 1 revolution per second, my legs really fly! After I'm done I just stop it. For 15 or so minutes my legs pop as described. I'm guessing its a good thing for my muscles and circulatory system.
I found this answer:
Those are mild muscle spasms. There has been a mild buildup of lactic acid in the most active muscles. At higher concentrations, you get full-blown muscle cramps. During vigorous exercise, the lactic acid builds up faster than your body can get rid of it. In some people, such things as caffeine and dairy products exacerbate this buildup.
That popping feeling is called Fasciculation. When you work your muscles they contract and the blood vessels dilate. When you are done exercising and your body is returning to a normal state the twitching can occur. It should go away shortly after you finish your workout. This is normal after a good walk or jog..and usually sitting to rest. The feeling walk or jog..and usually sitting to rest. The feeling results in a "popcorn" feeling at the skins surface. results in a "popcorn" feeling at the skins surface
hat popping feeling is called Fasciculation. When you work your muscles they contract and the blood vessels dilate. When you are done exercising and your body is returning to a normal state the twitching can occur. It should go away shortly after you finish your workout. This is normal after a good walk or jog..and usually sitting to rest. The feeling walk or jog..and usually sitting to rest. The feeling results in a "popcorn" feeling at the skins surface. results in a "popcorn" feeling at the skins surface
After reading through this forum, everyone has said the popping sensation is pleasant or feels good, but I have to disagree. I have painful shin splints that are aggravated by simply walking, and I feel this popping sensation just by bending forward to touch my toes. Could I be experiencing something different, or is the feeling intensified because the shin muscle is so thin? I am a healthy 20 year old female, 5'4, 110 lbs, and no longer running... feedback is GREATLY appreciated!
How to Understand What Causes Muscle Twitching After Exercise
By Kristie Leong M.D., eHow Member
I want to do this! What's This?
You've just finished your running workout and are quietly relaxing with a glass of cold lemonade when you feel your leg start to twitch. You become increasingly concerned as it continues its annoying, rhythmic contractions. In the back of your mind you begin to worry that you have a strange neurological disease. Is this justified? Do you need to be concerned about muscle twitches after exercise?
Muscle twitches after exercise has the scientific name of benign fasciculations. Benign fasciculations can occur even in the absence of exercise, although exercise is a well known trigger of this condition. Benign fasciculations usually involve the feet, hands, arms, or legs, although almost any muscle can be affected. By their very definition, they are benign and aren't indicative of serious underlying disease.
nign fasciculations or muscle twitches after exercise is surprisingly common. After the muscles have undergone an intense workout, biochemical changes take place as the muscle responds to the stress of exercised Lactic acid builds up in the fatigued muscle and formation of free radicals occur which believe can alter the excitability of muscle tissue. Endurance athletes and runners are particularly prone to the type of free radical formation that can lead to muscle twitches after exercise. Eating more antioxidant rich foods may help to reduce exercise related muscle twitches, although there are no studies to document this.
Can muscle twitches after exercise be a sign of something more serious? Fasciculations can be a sign of a more serious neurological disease such as ALS; but the twitches seen with ALS usually occur with movement rather than at rest and are generally associated with muscle weakness. With benign fasciculations, the muscle twitches almost always stop when the muscle is moved. Nevertheless, if the problem is persistent, an EMG study to check for abnormal muscle activity may be needed.
How can muscle twitches after exercise be prevented? Staying well hydrated and replacing electrolytes such as calcium, sodium, and potassium lost through sweating may reduce the risk of benign fasciculations after a workout. Two drinks that may be particularly helpful are Gatorade which is rich in electrolytes and green tea a source of antioxidants which can offset some of the muscle free radical formation. Try mixing the two together to create your own sports drink. Stretching before and after a workout and not doing too much too quickly can also help to prevent muscle twitches after exercise. Be sure to take some rest between workouts. The same muscles shouldn't be worked every day. Allow at least forty-eight hours between resistance training routines unless you're working different muscles.
The bottom line? Muscle twitches after exercise are usually nothing to worry about, but if they persist, see your doctor.
Read more: How to Understand What Causes Muscle Twitching After Exercise | eHow.com http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:waN6bnaF-2wJ:www.ehow.com/how_5276858_understand-muscle-twitching-after-exercise.html+lactic+acid+leg+twitches+after+walking&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us#ixzz12AHWHJO9
I think what's going on here is that there is more than one (possibly 3 or 4) phenomenon being described here and everyone is lumping them together. Some people may be experiencing fasciculations but I am quite sure I am not.
Here is why I think, at least in my case THESE ARE NOT FASCICULATIONS:
Fasciculations: Light twitches at or near the surface of the muscle that kind of feel like tingling or light popping sensation. Now when everyone said "feel like" I am assuming they mean "feel" in their legs. Some people even said they can feel them with their fingers (in their legs).
My experience: Nothing happens on it's own. I repeat, unless I use my hands, I do not get this sensation. To get the sensation I use my thumb and index finger and pinch a large skin fold. I recently lost weight so I have loose skin that still has a lot of fat left in it. In my case it works near my hip or inner thigh. I squeeze down and I feel a pop. Bubble wrap could not be a more perfect description. I feel it, not in my legs, but with my fingers - pop!. I can probably feel it a little in the actual skin of my leg but it's very obvious on my fingertips. Again, this is in skin that has been pulled away from the muscle at least a centimetre. The pop actually occurs at the pads of my finger and thumb and not at the tips so there is no way you're going to convince me that this is a muscle twitch, especially since my fingers caused it. Also, like bubble wrap, once I have 'popped' a certain spot, I can't pop it again until my next run.
The experience is pleasant and I wouldn't even go so far as to say there is 'tingling'. I also don't think it is a coincidence that it happens only in the two spots that used to have a lot of fat and are now very 'deflated'. It does not happen on other parts of my thigh were the skin is tighter (even though it's the same muscle group). Next time I get it, I will try prodding around other flabby areas (abs, love handles, etc.) to see if it's not only in the legs for me.
So again, maybe some people are experiencing fasciculations, but I am pretty sure I, and probably at least a few other people here, are not.
Have we discovered something that science hasn't documented yet?
Wow, what a thread! I'm glad I found it. I have the same popping sensations in my legs after running, sprinting, jogging. That's exactly what they feel like little bubble wrap bubbles popping inside the muscle in the gluteus butt muscle, hamstrings, calves. Basically all the legs or exactly the muscle groups that were just used in that work out. I don't feel them near the skin I feel them deep within the legs basically all throughout the muscle tissue areas. It was very weird for me because like many people on this forum I never had these feelings most of my life and they just started when I was about 25 years old. I'm now 29. I used to run track in high school too and never had these sensations, and did bodybuilding for 5 years straight in college also never having these sensations whatsoever. Then I stopped exercising for a few years and gained weight. Went from around 12% body fat all my life to 27% body fat. I then started jogging after a few years and that's when I first noticed the "fasciculations" or popping sensations after a run when you sit down on the couch for about 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes and they start popping all over the legs like hundreds of pops over the course of minutes time.
I'm a biomedical engineer so I went through all the research and here are my thoughts on the top hypotheses out there for these conditions. From an engineering standpoint the continuing leg muscle nerve firing post strenuous aerobic leg workout seems the most plausible cause. Basically like electrical noise in a system there is electrical noise in the muscle fibers that were just actuated during the workout so the little individual fibers are being slightly activated in a random order, just as normal noise in any electrical system whether biological or not would work. Because this is "noise" it manifests itself as little popping sensations randomly all over the legs as the individual muscle fibers are contracting instantly. This is very different from a twitching of the entire quad or hamstring muscle for example which would cause a movement of the leg. The fasciculation nerve actuations are too small and "noisy" to cause a big movement or big muscle twitch and manifest as what feels like to you tiny popping sensations all over the legs, butt, or whatever muscle you just worked out. Basically you wait 15 or 20 minutes for these nerves to "quiet down" as they say and return to a more normal resting state where they are not being given a constant "on" signal by the brain as when you are running and jogging. At this point the popping stops. This is the theory that makes the most sense of all the other theories.
I am also thinking about the correlation here of many like myself who didn't have fasciculations until they gained a lot of fat. However this doesn't necessarily mean you can just make the conclusion that the popping are "fat cells bursting". There can be other correlations perhaps some effect of the extra fat in and around the muscle tissue affecting the nerve action such as creating electrical insulation to the nerve fibers allowing them to remain more "active" after a workout than someone who is thin for example. But there is definitely some correlation because I, like others, never had these "poppings" during the years they were low body fat and started having them after they gained weight.
So there are many theories out there as to what these sensations are but it is very comforting that so many people are having them as well with no adverse I'll effects. It would be nice to see a true research study conducted on this phenomenon with a group of distributed individuals performing exercises then being monitored for fasciculations. In the meantime we must continue to troll medical forums and research on the internet to try to come to some conclusion.
I have this sensation also, right now in fact. I have an eating disorder (excercise bulimia/anorexia). I recently had an injury from overuse, and after taking 3 forced weeks off, I began running again, but I have put on so much fat during that 3 weeks... I did a long low grade workout today, about 6 hours ago, and - My legs are popping like CRAZY for about the past half hour or so...
I haven't seen anyone post about the reverse phenomenon, where you can feel the fat being put on also. I feel it. It is kind of the same feeling, but I know if it is going in or out because of how I am living/eating/excerising (either overkill, or not getting out of bed for days and eating nonstop). otherwise, the feeling is the same.
I have also identified two separate feelings of these twitches. One is more like a light popping/tingling in the fat in my legs. But then, sometimes in my gut or in my butt fat, I get these single stronger twitches, almost like my veins are trying to pull out fat, and it snags coming out because its too big for the vein. I know that sounds weird, but i don't know how else to describe it - its a single, stronger twitch that repeats quickly for a second or two (this is longer than the little leg twitches, which are like a third of a second each).
Anyone else experience the two types of twitches and the reverse popping?
I really don't think it's anything to be worried about. I've had this feeling for years, always been slim and not overweight, never had anything wrong with me medically apart from asthma and allergies, in fact my blood pressure has always been good. I do have cellulite on my legs and bum and had it since I was a teenager and this is where I get the feelings mostly, but I don't think it's linked for one (funny) reason: I also get these sensations in my privates after sex or orgasm too (I'm female btw). LOL. Of course I don't have cellulite or too much fat there, so I am 99.9% sure that the "popping" feeling isn't far cells popping.
I've studied biology and chemistry and have looked at physiological and metabolic reasons why this happens (as I am curious as to what it is too) and I believe that it could be a any or a combination of these:
1. Blood vessles have dilated to supply blood to the contracting and relaxing muscle fibres (or region), so after excercise they need to shrink down again. Blood vessles are made of smooth muscle, so electrical impulses are fired off by nerve endings to make them contract and dilate, so it could just be that which is felt when excercise is stopped.
2. Lot's of blood is needed to supply muscles with oxygen and energy (ATPf) or them to function, so the region will be flooded with blood after exercise which won't be needed as much after exercise, so it could just be that draining and pumping out of the worked region.
3. The thighs and bum muscles are the biggest muscles in the body, so more blood and blood vessles will be present there, which maybe why you can feel it there and not so much in other places.
4. Blood capillaries come closer to the skin surface during increased intensity of movement to remove heat that is generated in the muscles during the breakdown of ATP. These will still be pumping blood to the skin surface after exercise to continue to cool the body. Again as the leg and bum muscles are the biggest, perhaps more blood is pumped to the capillaries in the skin as more heat is generated there??? Eventually, the capillaries will contract and shrink back deeper into the skin tissues, so it could be this that is felt too. It's all done involuntarily which could be why the popping feels so random as we can't control it, it just happens natually.
Why some people who exercised lots never experienced it whilst they were active and then feel it after stopping and resuming exercise again, I don't know. It's may just be thefact that the body isn't used to the activity after having a break. It may just be getting used to being stretched that way again as it's not accustomed to it now.
I'd love to know the definitive answer as I have lots of theories but not real proof, but I am relieved to know that I am not the only one who has this sensation and has pondered what it is.
Ok this has been answered, it's fasciculations. And for all of you who think it is "cellulite dissolving," it's not. Cellulite is a description, not a physical object. Cellulite describes the dimpling of skin caused by too much fat surrounding connective tissue. In other words, our skin is connected to the muscle and when too much fat gets between the fat and muscle the skin pushed out, the dimpling is the area the connective tissue connects to the muscle. If you lose enough weight, the cellulite will disappear. So now that we know cellulite isn't an object, we know that it can't dissolve either.
Thanks a ton for this thread. I have a unique experience to share. Recently I have been experiencing a strange feeling too. Like the ones mentioned in the previous comments. You may call it a tingling sensation, or bubbles popping. To add more, I would like to mention what it feels like. I know its really gonna sound weired, but I cant stop writing this. Its the same feeling like I used to get while breast feeding the baby. The milk which flows through the veins or just breaks free from some part of the gland, its similar feeling that I get, especially around the tummy area, in the thigh area and also sometimes around the waist area. Basically where I have huge deposit of Fats. I am currently undergoing the HCG weight loss protocol and am amazingly successful. its just 15 days I have started the actual low cal diet and have lost 20 lbs already. still 26 days to go.. I am extremely obese and DO NOT exercise at all. Still I get this feeling. To be honest initially I felt so strange and felt like scratching the area, but didnt really stopped the feeling. But honestly I really enjoy the tingling sensation.
I read a post on a different website before seeing this forum. Here is what I can share from answers.com:
That popping feeling is called Fasciculation. When you work your muscles they contract and the blood vessels dilate. When you are done exercising and your body is returning to a normal state the twitching can occur. It should go away shortly after you finish your workout. This is normal after a good walk or jog..and usually sitting to rest. The feeling results in a "popcorn" feeling at the skins surface.
I definitely agree that this sensation is due to fasciculation. Here's my history:
I'm a distance runner for a university in the mid west. I've never had any experience with these symptoms before running such high mileage, and I've played many sports before such as football, soccer and water polo.
We recently began our "hill phase" of training for outdoor season. I suddenly noticed that after intense hill workouts (read: most people would end up crawling back home afterwards) my quadriceps would seem to feel like a low current of electricity was flowing through them for 20-30 minutes afterwards. It feels like they are on the verge of cramping, but the firing is so chaotic that the whole muscle never spasms. Kind of like someone firing a tazer into your leg at really low power. I guess I could see the "bubbles" point of view, but I think it feels more like electricity.
As a side note, I don't think believe the fat cell theory is accurate because I have a pretty low body fat percentage.
I also think there's nothing for people to worry about, as it just seems to be related to the body coping with a large amount of exertion.
It could be low potassium. We need 2000-35000 mg of it a day. Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is involved in nerve function, muscle control and blood pressure. I was hospitalized for hypokalemia (low potassium) and I used to get an electrical shock or popping feeling in my legs after exercise, since I've been taking a supplement, that hasnt happened.
I get this weird feeling when I walk over a 1/2 hour. My girlfriend and I explain it as " alka seltzer legs". It doesnt hurt, feels sorta good and is usually around the knees. It lasts about 5-10 minutes or so when we sit in the car to go home. It is comforting that so many people are getting these feelings. I wish someone could come up with a true medical reason for it.
Omgoodness! I thought it was just me and then I decided to google it! I have been walking regularly for about a month now and every time without fail I always get this popping sensation when I stop, as a matter of fact, it's doing it right now in my thighs since I just came back from walking. I'm sixteen and it is exactly what everyone is talking about! I also get vision blackouts when I stand too quickly. I don't know if any of this is relevant, but I would love to know what it all means. Wow! Still surprised that so many others have the same "popping" feeling...:)
Omgoodness! I thought it was just me and then I decided to google it! I have been walking regularly for about a month now and every time without fail I always get this popping sensation when I stop, as a matter of fact, it's doing it right now in my thighs since I just came back from walking. I'm sixteen and it is exactly what everyone is talking about! I also get vision blackouts when I stand too quickly. I don't know if any of this is relevant, but I would love to know what it all means. Wow! Still surprised that so many others have the same "popping" feeling...:)
Muscles are composed of actin and myosin fibers. These fibers essentially lock and pull together (to contract the muscle) then unlock and release (to expand the muscle). After exercising, muscle fibers sometimes remain tense or contracted. Moving the fibers by walking, jumping, stretching, etc. forcefully unlocks the myosin and actin heads thus causing that "pop" sound heard within your leg muscles. Happens to me often especially after doing vigorous leg exercises.
Muscles are composed of actin and myosin fibers. These fibers essentially lock and pull together (to contract the muscle) then unlock and release (to expand the muscle). After exercising muscle fibers sometimes remain tense or contracted. Moving the fibers by walking, jumping, stretching, etc. forcefully unlocks the myosin and actin heads thus causing that "pop" sound heard within your leg muscles. Happens to me all the time especially after exercising my legs.
I have gotten this kind of sensation since my early 20s. It happens after a long walk after I have not walked for a long time. I describe it as a "pumping" sensation but popping could also describe it. To me, it feels like blood pumping in my legs. About one pump or pop every second, each time in a different, random place on either my thighs or calves. The popping gradually slows then stops after a few minutes. I am thin but carry more fat on my thighs than anywhere else. I have normal blood pressure, but I feel dizzy if I stand up too fast. And like I said, this only happens after I exercise when I haven't been active for a while. I don't think it's anything to worry about in itself. From reading this, it seems like most people with leg popping have lower blood pressure. I am thinking there is some kind of genetic predisposition which increases your risk for leg popping, low blood pressure, fatigue, thyroid problems, etc. Even though I do not have all of those symptoms, they do run in my family. And my two sisters also experience the leg popping sensation after exercising.
I have this same popping sensation in my upper thighs after vigorous walks/jogs. I find it to be more intense If I walk on paved roads rather than on a treadmill or elliptical machine. I first noticed it happening in my early twenties. I am now a 31 yr old female, 5'7", 135 lbs who exercises moderately. It seems to help if I stretch or do strength training exercises immediately following cardio. I have always been concerned because I have not been able to find anyone else with this issue. This thread has definitely eased my concerns! So glad to see that so many others experience this, too. I should note that I do have hypothyroidism so maybe it could be related..or maybe it is a coincidence. I guess we don't really know at this point. Thank you for this thread! I suddenly feel like jogging!
I have read everyones comments on here and have to say that I have experienced these popping sensations for years. I have been thin and medium size and now a little on the heavy side. I have had low blood pressure and now have normal blood pressure. I have serious health problems now, such as Brain tumor and periods of blindness.
I wanted to say this popping sensation is not like a bubble wrap. Because when you pop a bubble wrap it takes a few seconds or more to go on to the next bubble. It is like pop corn popping. It does not hurt. I actually look forward to it. When I exercise if I don't get this feeling then I know that I have not done a good enough work out. You don't get it hours after working out. It is not a muscle strain, or muscle twitching, I have those due to my illness and know what those feel like.It is not on the surface of your skin and does not tingle. I get that too. It is a constant popping sensation that lasts for about 5 mins after sitting down after your exercise. I like to believe it is the fat breaking up on my thighs.
I would say that it is nothing to worry about and those who are experiencing pain or If you are getting this sensation hours afterwards it is not the same and may want to discuss with your doctor.
I have described this to my husband and he too looks at me like I am strange, so I thought I was the only one who experienced this but always found it satisfying and strive for the sensation everytime.
I have had these sensations late evening-time and even in bed in my calf. I am fairly active and weight-train three times a week. It feels like popping or twitching. I can actually feel the movement under the skin when I place my hand on my calf. It lasts maybe 5 minutes. I was wondering if a supplement would help.
I have had these sensations late evening-time and even in bed in my calf. I am fairly active and weight-train three times a week. It feels like popping or muscular "crawling". I can actually feel the movement under the skin when I place my hand on my calf. It lasts maybe 5 minutes. I was wondering if a supplement would help.
I get "bubbles" before I exercise. I have a desk job and when I get off work, by the time I walk through the building to the outside, the bubbles run down my left leg from hip to the feet. At first I thought the ground was vibrating, but it was inside my leg and foot. I cannot feel the bubbles with my hand, and stomping or running does not stop it. I cannot believe that educated doctors cannot find a correct answer to this problem since so many people have it. I saw answers here that only relate to exercising - mine are not related to exercising. Mine actually go away when I take my long walk at night with the dogs. No more guessing - some physician find an answer!
I hit this thread on Google after I searched for "tingling veins" or something like that. After reading this thres, I could describe my experience better. Yes, I do feel the popping / tingling sensation in my legs and thighs. Just as described by many people here. In addition, I also feel them elsewhere, like neck, left hand, near heart, sometimes even head, etc.
And it's a good feeling. Although, I don't exercise or walk much. I am thin and have moderate food intake.
I have been getting these sensations since last few months. This also coincides with the periods of my life where I have been feeling most peaceful and relaxed after years of struggle (mostly internal). I get these at nearly all times, while working, while focussed on something, while reading, even as I type this.
As I think about it, these sensations have to do with feelings of happiness, peace and strength after decades of continuous minor stress.
So I'm not alone! I experience the same popping thing and have for about 10 yrs now whenever I engage in a brisk walk or run. The sensation is confined to my thighs and buttock area. I used to be much more active and in better shape and did NOT have this sensation back then. I also tire easily when walking up stairs or riding a bike for instance. I feel a bit on the "weak" side muscularly speaking.. And my blood pressure is on the abnormally low side. I cannot help but think it may be more pressure/circulation related than not. As much of an optimist as I am and although I'd love it to be the case, i don't believe this is cellulite instantly disappearing. Thanks for all the posts, let's learn of a more definitive answer soon.
i have been experiencing this for a few days after my last exercise session, and it is a continuous feeling. also,, it does not feel good to me, but rather like my leg might give out if the "bubbles" were coordinated together.
it is interesting that i do have alot in common with the people on this thread. i have very low blood pressure, suffer from lightheadedness, and even black out if i stand too quickly. i do not have hypothyroidism, however my father does, and ive heard its hereditary.
I am very thin, so the cellulite thing sounds not likely in my case. i do work out 3 to 4 times per wk , and recently upped my frequency, so i do think it is muscular, whatever it is.
i did find a link about restless leg syndrome, and it says this is a precursor to this... i also have terrible insomnia and that too is a symptom of RLS, so im a bit worrried. i plan to have a checkup with my doc to rule out anything serious and will repost if i find out anything relevant.Also, the RLS site said it could be linked to low dopamine levels, which dopamine also helps us to sleep at night.
I have this too. I definitely think it's the cellulite dissolving. I have also noticed that when I am overeating and gaining weight the same area with pulsate, not pop. I truly think the popping is the fat being broken down and the pulsating is fat being added to the the cells. I only get the popping during exercise but the pulsating occurs at rest and is associated with overeating. When do you think someone will do some research regarding this? seems like it isn't well known by the medical community. Background info: I have always struggled with my weight. Been overweight (not obese) my whole life and have dieted and exercised regularly so I end up being normal weight every 3 years for 3 years and then gradually regain the weight. Never get heavier than my previous heavy weight luckily. I also have had cellulite since I was 20 and it has gotten worse over the years. Most of my weight is in my legs, always is even when I am slender. I would say I genetically have heavyset legs. To add to this I have varicose and spider veins. My legs actually swell because of the blood pooling. I don't think the popping has to do with my blood vessel problems. I absolutely think it's the fat cells breaking down fat and there is also increased blood flow there to pick up the fat nutrient energy.
This sounds like a feasible explanation but why, then, does it only occur after walking? It seems a common thread here that if people do more vigorous exercise such as jogging, cycling or aerobics it doesn't happen, this is exactly the same for me, it's only after a brisk walk for at least ten minutes?? Thanks.
I know the question was posted a couple years ago I just wanted put in my input....all the ones I have been reading are all wrong...its not bad...it is your fat burning in your thighs or anywhere u feel it after u run jog or anything to do with that. Its just tour fat burning away.
ps. Im 15 and I know that haha pretty pathletic for so many people not to know.
I am interested to speak with you as i have most of the symptoms you have and am at my means end. I have fainting fits, fibromyalgia, popping, pins and needles, full body pain and extreme anxiety where i completely freak out and either fall asleep or need to lie down. Can you tell me what you have done or are you still suffering? Thanks
I'm 22 and have been getting the popping sensation in my calves for about 2 years. I'm a keen runner and normally only get the sensation when I have had a long run (6-8 miles) only happens when I'm in bed relaxing too.
I really hate the feeling as it stops me from sleeping, like others I can put my hand on my leg and feel it popping (like a baby moving?!?)
I have found nothing helps to make it go away, other than trying to sleep as to not think of it
"Actually, it is your nerves still firing and making your muscles twitch after strenous exercise, especially after intense aerobic exercise. These muscle twitches are known as fasiculations, which are a small, local, involuntary muscle contractions visible under the skin arising from the spontaneous discharge of skeletal muscle fibers. Fasiculations can be caused by certain motor diseases but are more commonly caused by electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, stress and fatigue. Fasiculations are a normal body response to abrupt changes in activity levels such as running for 30 mins. and then suddenly ending the activity. Their intensity is heightened when it has been awhile between exercising routines."
This above is most logical (someone posted earlier). I for one am horrible at warming up and especially bad at warming down. A typical day for me is a five to seven mile run directly into an 8.6 mph pace, sustained though usually increased, followed by a bike session of ten to twenty miles usually from 21 to 23 mph, with an abrupt stop and zero stretch, which sounds rediculous, but it's a peeve of mine. Nevertheless, while lying down at night, shortly after exercise, I experienced heavy "popping," "twitches," which couldn't possible be related to "fat" because I've hardly got any... and fat doesn't necessarily "dissolve" anyway. So it isn't cellulite dissolving; it would be blood or muscle fiber related. I've begun incorporating a few things that have helped. One, I walk in place, into jumping jacks, slow and then fast, and stretch mildy and finally take my first mile no faster than a 7:30 minute to get juices flowing; different paces for different folks, naturally, the key is let the body build into the workout. Instead of finishing my last mile faster than all others, I reduce speed to nearly an 8 minute mile, to warm down. I stretch and then go to bike. I stretch after a five minute warm down off the bike. Light stretching. Very easy movements (this is horrendous for me--feels good, I just have a problem sitting still); then, something I do love, and feel immideate results with--lye with your butt against the wall and your legs straight up same wall. Hold for three to five minutes. Let the blood drain out of your legs. When you stand, more oxygenated, fresh blood will filter back in. I always feel good after that. By incorporating this, and trying for earlier workouts rather than forty minutes before bed, there is a noticeable reduction in popping, twitching, and the general recovery time has tremendously shortened. And hydrate, hydrate.
I should clarify. Fat cells. They shrink, which is likely what most of you mean by "dissolving." They are always there, it is just that when we "lose" fat our bodies convert molecules in those fat cells to usable forms of energy, thus "shrinking" the cells, thus the reduced appearance of fat. A process that wouldn't be "felt."
Ced12345, you are very on it, indeed. I have my degree in Exercise Physiology/Biomechanics and am now a Physiology instructor, and these types of forums always fascinate me. I agree with your points, minus the fasiculation part. (Nor does the pooping occur from dehydration, low blood pressure, blood flow, etc.)
Muscle fasiculations are typically due to, as you've stated, an electrolyte imbalance or dehydration. These produce a very uncomfortable feeling; not painful, but annoying (akin to having an eyelid twitch when tired and you just want it to stop because it's so irking, but not in the least painful). In contrast, this (shall we emphasize) PLEASANT popping sensation has been happening to me since I was a teenager (pleasant does not imply good, though, as I'll clarify below). I've been a runner since then and also taught aerobics for 9 years. It generally happens when I've just finished a brisk walk or jog, rather than an intense aerobics class.
Let me enlighten you all on its physiological mechanism of occurrence: weight bearing exercise is the cause, especially that of brisk walking and light jogging after not performing these for some time, or doing either at a greater intensity than normal. Weight bearing exercise is when each foot literally picks up and places back down with some amount of force that is then transferred up the body's kinetic chain (joints)... forms include walking/running/hiking, or any activity where the foot is picked up then placed back down. This does NOT include activities where gravity is reduced, as in swimming, or the feet are kept in place, as on a bike, "stairmaster" or eliptical/precor. Weight bearing exercise jolts the bones and attached connective/muscular tissues causing forces to transfer up the body with each heel strike.
The first area with the greatest force is the knee (thus why sensations are often felt just above this area), to the joints of the hip (iliofemoral/iliosacral joints). At this point the force is GREATLY dispersed when it hits the sacrum and travels up through each of the 24 vertebrae. Thus, the most forces are present between the knee and hip joints.
(The reason the "popping" is primarily felt in the thigh has nothing to do with cellulite or any of the other hypothesis above--although it was fun to read, lol.... You guys crack me up with all your "cellulite dissolving" wishes. I'm sorry to ruin the day for everyone, but this has NOTHING to do with adipose tissue (body fat). Nerve supply to adipose is few and far between, because there is little physioloogical need for nerve-fat innervation. Muscle tissue, however, is intertwined greatly with the nervous system. In fact, each muscle fiber is controlled by a nerve--it's called a "motor unit," and is connected via the neuromuscular junction.)
Anyhow... Gait during walking is normally heel-to-toe, while correct running should be toe-to-heel, thereby reducing forces naturally. This is why the occurrence is so much greater after walking briskly, rather than running. The faster you walk, actually, the greater the forces placed on your joints--especially the knee/hip. Unless you're doing a straight plyometrics class at the gym on concrete, you won't experience the pooping after a class quite like you will after fast walking. In other words, running at a fast pace/doing an intense aerobics class does not cause the sensation as frequently because a natural physiological adaptation during running is to run "lighter," (toe-to-heel) therefore causing less jolt. The same goes for aerobics. Your body protects itself by altering gait mechanics in these intense situations. Conversely, when WALKING fast, the body senses less need to protect the joints, therefore people tend to walk "heavy" as opposed to light and "on their toes," like a ballerina.
To close, although I do enjoy the popping feeling, I know it happens because I've put quite the load on my joints, and so I don't take it as a good thing. Quote the contrary: It means I need to walk lighter. If you don't believe me, try jumping off something high, barefoot, onto concrete, and land on your heels. You'll probably feel this popping feeling for about an hour, but it won't just be in your thighs--it'll also happen in your low back and maybe even your entire vertebral column/core area. The "popping," therefore, is a post-workout sensation of (literally) the "shocks" that have ensued from extreme forces exerted onto the joints. Get better shoes and/or be conscious of keeping your body weight lifted and high, without shrugged the shoulders or placing accentuated strain in the neck/chest when breathing (always use your diaphragm instead of intercostals as your primary breathing muscle). By the way, the symptom of increased blood flow is heat to an area, not popping, and symptoms of dehydration are uncomfortable, involuntary muscular contractions/cramps within a muscle, and generally do not occur in both limbs at the same time. And cellulite, I'm afraid to say, is not capable of "melting," "dissolving," or "popping," (that'd be nice!). Adipose is there for life; the cells only shrink or grow, as ced12345 stated earlier. I hope this explanation helped you all :)
Think ballerinas next time you walk, people. All the best, Namaste!
I should also clarify: running causes more OVERALL forces to the body with each foot strike than brisk walking, it is just that the forces are dispersed more efficiently when running, due to the body's natural way of responding to the high loads placed on the joints. You can see what I'm referring to by simply observing someone walking quickly versus a runner. In most cases, although the runner is moving faster (thereby withstanding more forces), she/he will APPEAR to carry their weight lighter than the fast walker. That is force distribution at work. This is the reason a ballerina can take a tremendous leap into the air and land her wooden toe silently onto a solid stage.
(I should also correct my gravity comment... No exercise or activity can reduce gravity itself here on Earth, I meant that swimming is an exercise where the EFFECTS of gravity are greatly reduced. In addition, I used the word "pooping" instead of "popping" and "quote" instead of "quite." Pardon my errorrs. Whoooops! I hope my point was still taken with credibility.) Till next time. Cheers.
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