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Pain - MS Related or Not?
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Pain - MS Related or Not?

Ok I gave in. I'm back.

I talked to my neurologist several months back about pain in my left leg. She didn't think that it was MS related. I forgot why.

My GP hasn't found anything wrong with me. My vitamin D was a little low again - shocker. So I upped my Vitamin D intake to see if it would make a difference. Well I still have chronic pain in my left leg. It's mostly from the knee down and it usually will start late afternoon or evening and is most intense at night when I am trying to sleep. It does keep me awake and does not help my fight against fatigue. Tonight it is pretty bad which is why I am away at 1am posting on this forum. It was so bad for a bit tonight that I almost felt like crying.

I am noticing too that foot will turn out and I will catch my big toe part of my foot while walking and trip. This has actually gone on since before I was diagnosed and I just figured that it was my shoes or that I was clumsy. I have noticed the past couple of weeks that occasionally it will feel like my left leg is going to go out on me at the knee and will actually kind of bend the wrong way.

I haven't brought any of this up to my doctor because she has already poo-poo'ed it once and it's not something that is consistent. I may have trouble for several weeks be fine for a few weeks and than have trouble again. Also my gait is fairly normal and while uncomfortable and inconvenienced, this has not been terribly life-altering.

Any ideas about how to relieve this? I have tried Flexeril and Rx Strength Naproxen. Should I bring this up to my doctor or so I just need to put on my big girl pants and deal with it? Am I just being a big baby?



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Avatar_m_tn
That sounds a lot like how my foot drop with my left leg started. First it was the pain in late afternoon because my leg was getting very tired. The next thing I noticed was my foot was turning out, probably in an attempt to keep my balance on that shaky leg. Finally I started to trip over things with that foot because it just would not lift correctly any more.

It took quite while to get my MS Neuro to look at it when it was my right leg because it seemed to only happen later in the day so he never saw it happening. But finally one day I had a late afternoon appointment so the leg was acting up and he could easily see what was going on.  But once he saw it he pout in an order for me to get a brace. With the left leg it was a lot quicker to get things going with it because he had already seen it with the right leg and knew that I knew the signs of drop foot myself from experience.

Dennis
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Avatar_f_tn
E-Gads! I hope that's NOT what it is.  I'm hoping for some hard core physical therapy or something to strengthen these muscles. My foot doesn't really drop down, it more turns out to the side. It doesn't do it all of the time but maybe once or twice a week. It feels more like my ankle is unstable, if that makes sense.
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Avatar_m_tn
Don't freak out... Some people have been helped with foot drop just by physical therapy.

Right now from what you have said it does sound like it is very mild and probably could be helped a lot with PT.

Dennis
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay I won't freak out. Thanks for the info. I did call my Neuro's office today and left a message. I probably won't hear back until after the Easter holiday (Catholic Hospital)..
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572651_tn?1333939396
that bone snapping pain is familiar to me.  I have had that on and off in my left shin. At times it just felt like my leg was going to snap.  It hasn't happened in a few months and I am hoping it is now gone.
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338416_tn?1260996698
All this sounds very familiar to me!  Sorry to say it, but I think you're experiencing spasticity and some foot drop.  It's essentially foot drop, but caused by an overly tight muscle - maybe the hip flexor?

I take baclofen (60 mg) for maintenance of my spasticity, and recently had to start taking Zanaflex on top of that.  Usually only one per day, but sometimes it's more.  

I would recommend stretching at first.  You're going to be surprised at the relief you'll get from stretching.  I'm not sure which muscle is the problem on you, but for my hip flexor, I do the hurdle stretch.  Stand on one leg, using a wall or a doorframe to brace you, and pull your ankle up to your butt.  You'll know you've got it right when it hurts like crazy.  If it does hurt, don't be afraid - just keep stretching.  Quix has recommended 15 minutes of stretching at a time to really get those long muscle fibers to lengthen.  If you don't stretch, you're going to find that you'll lose flexibility.

I also have problems with my calf muscle on both legs.  If it's too tight, I end up walking on my toes!  For the calf, stand up and use a wall or a door frame as a brace.  Put the offending leg behind you, with your foot flat on the floor.  Bend the knee of the other leg, so that the target leg is straight, but bending at the ankle.  Stretch until you can feel it pulling, and let yourself relax into the stretch.  If it starts to loosen up, stretch a little more.  Don't bounce, but don't be afraid to ramp up the stretch if you can.

Good luck!  Definitely talk to your neuro about the leg pain.  Also see if you can get some physical therapy.  My right knee is weak, but PT helped me to learn how to walk so that I can get around without it folding up quite so often.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the stretching recommendations. I don't remember from my last round of PT which muscles were the issue. I think it was one of the muscles on my inner thigh. I don't remember.

I have been doing some stretching but not enough. I seem to remember to stretch after I hurt. I do have problems with spasming in my calves, and I do remember when going to see my GP who also does Osteopathic Manipulation about hip issues. He said something about my spasticity being so bad it was throwing my hips off. It also causes some lower back pain, but that hasn't been so bad recently. He recommended Yoga, which I used to  do and it did help a lot.

Most of my pain is in my quads, my shins, my calves and my ankle. My knee tends to flex backward from time to time but it doesn't really hurt, it just seems weak (sort of wiggly-wobbly).

I don't like that everyone is saying foot drop, but I'm trying not to freak out too much. It's not too bad yet and I am hoping PT will make an improvement.

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338416_tn?1260996698
I think you'll find that PT helps.  I was causing stress to parts of my body, because to keep my knee from bending, I had to turn my foot out.  Now I lift my toe and my leg follows through naturally, so no more duck walk!  And my right leg is happier.  It's still spastic, but it's not getting overworked.
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Avatar_f_tn
I already walk like a duck :) I have some issues unrelated to MS that cause that.

I honestly think that I subconsciously kind of lock my ankle to keep it from twisting out (more than it normally does). I think that is what causes my pain later in the evening. It is so sore and fatigued from the muscles being tense and from trying to compensate for my weak ankle that it hurts later. I don't know what the deal is with my knee though. I guess it just decided to play along. :)
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2013158_tn?1335995482
Hi!  I have had all the same issues- it is scary to deal with, but it does sound like foot drop.  I have had it since 2007 ( 2 years before being dxed) I have not gotten much help from PT, GP or Neuro for this.  I have found several devices on line I have purchased, nothing helps 100% of the time though.  I went "untreated" for so long, I have also damaged my right knee by hyper-extending all the time.  This is SUPER painful.  I can't walk without out a noticible limp anymore. I would have LOVED to have been given some more advice on foot drop sooner!  Please take care and Happy Easter! :O)
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1396846_tn?1332463110
I get the feeling of bone snapping in my upper leg right in the middle so I feel your pain. I take muscle relaxers and when it feels like that I just take it easy. I also get it in my ankle but mainly when it is extremely cold out, not sure why but it seems to lock up when it is toooo cold.

You should mention it to your GP again, tell them there is something wrong and you would like to see what it is and see what you can do to fix it.

Paula
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Avatar_f_tn
is there a web site that has these exercises listed?  just wondering
thanks for sharing these with us, I'll have to try these two.  
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