chronic leg discomfort

there my name is Max Lancaster and I am an 18 year old seeking help for ongoing chronic discomfort in my lower legs and feet. If you feel you could be any sort of help please read my story!

Its been a year and prior to this I was a distance athlete, training nearly every day. Last October I began waking up with very heavy tight calves. My feet would feel very hot and irritated. I've explored the options of nerve damages but seem to be going nowhere. Also could it be vascular ?as my blood flow into my feet may be interrupted by overly dense muscle/tissue. I have naturally had very bulkey calves and it feels as is the muscles are not fresh and cannot relax properly as the muscle has become very tough and difficult to relax. I have explored the idea of chronic compartment syndrome CECS (even got surgery) and have gone nowhere with it. When I walk my feet feel like they are holding tonnes of weight so that feeling of light fresh legs... I have the opposite, and it's not gone away for a year and it's thrown me away from my sport and lifestyle(it's even really hard to stand). It's an orthopedic problem I feel but it is one that with the right physiotherapy, can maybe be improved. But I've been down that route and am growing tired.

Areas I feel may give me an answer might be:

- my biomechanics and pronation. I have a bouncy running style and a history of plantar fasciatus.

- Over conditioned calves causing abnormal development.

- muscularskeletal problems. (my inner muscles feel like they are growing solid like the bone.

- Back problems. I have lower left acute chronic back ache which comes down my hip flexor.

-Over stretching my leg muscles. I used to stretch hard and am very flexible consequenty, despite my calf tightness.

I question whether I may have some form of muscle pull from muscles which run from my back down my hip flexor, then calves and then reaching the feet, and the tension/pressure is offloaded in my calves. If you could give me any advice on any exercises or techniques I can do for this, any reccomendations or any helpful info in general I'd be so pleased. Thanks!!

9 Replies

  • Hi Max, I don't think anyone on here is medically qualified to diagnose what might be your problem. Have you been to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis? I think you definitely need to do this. It might be that all you need is physiotherapy, but you need to get the ball rolling and not carry on suffering any longer than you need to. Good luck.

  • Hi Max,

    Well it sounds to me like you are very in tune with your body and at the moment the fine tuning has got a blip in it. Training hard puts an awful lot of stress on our bodies and does damage beyond our wildest expectations. I used to be super fit before I started getting ill and before my diagnosis of Behcets Disease. I was in the Army for 3 & 1/2 years as a Combat Medic, as you can imagine there was a lot of manual work to be done, carrying stretchers, erecting tenting, driving & maintaining wheeled & tracked ambulances and many other such duties. When I ended my Army service I then worked in a busy gym as a fitness instructor, writing personal programmes for people. I also took Body Pump, Spinning and Abs & Core classes in the dance studio. On top of that I did a lot of running, cross country mainly as where I live there are loads of routes I can take through fields and along the river.

    Now I can barely walk at all, but with the help of using crutches, I can get about indoors and short distances out of doors.

    I get horrendous pain in my lower legs and get red lumps come up, which then turn to bruise like marks, my legs have been black and blue all this summer.

    I can't even bare clothes touching my legs, so have to wear a support stocking which once on and the smarting has settled allows me to wear jeans and track bottoms.

    You Defo need to see a professional of some sort and like Mumofsam said maybe it is a Physio you need to see.

    Let us know how you get on buddy ☺️

  • I sounds like crps to me.

  • HI Max,

    Maybe get your GP to refer you to the pain clinic at your local hospital they refer to physiotherapists as the others suggest but can also advise on what to take for pain, CBT and a thorough check over. Very professional downside usually two month wait.


  • Check out your vitamin D bloods, if low within range or deficient, check out www.vitamindcouncil for up to date doses.

    My hip pains, tailbone pain, sciataica, leg pain, restless legs at night and stiffness when getting up out of chairs, or getting up out of bed in the morning went as soon as I started to supplement with a good dose of D3.

    Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, being deficient in it can cause bone problems among others. People with darker skin or those who stay out of the sun or slap on sun protection lotion are more prone to being deficient or low in Vit D.

    I felt my bouncy walk was starting to change and made it difficult to walk normally, but all was sorted back to normal once on vitamin D3.

    Not saying this is what you have maxlancaster97, but apparently 85%+ of us are deficient and do not know it, I did not realize I was.

  • Hi Max,

    I know just how you feel. I have read your story through a couple of times. I too have the sensation of my legs being really heavy and my leg muscles being tight. I can only describe it as similar feeling to when you have been swimming, and climbing out of the pool, you take your weight back again, and for an instant you feel so much heavier than normal. I feel like that all the time.

    At the end of the day my feet hurt so much from carrying this imaginary weight. I can't stand for long at all either. I use a walking stick outside and have even got myself a wheelchair for the supermarket shop.

    I was a really fit outdoors type. I am not overweight. I walked my dogs miles each day which I fitted in with work, looking after our large family,gardening and showing dogs as a hobby.

    I too suffer on and off with plantar fasciatus. I had an accident 9 years ago when I hurt my back. I have had a problem there ever since. Though I have managed it with the help of a super cranial osteopath.

    This July I slipped while out walking. I had torn the meniscus in my knee. With walking on crutches for weeks and physio exercises for my knee, all of a sudden I began to notice that my legs felt heavy. My back pain increased markedly. My osteopath noticed that my lower back was very stiff, and that's where my 'old war wound' is. I only get some relief when I am sitting in a straight backed chair with an ice pack or lying down.

    My osteopath feels that in my case, there might be a bulge in the disc between L2/L3 and it is compressing the fermural nerve? He recommended that I went and got a referral for an MRI Scan. I am still waiting to hear what date mine is going to be.

    I realise that you must have seen your GP in order to have had an operation already.

    Did anyone recommend you having an MRI Scan? You can get a referral from the specialist back and neck physio or through your GP? I think that you need to have a better idea of what is going on? You are far too young to have to suffer like this.

    On a more positive note Max being young is an advantage, you will when you get the right treatment get better quicker. My osteopath and the NHS physio's have all said that in the meantime, I should go and just walk about in the swimming pool. I must not do any breaststroke though, just walk in the shallow end, and float on my back or do backstroke. I plan to go as soon as possible. We are in a very rural area and it is 25 mins to the nearest decent pool. I will let you know how I get on and if it helps?

    I have also decided to go and see an acupuncturist for help too. Have you thought of that approach at all? You can get a referral to see an acupuncturist on the NHS though I don't know how long you will have to wait? If you can see a private one, do try and get a recommendation from someone you trust.

    I really hope that any of this has been a help to to you. The one thing that is comforting to know, is that you are certainly not the only one with this problem.

  • Hi Max, I think you need to ask your doctor to refer you to hospital to se a Rheumatologist, it could be a number of things that you have and it's no good speculating.

    A number of things that you mention i think you will find quite a few of us have the same problems and have been diagnosed with Fybromyalgia and other things.

    I myself suffered with a lot of the problems you mention for almost 5yrs, after seeing a rheumatologist last year I was diagnosed with Fybromyalgia, chronic pain, problems walking, tender spots in numerous parts of the body, the list is endless.

    Good luck to you Max and I hope you get sorted soon.

  • Persuade your parents to send you to an Alexander Teacher.

    Find a sports massage therapist. They should be able to stretch your tight calves. This is a problem because tight calves feed into muscles into the back and can as a result apply pressure on nerve roots. This pressure can cause all sorts of complications.

    See your GP with what you have found.

    Hope this helps.

  • Plantar fasciitis, back problems, plus your age screams to me red flags for spondyloarthritis (ankylosing spondylitis). Have you been assessed by a rheumatologist? If not, then see if you can get to an early inflammatory arthritis clinic for assessment . Check out the S-Factor campaign on the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society website.

    The musculoskeletal problems you describe I think can be fairly common consequences of untreated inflammatory back problems and enthesitis (inflammation at the points where tendon joins bone - which is also a hallmark of spondyloarthritis)

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