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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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ive been experiencing leg stiffness after sitting or driving.

Resolved Question:

ive been experiencing leg stiffness after sitting or driving. I cannot just jump right up and start walking. If I move too fast I start to fall. I have to take my time and warm them up slowly and the stiffness passes. Once warmed up (usually just a minute or two) I can walk easily and do so daily for exercise. I am 55 years old and this has been going on for about 5 years. I notice it is starting to happen to my husband now (he is 62). What is causing this and how can I fix it?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Do you feel that it is the joints that are stiff (the hips, knees)?

Or do you feel it is the muscles that are stiff (the thighs, the calves)?

And do you have worsening of this after moderate exercise (e.g. do your legs get stiff again/sore with exercise)?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The muscles are stiff. It actually gets relieved with exercise.

 

 

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
OK.

I think that this can be due to just general "muscle stiffness" than can occur after a period of inactivity (such as sleeping overnight) and that because they are "cold" in the morning, they do not feel as limber as they should until they are "warmed" up.

There are medical conditions that can cause these symptoms, but generally are seen in older people (average age of onset is 70 for "polymyalgia rheumatica"), and just for your information:

http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/DS/00441.html

However, the fact that you have relief with exercise makes other conditions, such as claudication, lumbar stenosis, arthritis in the joints less likely as the cause for your soreness.

The next time you see your doctor, you can ask for simple blood tests to make sure your electrolytes are in order, and have other tests done if your doctor suspects any other reason for your muscle stiffness than just the result of being inactive overnight.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I've been sitting a while now using the computer and just got up....it does feel like stiffness in the hip and upper thigh area....if your response is the same just confirm and I will accept....thanks
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Also thought I would share tha tthis never happens when I am laying down....so is your response the same...thanks
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
The other explanation that one might have is that you may be having slight nerve compression in the lower back that causes "soreness" or discomfort in the hip and upper thigh area, though in severe cases - the pain would get *worse* with extended activity, not better.

However, the fact that it has been going on for 5 years now means it probably is not the case, since usually many people would notice it getting "worse" with time. The next time you see your doctor, getting a physical exam and neurologic exam to check the joints and strength in the lower extremities would be helpful, just to make sure there isn't another possible cause for your stiffness.

Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience: U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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