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Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5949
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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why do my legs ache when i lay down

Resolved Question:

why do my legs ache when i lay down
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 4 years ago.
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I shall try my best to assist you while you are corresponding with me.

Q. Is this a dull aching pain or a sharp stabbing pain?

Q. Previously diagnosed medical conditions?

Q. Any visible veins on the lower legs?

Q. Which part of the legs ache, thighs, knee joints, calf area or the ankles?

Q. Are you on any medication?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
-dull ache (feels much like lactic acid burn after a hard run)
-no previously diagnosed conditions (just had full physical/colonoscopy in decemeber '11)
-no visible veins on lower legs
-back of legs from behind knees up to and around hips
-no meds

shd mention that I'm a runner (usually 3-4 mi 3 x wkly), and that this has happened once before under similar circumstances--i.e., when, as now, i haven't had a good run in several wks bcz of long work hrs.
Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the details.

The area involved is too large for this to be a particular tendon or a muscle which is inflammed or injured.
The dull aching pain can be due to an impinged nerve likely the sciatic nerve, which can present with a dull aching pain starting from the hip and going down to the ankles. Impinged nerves can be at any level after they exit the vertebral column, those which get impinged due to a disc herniation/prolapse usually are accompanied by a lower back pain and sometimes, the pain is not in the back but is referred in the area supplied by the particular nerve(s) being impinged.
Runner's usually experience shin splints but that occurs from the knee down and should not cause pain in the hip area.
Arthritis of the hip and the knee should be ruled out as well although it is uncommon for it o present simultaneously both the knees and the hips at the same time.
Vascular insufficiency of the lower limbs can also be a probable cause but again, both legs affected from hip to ankles is unlikely.
However, it should be noted that aching legs when lying down, or while sitting or standing is common in your age group. With age, muscle mass diminishes, giving rise to fatigue and aching legs, but I tend to keep such causes at the end of my differentials while treating patients and this is a diagnosis of exclusion meaning that when all the possible causes (organic) have been rule out accurately, age can be considered a cause.
I suggest that use some home remedies to alleviate the leg pain.
A hot bath at night with legs soaked in epsom salt water for 15 to 20 minutes will alleivate the pain.
Massage therapy with Ibuprofen Liquigels like Brufen or Motrin gel four to five times a day will be extremely beneficial.
Use of OTC painkillers like Ibuprofen or Naproxen (Aleve) can also help with the pain.
An xray of the lower lumbosacral spine along with electromyogram (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies and blood tests like CPK and LDH will rule out most neuromuscular disorders like nerve impingements, lesions, disc prolapse, herniations, inflammatory conditions of the muscles, further tests can be advised as well depending on the findings of the preliminary testing.
Hope this helps.
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