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Dr. Phil, MD
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What can cause heaviness in legs and burning sensation in feet? Im

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What can cause heaviness in legs and burning sensation in feet?


I’m 32 years old and played in a basketball tournament in February. It was from 10:00am – 2:00pm and I had very little to drink, minimal stretching before the tournament and only a few bites of a granola bar as a meal.

After the tournament was over, I noticed about a week later that my left foot (where my toes were and bottom of my feet ) started feeling a little numb and I didn’t know whether my shoes were the reason, or if someone stepped on my foot, or if I was hurt in the tournament but I shook it off because I’ve had hundreds of pains in my leg from basketball bruises but it’s never bothered me before and they all went away.

During the course of two weeks after the slight-numbness in my left foot, I could feel a tingling and kind of ‘burning’ sensation in my left thigh and I noticed at night that the tingling was worse but the issue was spreading up my leg. I didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t know how to diagnose it, I just got kind of scared because I used to smoke Menthol cigarettes and I thought something was wrong from the smoking. Maybe a sickness or body reaction but I hadn’t seen a doctor yet for anything.

Within a two week period (a total of a month now), I didn’t know if my mind was playing tricks on me but my right foot started developing the same partial-numb symptoms and then it was a short time before my right leg and left leg had similar numb and burning sensations in the inner thigh area and although I tried to stretch and still play basketball on this, it wasn’t until the “heaviness” set in that I decided to go to the emergency room.

The heavy feeling in my legs (right above my knee) was not allowing me to run up a flight of stairs, slowing me down in the game, and making it more difficult to work. When I went to the emergency room, they told me that I was a little overweight at the time (I was 5’8, 213 pounds at the time) and that the weight could have possibly pinched a nerve ‘sciatic’ and that it was sending flares down my legs. They gave me Prednisone and some anti-inflammatories and sent me on my way. A sciatic issue was not the cause though….


Fast forward to today:

I quit smoking cigarettes 4 months ago
I saw a Doctor who prescribed Naproxen because he didn’t know how to diagnose what I had (I no longer am with this Doctor and didn’t fill his prescription)
I changed my diet and lost almost 25 pounds
I’ve been to family and sports chiropractors on more than 10 occasions
I’ve had 15 deep tissue therapy treatments for massaging all areas of concern to increase blood circulation
I’ve done Yoga
I stretch almost everyday to keep myself active
I try to walk almost everyday to keep blood flowing since I can’t run
I’ve done Acupuncture
I’ve gotten a lumbar spine MRI with NO disc protrusions or extrusions and looked very good to the radiologist

And my symptoms have not improved, they’ve slightly gotten worse in fact. Symptoms are:


Fatigue (mostly because I can’t sleep at night because of my legs)
Partial numbness on my inner thighs
Lower back pain (even though the MRI looked good)
Bottom of my feet feel like they’ve been burned
HEAVINESS IN THE THIGHS AND KNEE AREA!! I have to hold guard rails to walk up stairs, I can not walk up more than 4 at a time without stopping and telling myself to continue walking up stairs
Legs stiffening up at night, even if I am laying still and have water next to me so I don’t get dehydrated. I bought a portable massager so I can massage my legs EVERY MORNING since they cramp and stiffen so bad
Muscle pain right above my knee. I can’t jump and I can’t run unless I’m hobbling



I know it wasn’t the best thing in the world but when the symptoms first started, I still continued to play aggressive basketball. I’m not sure if I worsened things by not giving my body a chance to rest and recover. I don’t know what could make me go from playing basketball at the top of my game around March to not even being able to run up a flight of stairs in July? What can cause degeneration like this in such a short period of time?

If I had to describe my ‘heaviness’ right above the knees, it feels like a muscle cramp above both knees that I CAN’T stretch out. Also, when I lay on my stomach and try to bend my knees backward (to where they would be touching my butt or back) it feels like a hot-acid water is bloating my thighs. Its difficult to describe but its taken me off the court and ruining my life.

I was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions and if the “heaviness” will ever go away? I would love to run or play basketball but I can’t the way I am. Two months ago when I went for a check up, they ran all the normal sensory tests on me and when I use the words “partial-numbness”, it doesn’t mean that I can’t feel anything. All the feeling is there in my whole body, it just feels partially numb for some odd reason.

Please help! Thanks so much
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.

Answers are for informational purposes only. Please confirm any information given with your own doctor.

 

Hi there.

 

Did you have blood too?

 

Also, what do you mean by sensory tests? Which tests specifically have you had?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No blood tests have been done yet but I will if it seems like a condition that you've heard of. The last family Doctor and emergency room Doctor kinda scratched their heads and offered anti-inflammatories and that's not helping.


 


When I said "sensory tests', I meant having the small rubber hammer banged on the knee cap for flexing, banged on the ankles, having a small metal object tickled on the bottom of my feet to see if my legs were "numb" and had no feeling or if I had feeling in my legs and it was a "partial numbness", pushing against the Doctors arms with my feet, raising my legs, things like that. The seonsory test was just to see if I had feeling in my legs (sorry, I didn't know how to describe it).


 


Have you seen this "heaviness" above the knees before? This has been going on for months now and I'm a little scared

Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.

Hi Tommy.

 

Okay. I doubt this is just normal sensory loss and I have a few ideas of tests that need to be done.

 

Last question before I answer: Do you take any meds or supplements for any reason?

 

Also are you vegetarian or drink alcohol?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for responding so quickly.


 


No I don't take any prescription medication, I'm not allergic to any medication either. The only supplements I was taking was Mens 1-A Day Vitamins (but not anymore). I'm not a vegetarian and as for alcohol, maybe 2 times a month I'll have a drink but its very few and far between.


 


I'll seriously consider all options of tests you have in mind. I've literally spent thousands of dollars on chiropractor visits and exercises and diets, and massages and MRI, etc, etc.. please offer your thoughts. Thanks

Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome.

 

The first thing you need is some blood work.

 

1)screen for autoimmune disease with an ANA test blood test

 

2)vitamin B12 can cause neuropathy like this. Get a B12 level and folate level

 

3)thyroid problems. Get a TSH and T4 level

 

4)Also, check CPK to make sure its not muscle breakdown

 

Lastly you need another test called an EMG. An EMG measures nerve function in the body to see what is causing the problem. This is done by a neurologist whom is the doctor you should see.

 

Please don't click "bad" or "poor" service as this leaves me negative feedback. If you aren't 100% satisfied, just click "reply."

 

 

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you so much for the replies, I am going to do the necessary steps to have this taken care of. In all honesty, I asked this same question to a Neurologist yesterday and his answers were very generic and offered little advice. His work was terrible, your answers were much more detailed.


 


Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I have an appointment to see a Sports Chiropractor now, even though I don't think it will do much for me today. I will leave you a positive feedback. I appreciate the answers!

Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.

You're very welcome Tommy.

 

Thank you for the kind words.

 

Please don't forget a good review and ask for Dr. Phil in the future!

 

 

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