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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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Pain in left calf for a few days now, what could it be a

Customer Question

Pain in left calf for a few days now, what could it be a sign of?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
Hello,

Do you have any chronic health problems?
Is the pain at rest? With walking?
Do you have any swelling of the leg?
Redness?
Does it feel warm to touch in comparison to the other leg?
Any recent surgery, long trips?
Injury to the leg?

dr Abby
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

As far as chronice health problems, my doctor thought I had anxiety problems and gave me paxil for it. Haven't taken the meds in a while, but every once in a while I will have symptoms of a panic attack that will last for an hour or two.

Pain is at rest. Walking sometimes helps it, but not always.

No swelling but I did just look at my calf and i have a dime size red thing on my calf. Dont know how to explain it, never have seen it before. It feels a little warmer, not too much.

No recent surgery or long trips or injuries.

Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for clarifying,

The most worrisome cause of calf pain, as you may know, would be a blood clot.
You are not describing the classic symptoms, which include leg swelling, pain with walking. Warmth is a symptom as well, but may be related to the dime sized red area.

Risk factors for a blood clot include family history of blood clot, recent surgery, injury to the leg, prolonged immobilization, smoking, cancer.

So, this does not sound like a clot.

The red area on your calf may be the source of your pain. If the red area is warm and tender, this can be a sign of a skin infection. This requires an exam by your doctor for diagnosis.

The red area could also be a bug bite of some sort--it is difficult to say without seeing it.

Lastly, a muscle strain is a remote possibility although it should feel worse when walking initially until the muscle warms back up and stiffness lessens.

I would see your doctor in regards ***** ***** red area if it appears warm, tender and if it gets larger.

Try ibuprofen and elevation of the leg until you are able to do so.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have,

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Well since I have you hear, when should I accept that I have an anxiety problem and when should I seek a second opinion? Recently it has gotten much worse if I try to drink any alcohol (not even get drunk) and at night I can only sleep when lieing on the floor, anytime I sleep on the bed I have trouble breathing. I am concerened that somehow this all could be related to my heart (poor circulation causing my leg to feel pain and all of it causing myself to have problems breathing). I also have pains in my left arm, which adds to my worry.

Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
I am sorry you are suffering from anxiety.
The pain you have in your calf is not a circulation issue. Circulation problems start with pain when walking (because you need the blood flow to increase when you are using your muscles). If there is a problem getting the blood to the muscles when you are walking (due to either blockages, heart problems, etc) then this causes pain in the muscles.

I cannot say what your arm pain is..but it is very unlikely that it is due to a heart problem. If you have had your heart evaluated in the past due to your breathing issues, then I think it is probably time to accept that your symptoms are anxiety related.

If you have not had any cardiac workup, I would probably do it once to rule it out.

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Even though this feeling of trouble breathing last all day? From what I have read on the internet, anxiety usually lasts for a short period of time then goes away. Mine seems to last all day with brief periods of no problem. Also how would the drinking and problems with sleeping factor into anxiety?

Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
this can all be related to anxiety.

As I mentioned, it would not be a bad idea to have a workup to rule out other causes before attributing it all to anxiety. A chest xray and a breathing test can be done when you feel short of breath also to rule out asthma.
Acid reflux can also cause tightness in the chest that is worse at night.
Alcohol magnifies psychological symptoms.

If your heart tests, chest xray and breathing tests are normal, this is all likely anxiety.

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
One last question, is there anything I can do to help the anxiety go away (other than mediciation)?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

One last question, is there anything I can do to help the anxiety go away (other than mediciation)?

Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
If you are willing, counseling is very effective for anxiety.

It helps people to understand where the anxiety is coming from and it can teach you effective techniques in dealing with the symptoms when they occur.

Dr Abby