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Brief burning sensation in right calf?

    • 3 posts
    December 21, 2014 2:18:37 PM PST

    For the past 5 months or so, I've been experiencing a strange burning type pain in my right leg. it's on the left side of my calf and seems to be a little below the surface and is localized to one small spot with very little spreading, if any. It's a short burst of pain only when doing certain activities and can't always be replicated. The burst is about 1-2 seconds long and usually happens maybe three times a day; there's no real pattern to it that I can see. I'm a computer programmer so I sit for many hours daily but I'm generally healthy (except for acid reflux, severe anxiety, and a few odd health issues like recurring bronchitis), but I've been checked out many times for my heart and never had any heart or blood related problems. I have no redness, heat, or tenderness anywhere around that area either. I'm 19, 5 foot 11, and 160 pounds so I'm about normal as far as size goes. Is it just my health anxiety or something else to be worried about?

    • Moderator
    • 1955 posts
    December 21, 2014 2:36:29 PM PST

    Legal disclaimer:  we do not have a doctor-patient relationship and we cannot give specific instructions of care to you, but we can give you our best effort to find high-quality information that you can consider. If we are wrong, or you don't like what we say, feel free to leave a message and let us know how we can improve the quality of the service. In addition, we encourage other people in the community to contribute their knowledge to the questions that are asked. 

    For example, if you have a rare disease, and had a rare surgery, please simply state "back surgery," and if needed we can explore that further.  If your neighbor or best friend reads this, will be they be able to identify you based on the information given? If yes, please remove the information or change it slightly. 

    BAD example:  I live in Boston, Dr. Patel at MGH hospital diagnosed me with a schwannoma tumor last month, then I traveled to Tokyo and taught english for a year.  

    Acceptable example: I live in the United States, I had a tumor & surgery, then I traveled abroad for work.

     ------------------------------------

    IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

    1. Thank you for your question. 

    2. Gender: 

    3. When did problem start?

    4. Have you had this before? 

    5. Is it getting better or worse? 

    6. Family history: Is there a history of blood clots in the family, a history of recurrent abortions, what medical conditions run in your family? 

    7. Heart Rate? 

    8. Temperature? 

    9. Medical conditions including pregnancies both past & present?

    10. Medications & supplements?

    11. Surgeries?  

     

    12. What are the activities that elicit the pain?


    13. Do you have the pain without those activities.


     

    14. HOw much doyou smoke/ drink/ recreational drugs in a week?

     

    15. Which apply to you:  Fever or chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, consipation, skin changes, loss of energy, change in urination, change in skin


    16. How far from the heel is the area of burning pain that is on the left side of the right calf


    17. What is the size of the burning area? Is it the size of your palm, is it the size of the tip of your finger?


    18. What are the certain activities? 


    19. Do you have pain in your legs when you go walking? 


    20. Have you been evaluated for your heart several times because of the anxiety?


    21. Do you know why you have recurring bronchitis? 


    Kind regards,

    -BrettMD


    This post was edited by Brett Snodgrass at December 21, 2014 2:36:49 PM PST
    • 3 posts
    December 21, 2014 3:59:35 PM PST
    Brett Snodgrass said:

    Legal disclaimer:  we do not have a doctor-patient relationship and we cannot give specific instructions of care to you, but we can give you our best effort to find high-quality information that you can consider. If we are wrong, or you don't like what we say, feel free to leave a message and let us know how we can improve the quality of the service. In addition, we encourage other people in the community to contribute their knowledge to the questions that are asked. 

    For example, if you have a rare disease, and had a rare surgery, please simply state "back surgery," and if needed we can explore that further.  If your neighbor or best friend reads this, will be they be able to identify you based on the information given? If yes, please remove the information or change it slightly. 

    BAD example:  I live in Boston, Dr. Patel at MGH hospital diagnosed me with a schwannoma tumor last month, then I traveled to Tokyo and taught english for a year.  

    Acceptable example: I live in the United States, I had a tumor & surgery, then I traveled abroad for work.

     ------------------------------------

    IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

    1. Thank you for your question. 

    2. Gender: 

    3. When did problem start?

    4. Have you had this before? 

    5. Is it getting better or worse? 

    6. Family history: Is there a history of blood clots in the family, a history of recurrent abortions, what medical conditions run in your family? 

    7. Heart Rate? 

    8. Temperature? 

    9. Medical conditions including pregnancies both past & present?

    10. Medications & supplements?

    11. Surgeries?  

     

    12. What are the activities that elicit the pain?


    13. Do you have the pain without those activities.


     

    14. HOw much doyou smoke/ drink/ recreational drugs in a week?

     

    15. Which apply to you:  Fever or chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, consipation, skin changes, loss of energy, change in urination, change in skin


    16. How far from the heel is the area of burning pain that is on the left side of the right calf


    17. What is the size of the burning area? Is it the size of your palm, is it the size of the tip of your finger?


    18. What are the certain activities? 


    19. Do you have pain in your legs when you go walking? 


    20. Have you been evaluated for your heart several times because of the anxiety?


    21. Do you know why you have recurring bronchitis? 


    Kind regards,

    -BrettMD

     

    I'm male; it started about 5 months ago and has not gotten any better or worse; I had never had anything similar until it started 5 months ago; no blood clot history in either side of the family. My dad's side has high blood pressure, and my moms side has very little of anything - I've been cjecked many times and all my levels, pressures, and rate are normal.

     

    My heart rate and temperature are normal; my conditions are severe anxiety, OCD, depression, frequent bronchitis, and acid reflux. My medications are Nexium and an Albuterol Inhaler; no surgeries.

     

    The only times I've been able to elicit the pain were from random tensing and relaxing my right calf (as in shifting weight between legs or something like that) but it doesn't happen every time. It's pretty random but seems to happen a few times daily. Sometimes it hurts while I'm just sitting, other times it's like I mentioned a sentence or two ago.

     

    No smoking, drinking, or drugs ever (none in my family in fact); I've had problems with my stool being a little hard at times but that has been checked by doctors and is unrelated; the pain is about 4-5 inches below my kneecap; the size of the burning area is about the size of a quarter; taking walks or doing a lot of exercise doesn't trigger the pain anymore than if I were to stay in the house all day.

     

    Yes, the heart checks were mostly from anxiety (my anxiety attacks send my pulse up to 150 so they can be pretty rough). about 3 consecutive days last year, I had palpatations everytime I took a semi deep breath. I had multiple tests such as EKGs and holter monitor tests and everything checked out perfectly fine, and the palpatations never came back after those three days so that was one reason I got checked a while back.

     

    As for the recurring bronchitis, I'm not sure of the cause. My parents have always gotten it a lot, but we're the only ones in the family who do, and it's never serious.

     

    Does this sound like something that needs an immediate doctor visit? I'd prefer to wait about a month, maybe two, due to my schedule being very busy, but I can get in sooner and get it checked out if necessary. I know you can't tell me for sure either way and I understand, but I definitely appreciate your advice. Let me know if I need to provide anymore details, thank you!

    • Moderator
    • 1955 posts
    December 21, 2014 4:44:56 PM PST

    Greetings G,

     

    Thank you for the reply. 

     

    1. Have you had trauma to the leg?


    2. Do you live in the USA?


    3. Do you have a mass in the leg, if you feel the leg, the calf does it feel normal


    4. Do you have joint concerns, pain or problems?


    5. Have you noticed weakness in your leg?


    6. How often do you use the albuterol


    7. What Medicines have you taken for the recurrent bronchitis in the past? 


    8. What biopsies have you had in the past?


    9. What Fluids have you had analyzed microscopically in the past?

    A common example is, a peripheral blood smear; a bronchoalveolar lavage. 


    10. Was your heart rate really 150 from anxiety. 


    11. When was the last time that you saw your primary care doctor? 


    12. If you live in the USA, have you had the majority of all of the recommended vaccinations?


    13. You may want to see a doctor about this. You probably do not need to go tonight. There are various inflammatory and nerve diseases. 


    post 1 of 2. 

    • 3 posts
    December 21, 2014 5:43:48 PM PST
    Brett Snodgrass said:

    Greetings G,

     

    Thank you for the reply. 

     

    1. Have you had trauma to the leg?


    2. Do you live in the USA?


    3. Do you have a mass in the leg, if you feel the leg, the calf does it feel normal


    4. Do you have joint concerns, pain or problems?


    5. Have you noticed weakness in your leg?


    6. How often do you use the albuterol


    7. What Medicines have you taken for the recurrent bronchitis in the past? 


    8. What biopsies have you had in the past?


    9. What Fluids have you had analyzed microscopically in the past?

    A common example is, a peripheral blood smear; a bronchoalveolar lavage. 


    10. Was your heart rate really 150 from anxiety. 


    11. When was the last time that you saw your primary care doctor? 


    12. If you live in the USA, have you had the majority of all of the recommended vaccinations?


    13. You may want to see a doctor about this. You probably do not need to go tonight. There are various inflammatory and nerve diseases. 


    post 1 of 2. 

     

    I haven't had any trauma; I live in (redacted by BrettMD for privacy), USA; I don't feel anything abnormal in the calf; I have pains in my wrists on occasion from the position I do computer work in but it's pretty rare. I haven't noticed any weakness; I use the inhaler about 2 days a week I would say (2 puffs at a time, so about 4 puffs a week); I've never really taken any medicine for the bronchitis; I've never had any biopsies; I don't think I've ever had any kind of fluid analyzations; yes, panic attacks have sent my heart rate up to 150 (I was wearing a holter monitor when that was measured).

     

    My last doctor visit was about 2-3 months ago I believe; I've had all vaccinations except for the seasonal flu shot; I will schedule a doctor visit soon but does this sound like something dangerous? As in potentially life-threatening? Again, I know that you can't say for sure, but your opinion helps. Thanks again


    This post was edited by Brett Snodgrass at December 21, 2014 6:21:24 PM PST
    • Moderator
    • 1955 posts
    December 21, 2014 6:59:34 PM PST

    Greetings G,

     

    Thank you for the reply.


    Cogent reply: See a doctor in a couple of weeks, unless things get worse. If things get worse, see a doctor sooner. 


    Best regards,

    -BrettMD


    -------

    Reply:

    It does not sound acutely life threatening to me. I would encourage you to see a doctor about it within the next two weeks. If it gets worse, if you start losing strength, or it occurs several times a day (eg. 5), then you may be want to be seen by a doctor sooner. Since you said that it started five months ago, we can at least identify that if it is a musculoskeletal or neural condition, then it is probably not a condition that is progressing at a rate that requires immediate evaluation. We can apply common sense to this, it has been the same for five months, two weeks probably wont result in a significant change, especially if you do not experience any change in your symptoms.  

    A neurologial exam may be conducted by the doctor at your next visit. In addition, you may be able perform the exam yourself, or with a friend. If you have any additional questions, please ask.



    2. Workplace ergonomics: Please look into this. It may be possible that your wrist pain, related to your work can be reduced if not eliminated. If the numbness or tingling in your hands that you report is from work gets worse, then please consider seeking medical care. Since I presently have insufficient information to assert that it was definitively from your work. What I am trying to say, is that if a medical doctor was going to give you advice on how to address your hand pain, they would want more information to make sure that it is from your work. Since there are many neuromuscular (affects nerves & muscles) conditions that can result in hand pain, it would be inappropriate for a medical doctor to assume that every person who reports their hand pain is from typing is not something else. You probably are right, but I presently lack sufficient information to know. If it gets worse, then that would be concerning to me and I would want you to be evaluated for other neurological conditions. This is how physicians are trained to think. Expect the common things, but to be cautious for the less common neurological conditions that can present similarly.


    3. How are you currently using weights with your legs? Do you think that the weights are related to the pain? Do you use the weights with your legs while you are at a desk, or do you have a dedicated exercise routine?


    4. Did you start running, or lifting weights with your legs five months ago?


    5. Please see the following information about Ergonomics. OSHA Checklist





    This post was edited by Brett Snodgrass at December 21, 2014 7:07:29 PM PST