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Seemingly random leg pains upon waking

JWMJJWM Posts: 291
I'm well versed in most things here, but this one has me stumped. I've got sciatica, DDD/Spondy, left leg only for sciatica, and it comes and goes as it wishes. I never have 'pinpoint' pains where I can say 'It hurts RIGHT HERE' and point to my knee or something. It happens, but they are always more vague, like, a 2 inch area of the heel of my foot or something.

Lately, last week or so, each morning I've been waking up with my leg in PAIN. One day it was my toes, one day it was my ankle, one my knee, etc. It's very strong, solid, bothersome pain. My ER meds seem to be still helping my lower back pain, so I don't feel like it's a nighttime lowering of my meds and that I'm late on my morning dose or anything. The knee, for example, hurt so bad, I could barely bend it at all, and had to roll on my side, alternate a few times, finally log rolled out of bed and hobbled around for a good 30 minutes until it had mostly gone away. Sound familiar to anyone, or am I on my own with this?

I havent changed any meds, havent changed beds/blankets/anything. I mean, NOTHING. I usually wake up on my side, knees bent, and a-ok, except for the normal morning back pain. I *THINK* in my delusional wake-ups that I remember waking on my back; maybe that's the cause?

If anyone has any similar stories, please share, I just want to be sure I dont need to fear say, a blood clot or, I dunno, anything! I'm 29 but dealing w/for about 8 years, so, I'm still young and in pretty good shape though.

Thanks in advance if you have any advice, or even just took the time to read this.



  • :) JWM,i can't help you but i am sorry you are going through this extra pain. ~X( it is scary when something new and unexpected pops up. you know if you get too concerned to go to the doctor. :-C take care of yourself and keep us informed! Jenny :)
  • If you look at a dermatome chart, are the pains related to the same exact nerve?

    If I upset my lower back, I will get similar pain in my right leg, all of it along the same nerve path. Why it isn't always the same spot is beyond me. Normally it starts on my lower leg, but sometimes it's just my ankle or the top of my foot.

    Same with my right shoulder, arm and hand. Sometimes it's just one portion of my hand, other times it's my forearm ... no rhyme or reason.

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  • I tell the doctors to imagine those Christmas lights that randomly blink off and on all over - any second of any day I may have pain in one place, then another... I think it is often the case with nerve pain. But, as always, you should be checked over to rule out other causes. But I can tell you that for me, what you describe has been the case for years. I hate when the doctor asks me "where" it hurts..... throw a dart!

  • Thank you all for the replies; I believe you all each touched on something spot on. "C" yes I checked the chart, and it corresponds appropriately; my 2 worst nerves, their respective body parts are the worst.

    Rosa, yes, you're right, it is sort of like christmas lights, just blinking on and off at times with no reason or rhyme. I have always described my pain as 'inconsistent' to my doctors, and they have ALL agreed that it is the normal way that lower back/sciatic nerve pain *usually* works (well, lower back is always hurting, the sciatica pain is the one that changes. I just try to generalize when they ask now and tell them all of the areas it hurts.

    Anyhow, thanks again for the replies; I guess what I am experiencing is normal, I'll just spend some extra time on my back and hope for the best =)
  • I'm about 4-1/2 months out from fusion surgery and have not had any leg plain at all except for the last week or do. It started out with my left leg just feeling tired, like it ran in a marathon all by itself. That lasted for about a week, and then the front of my knee chimmed in with the leg. That lasted another couple of days, then the pain from the front of the knee left and went to behind my knee and added pain from the knee up the outter thigh area, sometimes making it all the way to my butt. I called my docs office and left word for the PA to call me, but she didn't get back to me...perhaps she'll call tomorrow and let me know if there is anything to worry about. Don't want another MRI...I had to change insurance and the cheepest I could get was $877/mo with a $5,000 deductible. However, in Feb. I will be covered under Medicare and I won't have to pay so much. I'll have to have a talk with my leg and tell it to straighten up at least for 2-1/2 months lol. Glad others have experience these strange feelings.
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  • My conclusion: it's ONE of my meds, and muscle related.. And the pain redefined my pain scale for me this morning.. I have a new '8'. (9 is on the verge of losing it, 10 is puking/collapsing in pain, on my scale at least =) )

    It happened again today, this morning. It was terrible. Excruciating. The pain was mostly in my RIGHT leg this time, and I have no nerve problems/sciatica at all with my right leg. I couldn't move, and had to use breathing exercises mixed with, admittedly, moaning, and even a few tears, until finally I was able to rise. Once I hobbled around for a few, things were ok. I don't know why it took me so many days of this disastrous 'waking sequence', to put two and two together, but I did..

    My PM recently changed my muscle relaxant. I've been using Soma to GREAT effect for years, and he's not afraid to throw piles of opiates at me, but he's always been trying to switch me off of Soma. He says Soma is terrible. Finally, I said, OK, fine, we'll try it. He gave me Baclofen. (reality, Soma works great, baclofen has a bajillion side effects listed, soma has about four..) So, I took a single baclofen here and there, as I normally would with the Soma, and noticed that afterwards I would get knots in my shoulders, back, all the major/common knot spots. I ignored it. PM wanted me to take TWO baclofen at night to help with my insomnia. I finally started taking two a night, well, about a week ago. That's when the morning hell started.

    I'm having an adverse reaction of some sort to baclofen, and am turning to knots, cramping, seizure; I don't want to know really. Apparently at night I'm cramping or something when the baclofen wears off but I'm still asleep, because in the morning I feel like I've got the legs of a 200 year old man. When you see the side effects below you'll wonder just what IS happening to me when I sleep, and you may wonder how it ever got fda approval.. Hopefully my PM will switch me back to Soma..

    Endnote: Baclofen, as I found with research, has been used in testing, with success, to help patients with opiate and cocaine addiction, amongst other things. It is also supposed to *eliminate* mostly, as I've read, the euphoric feeling that can be felt from narcotics. Now I'm not one to take my meds for a high, I simply live a better life thanks to them, but I think it's safe to say if your doc wants you to make the switch, just be sure to read up on the meds first, you might not like what you see..

    Read this on baclofen, it's scary, to say the least.

    Baclofen side effects, partial: .."Abrupt discontinuation of oral baclofen may cause seizures and hallucinations. Abrupt discontinuation of intrathecal baclofen may result in high fever, rebound spasticity, muscle rigidity, and rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) that can progress to failure of several organs, including the kidney, and even death."

    It gets worse too.

  • So what are you going to do? So sorry you are going through this!
  • I called my PM, the Dr. said 'no' to switching back to soma for now, and that I will have to wait until I see him. =( Weird thing is I feel like I'm hurting more and more every day aside from the sleep thing, and its either genuinely getting worse, all in my head, or soma has some very powerful pain relieving effects that I didn't really appreciate until now. I do remember a time when I had NO meds for weeks, insurance issues, and was in pain, like a 6 or a 7, and took one soma, and I swear it dropped to a 4 within an hour. Anyhow that's another topic for the med forum..
  • I get lots of pain that is exactly where it should be expected, according to the dermatome charts, but I have also had very deep, deep charlie horse type pain in my feet, legs, ankles and toes. Because I had a similar issue years ago when I was taking Cimetidine for my stomach, I'm assuming it may be the Losec I'm taking for a stomach protectant.

    I do find that when my SI joint(s) are especially irritated, the pain changes and there is also no rhyme or reason as to where and why it hurts. Just out of curiosity, are you taking meds that require LOTS of fluids in the day? If so, make sure you're drinking your 48 ounces or whatever it calls for; if some of it is deep muscle pain, it could be that you're not taking in the fluids you need. I've also found in the past that magnesium/malic acid supplements are good for muscle pain, but make sure your meds aren't affected by any supplements.

    Don't know if that helps you, but that is my two bits' worth for today!

  • I woke up this morning and for no apparent reason had left knee pain that wouldn't let me even put any weight on my left leg at all. I didn't know whether to call the doctor or go to the ER. I called the doctor who said DO NOT take ibuprofen of course and nothing else. Still thought about the ER but since the pain is new thought I'd give it some time to see if it would pass. And I hobbled into PT this afternoon. Now you and I know each other well enough. So do you think this could be my lower back problems causing knee pain? I'm looking for dermatone chart but heck if I can read any of this stuff.
    How do you know all of this stuff? :) You amaze me!
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