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Menopause

Why do leg muscles hurt and get stiff?

02/05/2007

Question:

Every time I stand or walk for longer than 10-15 minutes, my leg muscles (throughout my entire legs) start feeling burning tightness, and get heavy and stiff. Yesterday I had to do a lot of walking, from one building to another, and my leg muscles got very heavy and sore, and I had to sit down to stop the pain. I could barely make it home, because my legs felt like they were aching and weighted down, and I had to drag my legs, because it was hard to lift them. Today the muscles throughout both legs still burn and feel heavy and stiff. I will have to sit down all day long-so my legs will feel better tomorrow. Sometimes it only takes overnight for my legs to feel better, if I walk short distances that day. This problem has been getting worse for several years. I have been treated badly by doctors who ignore me. I am age 54, and I also have constant stiffness and soreness in my spine, all across the area between my hips. It is worse in the mornings and gets better if I bend forward. One doctor in the hospital did tests for blood count, metabolic panel and muscle function and found nothing wrong. But a student nurse wrote me a letter saying I had symptoms of spinal stenosis. (She is not studying at the hospital anymore-and the present doctor ignores me.) The pain and heaviness in my legs always occurs when I am standing or walking. It does NOT occur if I am sitting. One doctor gave me 500mg of Ibuprofen, but I could still feel the heaviness and pain in my legs when I was walking. I am basically limited to walking only a few minutes at a time-because my legs start to hurt so much-that I have to sit down all the time to stop the pain. I also have constant stifffness in the back of my neck, and loss of function in my knees. I feel sick every day and have morning stiffness that lasts for hours. I lost a previous job with health insurance, because of my inability to stand too long. I faxed this information to the doctor, and he ignored it. Isn`t this negligance on the part of the doctor? What should I do? Who can help me?

Answer:

If you are not getting answers from your current doctor, you may need to see someone else.  Before doing that, try asking to speak directly with your physician about the test results.

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Go to the Menopause health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Margery   Gass, MD Margery Gass, MD
Formely, Professor, Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati