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Heaviness in leg while going upstairs and doing exercise - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2407 Questions
User :   Why do my legs feel heavy and should I see my PCP? I'm wondering if I could have spinal (probably lumbar) stenosis and/or PVD or PAD. I am healthy. 40 year-old, non-smoking (never have) female. No HTN or DM. No chronic conditions. I have dysmenorrhea and have had occasional sciatica in the past (none recently). I weigh 118 lbs, Ht 5'5". My cholesterol is a little high, but nothing worth putting me on a statin per my PCP. The heaviness I get in my legs is when going up stairs and exercising, either static yoga poses, the treadmill or the elliptical. This leg heaviness has been ongoing for the last 6 mos to one year. I have no varicosities nor pedal edema. I don't drink and used to only drink socially. What is wrong? How do I fix this? And what tests would be recommended? I'm thinking spinal MRI and/or lower extremity venous doppler testing. What are YOUR recommendations?
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Dr here
User :   Hello Dr.
Doctor :   give me momnet let me read your query
User :   OK
Doctor :   Ok
User :   Please don't tell my I'm a hypochondriac! ; )
Doctor :   Your condition most probably corresponds to Either varicose veins or DVt
User :   I doubt I have DVT. That would be weird. I don't have any swelling in either leg and this has been chronic. Also there is no family hx of varicosities in my family, plus I don't have any varicose veins on my legs.
Doctor :   You could not examine your self right?
Doctor :   You would require examination by doctor
Doctor :   I said Its a probable diagnosis
Doctor :   The investigations i suggest are
Doctor :   1. MRI
Doctor :   2. doppler study
Doctor :   3. Lipid profile
Doctor :   Is your pain reduced after taking ample rest?
User :   How serious do you think heavy legs w/exercise is? Is only bothers me w/going up stairs or exercising. It does NOT prevent me from exercising. I don't need AMPLE rest to relieve the heaviness. It's never PAIN -- just like my legs are in cement, like they are working against quite a bit of resistance. The heaviness eases when the exercise stops.
Doctor :   Ok
User :   The worst is with stairs or when I first begin to exercise.
Doctor :   Can you rate the discomfort from 1 - 10
User :   0 heavinness with no activity
User :   8 with stair climbing
Doctor :   oK
User :   6 with the stationary bike
User :   2 with the treadmill
User :   0 with normal level ground walking
User :   0 with sitting
Doctor :   Are you on any birth control pills
User :   0 with sleeping
User :   No, no BCPS. No meds. Just magnesium 400 mg at bedtime.
Doctor :   Because they are also prone to cause interemitent claudication of vessels
Doctor :   Ok
User :   and Tylenol and Ibuprofen w/painful menses prn
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   My advise is start using bandages in your legs before exercise
User :   You mean like support hose???
Doctor :   Yes
Doctor :   And also try streching before work ups
User :   Won't using support hose make my veins weaker and dependent upon the hose?
Doctor :   At your condition it will help
Doctor :   I am not suggesting long term usage
Doctor :   Thats till you meet your PCP
Doctor :   When was your last annuals done
User :   Well, I'm not wearing the hose to the gym. that would be unsightly and embarrassing. I could wear them to work though, under my clother.
User :   Last annual Jan 2010
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   When is the next
Doctor :   Sorry
Doctor :   You will need a thorugh physical examination by a doctor
User :   My doc said I was healthy and didn't tell me I needed to come back except for problems.
Doctor :   As your complaints suggest
User :   Well, I guess I could talk to my doc. I feel silly because I am pretty healthy.
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   As varicosity is more common for women of your age
Doctor :   Get youself a dopler study without fail
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting me
Doctor :   Bye for now
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