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Soreness in the legs, pain while sleepin in a particular posture. What could be the cause, is it serious?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9086 Questions
I was sleeping and my legs where elevated slightly since I fell asleep on my love seat. My legs where raised and hanging over the arm rest. Then I woke up to my legs ....left in particular feeling like they each having a heart attack (I'm healthy 26 year old. I just got back from being deployed to Afghanistan). I think it was muscle related though because it was sore walking around after I finally got up and now the soreness is gone. I stretched it out a bit and now the pain is all gone. I was only asleep for about 2 hours.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 18 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

It seems that sleeping with legs raised and hanging on the arm rest has caused compression of the nerve and blood vessels of the lower limbs. This partial ischaemia causes increased lactic acid production in the muscles resulting in the pain and numbness.

Walking around for a while restores the normal circulation and the problem resolves on its own gradually.

Improving your posture while sleeping will prevent any further recurrence. Please do not worry. Right now I do not think that your sympoms are in any way related to a cardiac problem.

I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wish you good health.

Dr. Praveen Tayal
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