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How to cure the anterior tibialis spasms in my left leg ?

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I'm having anterior tibialis spasms in my left leg - how do I make it go away?
(47 yr old male novice yogi, former runner, 5'10", 160, lean)
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 6 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Regarding the anterior tibia is spasm first I'd like to know if you hav any thoughts as to why you might be having these? Have you been doing any heavy exercises such as jumping, sprinting, cycling or running long distances? Do you drive your car for extended periods of time? Have you suffered any trauma to your leg in the past?

As for the spasm where in your leg do you feel it? Is it high and close to the knee or low and close to the foot? As for the spasm itself one of the better treatments for this would be stretching - exercises where you push or pull your foot to both lengthen and shorten the muscle. Next you could have massage therapy which can be quite effective over a short number of treatments to decrease irritability in the muscle and nerves.

Lastly - sometimes electrolyte imbalance can contribute to spasm of muscle so be sure to continue a well balanced diet with good hydration and electrolyte intake.

I thank you again for the query. I hope you found my answer to be both helpful and informative. Should you have additional concerns I would be happy to address them. I look forward also to any additional info you can provide regarding the anterior tibialis spasm.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How to cure the anterior tibialis spasms in my left leg ? 19 hours later
Thank you for your reply. There's been no trauma that I can source the pain from - no excessive sports or significant mechanical changes. The spasm is mid-way between the knee and ankle, either the tibailis anterior or perhaps the extensor digitorum longus? Since the pain is rather broad and seems on the surface, I've assumed its the tibialis and I've searched or possible sources of that pain with nothing notable.

I have used stretching, massage, NSAIDs, and I generally stay plenty hydrated (2-4L+/day). I've also tried restricing my activities and changing the height and tilt of my chairs; all with no apparent affect.

I have had some sciatica lately and the two are often noticeable together, but I didn't think the sciatic nerve went that far into the lower leg. I was actually a bit afraid of 'gout' since my Dad's been having that problem for years, and the only other difference since this pain has surfaced has been the addition of the 600 mg of lithium.

Maybe a simpler question is, do you think this could be gout or lithium related or is it more likely a mechanical issue (strain/pull/alignment/sciatica)?

Thanks for your help!
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 6 hours later
Thanks for the follow up.

I don't think the lithium has played a role at all in what you have experienced. This is most certainly mechanical in origin.

I suggest you evaluate your daily footwear to see if there is any correlation with change in shoes or perhaps worn down shoes and the symptoms you have.

Since you had sciatica this could also be due to this extending below to your mid leg.

Sciatica causes pain, a burning sensation, numbness, or tingling radiating from the lower back and upper buttock down the back of the thigh to the back of the leg. The result is leg pain. Sometimes the pain radiates around the hip or buttock to feel like hip pain.

While sciatica is often associated with lower back pain , it can be present without low back pain. Severe sciatica can make walking difficult if not impossible. Sometimes the symptoms of sciatica are aggravated by walking or bending at the waist and relieved by lying down.

A nerve impingement could lead to this type of thing but your symptoms are certainly not typical. An electromyelogram may be of some help and can be performed by a neurologist or rehabilitation doctor.

It also does not look like gout to me , since it would be involving your greater toe.

I thank you again for your query and hope I can continue to help you with good information. Please let me know if you have additional concerns.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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