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Suffering from muscle stiffness, overall malaise feeling. What could be the cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3094 Questions
Hello, both my identical twin and I have experienced muscle stiffness in our legs and up through the neck since our teenage years. It feels like the movement of a robot where the muscle respond too slowly and stiffly for the movement you wish to make. There will be stretches of time with no stiffness, but the stiffness will then return and last for a few days. It is most noticed during activity. Both of us were very active in sports and this is when the stiffness was most prevalent. For example; during a baseball game I once hit a ball and began to ran to 1st base when my legs then "locked up" and I fell flat on my face. It would also occur when starting to sprint after a ball to catch it. Now that we are thirty and no longer in organized sports, the stiffness continues in our day to day lives. It often comes with an overall malaise feeling at times. I have told this to other doctors and they are quite dismissive. I am a paramedic now and more aware of my body and am quite concerned and frustrated. Thank you for any help you may offer.
Tue, 30 Apr 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 4 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,
From what you describe, you might deserve a detailed clinical and paraclinical evaluation.
Past history of stiffness, especially at onset of physical activity is of interest. Autoimmune diseases and electrolyte abnormalities could be at the origin of these symptoms. I suggest doing an electrolyte panel (especially Calcium and Magnesium) and serum Vitamin D levels. Electromyogrammes and testing for certain anti myoglobin antibodies could be quite interesting. Neglected Calcium metabolism abnormalities, especially severe hypocalcemia might present itself as such.
Otherwise , consulting a neurologist and an internist could be very useful. MRI scans to ascertain the integrity of brain white matter (cerebral) cortex could be quite interesting. Some forms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis usually start as such.
Consulting your neurologist and internist could be quite helpful.
Thanks and wishing you good health.
Luchuo, MD.
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