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Suggest treatment for severe pricking pain in the legs

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Posted on Tue, 26 Jul 2016
Question: I am in the final stages of a masters degree, which has required a lot of sit-down study time over the past couple months. I also have a desk job, so lately I have been spending most of my time sitting down. I have noticed an ache in my right leg recently, at the back of my leg (behind my knee). It feels better when I stand and stretch it out, but I'm noticing it is getting worse, and now I can only sit for short periods of time. When I stand/stretch for relief, a cool rush sensation runs down the back of my leg. You know that feeling when your arm/leg has been numb, and then you move it and you can feel the blood rushing back through it? That's what it feels like, and sometimes it ends in pins and needles. The ache is always there. It feels like I have to constantly move/stretch my right leg to keep the blood flow. I am trying to take more stand-up/walk around breaks, but I am worried that maybe something is wrong with my leg...Have I caused a blood circulation problem? Have I given myself Deep Vein Thrombosis?
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Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
as explained in details.

Detailed Answer:
Hi.
Thanks for your query and an elucidate history.
To recapitulate: Female/31 - sit down for studies and desk-job for a couple of months - ache in right leg, behind knee - can now sit for short duration of time - cool rush sensation on on standing or stretching as explained - some times end in pins and needles - ache is always there - worried about something is wrong, blood circulation problems? or DVT.

Please provide some information for me to assist you better:
- Since when have you noticed the problems?
- Is there any swelling behind the knee which reduced on bending the knee.
- Is there any swelling at the calf with redness or the ankle, feet and toes too?
- Any backache?
- Taking any medications like OC pills or hormonal preparations?
- Any medical disease like diabetes or thyroid problems?

My thoughts as per the history you have provided:
If there is no local swelling behind the knee or calf or the feet, this problem may be related to the lumbar disc or such a problem. This can be diagnosed by an MRI of the lower spine.

If there is a swelling behind the knee, it can be Backer's cyst.
If there is swelling in the legs, calf, foot and toes, then this may be related to circulation problems and can be diagnosed by vascular color doppler studies well.

I hope this answer helps you, please feel free to give feedback and feel free to ask for further relevant queries if you feel that there is a gap of communication.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. T Chandrakant (22 hours later)
Thank you for your reply. Here are my responses to your questions:

- Since when have you noticed the problems? - Over the past week, I have noticed it as getting worse. I paid less attention to it earlier than that, as I assumed it was to do with exercise (as I have gotten back into personal training over the past 3 months).
- Is there any swelling behind the knee which reduced on bending the knee. - No.
- Is there any swelling at the calf with redness or the ankle, feet and toes too? - No.
- Any backache? - Some mild lower back pain, but nothing out of the ordinary. I assume it is from extended sitting.
- Taking any medications like OC pills or hormonal preparations? - I take contraceptive pill only (Noriman).
- Any medical disease like diabetes or thyroid problems? - No.

The ache also extends to the upper part of my leg (at the back..is it the hamstring??)

The ache is not as strong today, perhaps because yesterday I took lots of walking breaks so I wasn't sitting down for hours at a time? I will continue to do this, as it seems to help. Should I just monitor it for now, or should I go for an MRI?
doctor
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
MRI of the lower spine and sitting arrangement adjustment.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your clear feedback.
Hamstrings are the muscles at the back of thigh.
All the history and findings are suggestive of a possible lower spinal problems.
It is better to get an MRI of the lower spine to confirm or rule out a possible cause and get treated accordingly.
Also see for the sitting posture, chair you sit in - whether has any tilt or unnecessary swings, the height of the chair. Whether you need a lumbar support attached to the chair. Sometimes minor adjustments help a lot.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. T Chandrakant

General Surgeon

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 15004 Questions

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Suggest treatment for severe pricking pain in the legs

Brief Answer: as explained in details. Detailed Answer: Hi. Thanks for your query and an elucidate history. To recapitulate: Female/31 - sit down for studies and desk-job for a couple of months - ache in right leg, behind knee - can now sit for short duration of time - cool rush sensation on on standing or stretching as explained - some times end in pins and needles - ache is always there - worried about something is wrong, blood circulation problems? or DVT. Please provide some information for me to assist you better: - Since when have you noticed the problems? - Is there any swelling behind the knee which reduced on bending the knee. - Is there any swelling at the calf with redness or the ankle, feet and toes too? - Any backache? - Taking any medications like OC pills or hormonal preparations? - Any medical disease like diabetes or thyroid problems? My thoughts as per the history you have provided: If there is no local swelling behind the knee or calf or the feet, this problem may be related to the lumbar disc or such a problem. This can be diagnosed by an MRI of the lower spine. If there is a swelling behind the knee, it can be Backer's cyst. If there is swelling in the legs, calf, foot and toes, then this may be related to circulation problems and can be diagnosed by vascular color doppler studies well. I hope this answer helps you, please feel free to give feedback and feel free to ask for further relevant queries if you feel that there is a gap of communication.