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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes pain and tingling sensation in the legs?

Answered by
Dr. Matt Wachsman

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 3587 Questions

Posted on Thu, 11 Jan 2018 in Pain Management
Question: I have a leg problem. When I sit or I'm laying down I get what feels like withdrawals. I've been through those due to pain pills after surgery. It happens when I am at a 90 - 180 degree angle. It causes pain and tingling.
I have had two back fusions.
Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman 32 minutes later
Brief Answer:
one assumes you are not on narcotics.

Detailed Answer:
The answer is totally different if you've recently been on narcotics and if you have not. I'm going to assume you are not:
Several features of pain can be helpful in clarifying what is going on and the next steps for diagnosis and treatment.

Type of pain. Burning mostly means a nerve is having problems. This can be either a sick nerve or a nerve that has had an injury. Electrical, shooting would be others implying nerve source for pain.

Location of pain. There is a lot to this. First, if something goes in the pathway of a nerve, then that is the nerve involved. Nerves are long and the pain is in a belt-like long pathway
Then, if particular positions known to pinch a particular nerve are triggers for pain it makes it very likely that is th etype of pain and the source of pain.

It is common for nerves in the back to cause pain. It is less common for the entire spine to be involved AND the pattern of pain and position that triggers it implies a spinal issue as the cause of pain. This requires an MRI to be able to fully show what is going on. IT can also be from a tumor or other thing that is in the spine and hitting nerves.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Matt Wachsman 36 minutes later
No I’m am not currently on narcotics. However, I did put myself through withdrawals within the last month. I went without narcotics for 24 hours and then used Suboxone for the rest of that day. That’s usually all it takes for me.

I did forgot to mention once this starts I am unable to be still. My legs continuously jerk.
Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
ah thank you for the additional input

Detailed Answer:
Several points. First, everything I said about lumbar disk still stands. And there are additional possibilites. Whiel most of the withdrawal from narcotics occurs in the first 3 weeks there is still gonig to be a bit of residual change in the tone of the nervous system. And, if there was a lot of vomiting , there is likely to still be some electrolyte abnormalities. Some magnesium and potassium supplementation in the hundreds of milligrams of each per day would not be a bad idea, provided one has kidneys.
Restless leg occurs in most people in this situation. Muscle relaxants would be something to try and probably NOT clonidine. Parkinson's medication are the usual drugs prescribed for restless leg, They work but are a bit less effective in the context of drug wtihdrawal than they are in the usual restless leg syndrome.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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