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What causes twitching and numbness in the lower leg?

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Posted on Sat, 13 Aug 2016
Question: I have strange spasms - like nervous twitches in my lower right leg and foot - where I also get a numbing - never together - and if I realize it I can virtually stop it..... being 70 my first thought is parkisons BUT could it just as easily be old age and not enough exercise??
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (51 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Parkinson's from those symptoms?- nevah...neVAH....and NE-VAHHHH

Detailed Answer:
Top of the afternoon to you across the pond from XXXXXXX OHIO.

I hope the title of this response clearly makes the case for just how CONFIDENT I am of saying that on the basis of the symptoms you've very cogently presented, you cannot have PARKINSON'S DISEASE in the least. Now, I can't very well vouch for you if you're either a Martian or Jovian can I? of course not- But if from Terra Firma then, once again, I reiterate my good man.....NEVAH!

I've also learned that the only thing that OLD AGE is a good medical explanation for anymore when it comes to disease processes would be...well, either death (not to be morbid you understand just rather truthful) and perhaps, GRUMPINESS when it comes to teenagers laughing at violently high decibels without themselves needing to wear Aircraft Carrier Eardrum Protection! That's it....nothing else should necessarily be confused with being associated with simply "getting old." Not enough exercise? Well, that's an EXCELLENT THOUGHT but not really a reason for your reason but it's an EXCELLENT THOUGHT. None of us....not even the Olympic athletes training for the Rio games will tell you that they get ENOUGH exercise.....and so I think if you could come up with a good exercise program that you are able to implement and stick with for the long haul that you will be boosting your quality of health by orders of magnitude....but unfortunately, I would not take any wagers that nervous twitches/spasms would necessarily get any better with numbing feelings. Having said that...my best recommendation if you're not used to an exercise program is not to necessarily fly headlong into a physically abrupt and demanding set of exercises done with weights or any hard physical labor but rather start by doing things as simply as possible such as STRETCHING....a good focused 15 min. stretching program designed to pull GENTLY to begin with on every large muscle group in your body for just a few seconds at a time so that the tendons, ligaments, and bones can stretch a bit and then, recoil....this is how you would start.....Other very outstanding similar things to do would be Tai Chi, Yoga, and so forth....just to limber up.....As the stretching gets more and more natural you can transition into exercise regimens. By then, you could probably be a coach or tutor on stretching exercises and their utility.

Parkinson's disease is a clinical SYNDROME based on a multiplicity of signs and symptoms and you've not even mentioned one of them so perish the thought and let's address a few things you can do to get things in order

What you will need to do sir is to put in for a systems check if you will, an overhaul, a once over- and preferably with someone who is going to do a bit more than shake your hand, blind your eyes with a light, have you protrude your tongue which has nothing to do with your feet, tap on your reflexes, and give you a jolly good XXXXXXX on the blades as they send you out in time for the toll of the clock at High Noon. I'd recommend a neurologist to take a look at things because it could be something rather simple such as a minor electrolyte disturbance or other metabolic disorder which is simply needing a minor tweak. A quick blood and urine sample may very well reveal the culprit and the treatment would be in your hands before you knew it.....

On the other hand if labs were unrevealing and this problem continued to be problematic though you'd been diligent in making sure you were well hydrated, had been getting plenty of sleep, cut back if not eliminated the excessive drinking and smoking, and going to be at a decent hour instead of sleeping with the TV on all night long then, there may need to be some additional tests such as electrical study of the lower extremities known as an EMG/NCV. This is done by a neurologist as well and would help determine whether or not there could be any compression of the nerves emanating from your spinal cord and radiating into your legs that could be responsible for this annoying behavior. In addition, a good solid imaging study of the back would be a terrific adjunctive move in concert with the electrical study. That way we might be able to visualize things such as nerve root compression, spinal canal narrowing, presence or not of bony growths due to arthritic disease of the spine itself known as osteophytes which can cause nerve and nerve root irritation, etc.

Now, finding a physician...a good physician who can put all this into play for you is going to be your job since all I can do is make the recommendations while you must translate them into reality.

If I've satisfactorily addressed your question then, could you do me the kindest of favors by CLOSING THIS QUERY and be sure to include some fine words of feedback and a 5 STAR rating to our transaction if you feel the response has helped you? Again, many thanks for posing your question.

Do not forget to contact me in the future at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others.

This query has utilized a total of 40 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.

Cheers!





Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Dariush Saghafi (14 minutes later)
I have to admit to be rather taken aback by the response.... positive though it was overall.
I have started to do the "planking exercise of standing in a pressup position and holding it for 35sec - up to 45 secs now aiming for 4mins

Likely, my "symptoms" could be linked to the cocktail I keep BUT I do link to the lack of sleep part. My mind also does play on stuff - like my dyslectic typing - which is (when I am tired) worse..

Caffiene knocks me sideways cos it definitely stops the sleep - my norm is decaf because of anxiety attacks. and have recently succumbed to dyazipan (but 3 tabs first time and then - spread over 4 weeks another 2 (one an occasion).... and yes my job stresses me out...

I don't want Parkinsons and your approach whilst off-putting to start with is now appreciated.

I also have a brother-in-law with Alzheimers (saddens me) and a friend who has suffered a sever and then several smaller strokes so makes one think.

Finally my son had a massive stroke 2 years ago and one of the symptoms he had un-mistakedly mirrors my "suspect TIA" in 2012 in Trinidad..... (even though the final diagnoses was not as opposed to suspect...

so I guess I need to stop looking eh!

Best Regards XXXXXXX
Thank you
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (11 hours later)
Brief Answer:
So sorry to hear about your family's health issues

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the clarifications and my apologies if my initial response may have been slightly what you WEREN'T expecting.....that's kind of my style of "righteous" medicine (i.e. telling both DOCTORS and PATIENTS how things are....some people like that style...others find it a bit over the top or too out front.....I think it gets the crux of the matter home with sincerity and pointedness).

At any rate, I'm glad you found the message overall positive because that is exactly what I had intended....fear not, I'm not going to trade in my Esclapius for the Quill....not just yet! LOL..... I'm also so sorry to hear about your family's health issues and especially about your son's stroke.....that's absolutely awful and I wish him well to recovery. You know we can do amazing things with stroke victims even within 6-9 years following stroke so if he is only within 2 years of the incident...he may be a candidate for aggressive rehab therapy utilizing a technique called FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) which can be found at specialized centers....look them up for the local one by you if you haven't already and I hope he can use their services.

In terms of your exercise regimen....tally ho....but just one thing....I hope you plan to be doing your plantar extension exercises (toe ups are what they sound like to me) over a fairly long period of time in order to get to the 4 min. mark. The other point is, I'm not sure that doing that sort of ISOMETRIC exercise is the type of active exercise I would most likely recommend for patients in your position. My bias is to do things a bit more active than planking...but again, some of this is personal taste so please don't let me cramp your style.

How about a compromise? You can do your planking if you'll also agree to either jump on a bike....OR.....how about a little AQUATHERAPY whereby you get into a shallow pool...maybe 1 meter or a bit more in depth and just walk laps for 10-15 min. But we're talking walking at a good pace. Pretend for example, that you're the captain of the Water Polo squad.....you're after the ball which is headed toward your net and there's no goalie.....Oh My.....the ball's headed toward the net and THERE'S NO GOALIE! How did you plan to get there? Walking leisurely as if we were strolling in Hyde Park on a pleasant autumn day? Or would you be knocking over whatever or whoever were in your path to make sure that ball never reaches its target? Of course, the latter.......now, imagine yourself moving like that in the pool, back and forth, lap after lap...nice and briskly for 10-15 minutes......not as easy a proposition as you might think, right? But that's another great exercise because not only are you building those muscle groups of both your core and your legs...but you could be working your upper body and arms...especially if you use your those fins to propel or pull yourself quickly through the water....

Caffeine is clearly a risk factor to twitchy muscles and so you really should cut back or go to the decaf if that's necessary and you may find that to be a help in terms of the jerkiness of the legs and/or the cramping. And surely, lack of sleep is also a recognized risk factor that makes NERVES more hypersensitive...especially when they've been up for hours without a break....and this can duly increase jerks, twitches, and also cramps.

One thing....people talk about potassium and leg cramps...or muscle cramps....and then, they talk about eating bananas to get those potassium levels up to snuff. The truth is that the amount of potassium actually present in 1 banana is literally neglible and so ingesting 1 is negligible in terms of how much potassium gets into your system...Besides if you have a normal homeostatic mechanism (chemical balance system) your potassium is already well regulated.....you could eat literally....and I am not kidding but a PICKUP TRUCK full of bananas and not get close to the actual daily requirements for potassium to make any difference whatever to cramps. In fact, most muscle cramps ARE NOT DUE TO ELECTROLYTE imbalances....that's an old Medical Wives' Tale which probably comes from the middle ages when talking chemistry with patients made you either a Wizard or a Genius....so in either case people generally listened to you....nowadays with the internet...that's all changed....so there's almost no way to make people give you any credibility unless you really speak the facts and figures!

At any rate that was just a bit of an aside to let you know that I don't think your electrolytes are likely to blame...but by all means a standard blood workup for your condition should definitely contain electrolytes and potassium will be one of them.

So once again we come to end of the time on this question and will let some of this information simmer and gel. I hope you and your family enjoy the benefits of any of the information I've put together for you and look forward to hearing about any progress that you've made in the near future.

If you'll be so kind at this time to give me the highest rating possible (despite my boistrous and stale humor!)

Come on now...do you think the Queen could've done any better? Ah my respects to that lady....what an unbelievable person she is....I hope she lives to see MY grandchildren!

Do you realize I was touring London when I was 17 and it was her Silver Jubilee...1977....what a time we had there....we performed at the Albert- the poster for our group, America's Youth in Concert was twice the size of the London Philharmonic's Invite to the weekly concert! We stayed at St. Mary's college and most importantly I learned that getting off the Tube at Picadilly Circus DID NOT MEAN we were going to surface to see Elephants, Dancing Bears, and Men and Women performing feats of Strength! I remember the Double Decker ride past one of the LARGEST MCDONALD's restaurants (2 floors) that I'd ever seen in my LIFE! And then, of course, Big XXXXXXX ...I got some awesome pictures (well, for a 17 year old using a Kodak Instamatic back then?).....it was a time to be sure.......

Be well to you and your family.

Again, many thanks for posing your question.

Do not forget to contact me in the future at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others.

This query has utilized a total of 73 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Dariush Saghafi

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What causes twitching and numbness in the lower leg?

Brief Answer: Parkinson's from those symptoms?- nevah...neVAH....and NE-VAHHHH Detailed Answer: Top of the afternoon to you across the pond from XXXXXXX OHIO. I hope the title of this response clearly makes the case for just how CONFIDENT I am of saying that on the basis of the symptoms you've very cogently presented, you cannot have PARKINSON'S DISEASE in the least. Now, I can't very well vouch for you if you're either a Martian or Jovian can I? of course not- But if from Terra Firma then, once again, I reiterate my good man.....NEVAH! I've also learned that the only thing that OLD AGE is a good medical explanation for anymore when it comes to disease processes would be...well, either death (not to be morbid you understand just rather truthful) and perhaps, GRUMPINESS when it comes to teenagers laughing at violently high decibels without themselves needing to wear Aircraft Carrier Eardrum Protection! That's it....nothing else should necessarily be confused with being associated with simply "getting old." Not enough exercise? Well, that's an EXCELLENT THOUGHT but not really a reason for your reason but it's an EXCELLENT THOUGHT. None of us....not even the Olympic athletes training for the Rio games will tell you that they get ENOUGH exercise.....and so I think if you could come up with a good exercise program that you are able to implement and stick with for the long haul that you will be boosting your quality of health by orders of magnitude....but unfortunately, I would not take any wagers that nervous twitches/spasms would necessarily get any better with numbing feelings. Having said that...my best recommendation if you're not used to an exercise program is not to necessarily fly headlong into a physically abrupt and demanding set of exercises done with weights or any hard physical labor but rather start by doing things as simply as possible such as STRETCHING....a good focused 15 min. stretching program designed to pull GENTLY to begin with on every large muscle group in your body for just a few seconds at a time so that the tendons, ligaments, and bones can stretch a bit and then, recoil....this is how you would start.....Other very outstanding similar things to do would be Tai Chi, Yoga, and so forth....just to limber up.....As the stretching gets more and more natural you can transition into exercise regimens. By then, you could probably be a coach or tutor on stretching exercises and their utility. Parkinson's disease is a clinical SYNDROME based on a multiplicity of signs and symptoms and you've not even mentioned one of them so perish the thought and let's address a few things you can do to get things in order What you will need to do sir is to put in for a systems check if you will, an overhaul, a once over- and preferably with someone who is going to do a bit more than shake your hand, blind your eyes with a light, have you protrude your tongue which has nothing to do with your feet, tap on your reflexes, and give you a jolly good XXXXXXX on the blades as they send you out in time for the toll of the clock at High Noon. I'd recommend a neurologist to take a look at things because it could be something rather simple such as a minor electrolyte disturbance or other metabolic disorder which is simply needing a minor tweak. A quick blood and urine sample may very well reveal the culprit and the treatment would be in your hands before you knew it..... On the other hand if labs were unrevealing and this problem continued to be problematic though you'd been diligent in making sure you were well hydrated, had been getting plenty of sleep, cut back if not eliminated the excessive drinking and smoking, and going to be at a decent hour instead of sleeping with the TV on all night long then, there may need to be some additional tests such as electrical study of the lower extremities known as an EMG/NCV. This is done by a neurologist as well and would help determine whether or not there could be any compression of the nerves emanating from your spinal cord and radiating into your legs that could be responsible for this annoying behavior. In addition, a good solid imaging study of the back would be a terrific adjunctive move in concert with the electrical study. That way we might be able to visualize things such as nerve root compression, spinal canal narrowing, presence or not of bony growths due to arthritic disease of the spine itself known as osteophytes which can cause nerve and nerve root irritation, etc. Now, finding a physician...a good physician who can put all this into play for you is going to be your job since all I can do is make the recommendations while you must translate them into reality. If I've satisfactorily addressed your question then, could you do me the kindest of favors by CLOSING THIS QUERY and be sure to include some fine words of feedback and a 5 STAR rating to our transaction if you feel the response has helped you? Again, many thanks for posing your question. Do not forget to contact me in the future at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others. This query has utilized a total of 40 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement. Cheers!