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What is the cure for calf pain when swimming regularly?

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Practicing since : 2004
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Dear Doctor, as you will see from my previous communications with your organization, I have had a few questions related to my RBBB in the last year, or so. You will also see that the testing that has been authorized has indicated normal results. My question now relates to some inexplicable lower calf pain I began experiencing roughly a week ago. One week from today, I wore some heavy shoes that I rarely wear, that have larger than normal heels because I was walking to a football stadium in very cold and icy weather. I walked 15 minutes to the game at a fast pace and did the same upon leaving. I like to walk fast and I also like to run up stairs a couple stairs at a time. I felt nothing unusual that entire day. Later that night, I was walking down stairs to my basement and I felt a pull in my lower left calf. I was extending my leg and putting weight on it and when the pain occurred it was really noticeable. The next day, I swam for 60 to 90 minutes, or so as is typical. I felt no discomfort swimming; yet when I pushed off the wall after flipping turning my calf was sore. That evening, I was walking down the same steps and the same type of strain occurred in my right calf. I though it was a weird coincidence and just put it out of my mind. A few days thereafter, I flew to Las Vegas for an annual trip.This is where I am now. Normally when I am here I walk a great deal and this trip has been no exception. The difference is both of my calf's have been tight and cramping the entire time. One possibility is that I strained both calf's 6 days ago based on the shoes I wore etc., and all the walking I am doing simply will not let them heal. Another is PAD, which I have learned about when googling inexplicable calf pain. One link even mentioned sarcadosis as a possible cause of calf pain. My attitude has been that I probably strained both calf's and that I am not going to worry about this. I arrived in Vegas on Wednesday and swam 3 miles in the first 24 hours here. I swam 2 miles each of the next 2 days. I swim at a fairly vigorous pace, not slowly and I felt no discomfort in my legs except after the flip turns when I push off the walls. What is your opinion about this? Do I chalk this up to leg strains that have not had a chance to heal, or something more serious? When I am not walking I do not have the leg pain; yet if I push on the muscle I can identify when the soreness is as if it is an existing injury. This not withstanding, my father died of heart disease at age 37 and my local cardiologist has never given me an explanation for my RBBB. He says the cardiac MRI is normal and that I am doing all the right things. When I asked him about a follow-up visit he joked that if I wanted to come back in 20 years that might make some sense, until then I had little to worry about. I look quite young for my age, feel great most of the time and as I have mentioned swim regularly at a substantial distance and a fairly vigorous pace. I can see why he thinks I am so healthy because I think so too as do others who know me. This notwithstanding, given my fathers history and the RBBB, shouldn't I have a complete cardiovascular evaluation rather than just a cardiac MRI? I would like do the most definitive testing even if it is partially at my own expense. I am very healthy looking and feeling now; yet I do not want to be an optimistic fool given the other facts I have shared. Please read my previous communications to your colleagues and give me your opinion. I apologize for the length of this communication.
Posted Sat, 1 Feb 2014 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Benard Shehu 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Do start multivitamin/magnesium supplementation.. Detailed Answer: Hi, I have gone through your communication carefully and understood your concerns. I am glad to come to know that your cardiac testing resulted normal. I am also astonished by the fact that you keep swimming regularly at your age. That's one of the healthiest thing one person should do to keep healthy and fit. With regards to the pain in your legs, to my opinion, could be related to lack of some vitamins and minerals (especially of Magnesium). I'd suggest to start taking some supplements containing vitamins and minerals for your age in order to support your bones, joints and muscular function. I'd advise to : - drink more water - keep on the healthy lifestyle and diet habits you normally follow - do regular massaging of the legs (calf) - do not overpass in swimming or other physical activities to avoid muscle overload pain - apply otc local analgesic cream If no improvement, should consult neurologist to rule neurological problems. All the best! Dr.Benard
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