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Severe cramps in legs, hips and ankles, sciatica. Quit crystal meth. Is it joint and muscle related?

I have been using crystal meth almost daily since April. I have been experiencing severe cramping in my legs from the hip to the ankles. The pain isn't consistent and comes and goes. The more I stand the worse it gets. Just prior. To starting the meth usage I had a severe case of sciatica. However the pain this time seems more joint and muscle related. I've quit the meth intake for days at a time but it doesn't seem to help. Can the meth be causing this?
Asked On : Mon, 14 Oct 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  158
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response
Jul 2013
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM.

Your cramping pain from hips to ankles is not due to Crystal meth (methamphetamine) and is highly suggestive of Lumbar disc disease with radiculopathy which implies protrusion of an intervertebral disc causing compression over the nerve roots.

The initial management of this condition is as follows -

- Avoid lifting heavy weights
- Avoid excessive forward bending activities , if you want to bend forwards, you have to keep your hips and knees in some flexion.
- Use a lumbosacral back support to stabilize your spinal muscles
- Intermittent pelvic traction might be helpful
- Maintain optimum body weight,if you are obese
- Physiotherapy is needed to strengthen your back muscles. Physiotherapy has to be done only after the acute pain has subsided.
- Use analgesics like advil or aleve and muscle relaxants as needed. Vitamin B12 supplements may be helpful.

If your fail to improve with the above measures, an Epidural steroid injection may provide good symptom relief for a few months.

I suggest you to consult an orthopedic surgeon for further management.

Hope this information is helpful. Good day
Answered: Mon, 14 Oct 2013
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