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sciatica and calf pain?

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Old 05-04-2010, 09:24 AM   #1
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cat1001 HB User
sciatica and calf pain?

i ve posted a thread before regarding sciatica and calf pain, has anyone else experienced cramping of the calfs and a slight swelling, its really painful and im so fed up its been going on for a year now, still no referal to physio. i do occasionally get back ache and shooting pain in my thigh buttock but it is mainly in my left calf, its very scary as i have had dvt before and the pain feels very similar, i have been reassured by gp it is not a dvt and have had ultrasounds to confirm this. my anxiety levels are very high though and nobody is really giving me any answers, can anyone confirm they also get these symptoms from sciatica?

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Old 05-04-2010, 10:20 AM   #2
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Re: sciatica and calf pain?

[COLOR="Navy"]I've been having these "charlie horses" as I call them for the past 4 years. It is from nerve compression and yes, sciatica. Hurts like the devil, don't they? Never pain meds only help so far. My PT has told me to put ice on my sacrum to help with it.

I have been having a bad flare up of them this past week-during the night.It wakes me up and wrenches me out of bed while I stand on my toes or put my foot in the toliet (groady, huh) to break the siege. It seems that the cold helps more than anything-which is why he told me to ice b4 bed. I just had therapy last night so I'll try it tonight and see if it helps. It's been a miserable week so far. I have them in both legs and this curls down to my toes sometimes.

You are not alone in having this. I have had a DVT-went from my claf to my groin and throwing clots into both lungs so I know what that pain is. I almost wish for that-it can be cured. This you just learn to ride out-and no bananas don't help! My skin is even sensitive to the touch after a bout of this. LOL.

don't stress so bad.You aren't in this alone and it is related to sciatica![/COLOR]

Old 05-04-2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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Re: sciatica and calf pain?

wow thats really good to hear from somebody that has had a dvt and got sciatica, (not so good for you)it makes me think hey im not going crazy after all, my blood clot was quite small in comparison to yours and its the worst pain i ve ever been in, which sometimes helps with the anxiety but your right sometimes it just feels so similar to dvt i convince myself thats what it must be. im not on any meds as im too sensitive to the side effects of most things actually so it makes it so frustrating, the only problem is is when do i know its only sciatica and not a dvt, i only had the dvt a year ago so the chances of me getting another one are quite high, i got the chicken pox and was taking the pill and i got it from being in bed for a week and the pill, i am a little overweight and i smoke but at the moment im too stressed out to quite smoking although i am on a diet and am gradually loosing weight, im also more active but unfortunately the sciatica is stopping me from doing a lot of things, swimming is the only barable thing to do at the moment! thanks for your reply bake and pray its good to dicuss these things with people going though the same things as me!

Old 05-04-2010, 12:40 PM   #4
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Re: sciatica and calf pain?

[COLOR="Navy"]There is something called bio freeze that is a topical spray/rub that you can put on that will help with the pain. It sort of numbs the area. I have found that it helps. You can get something that is simiilar at the drug stores-this you get from a chiro or a therapy place that sells it.

If you don't tolerate meds well, what about lidocane patches? I have found that they deliver the meds right over the area and seem to help with numbing and removing pain.

You're on the right track, losing weight. Not to lecture, but if you have had a DVT, you really need to stop smoking! Swimming is actually the best exercise you can do....hang in there.[/COLOR]

Old 06-11-2010, 10:10 AM   #5
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PBacchus HB User
Re: sciatica and calf pain?

I have an S-3 sciatica.
I get the calf muscle cramp usually at night and can will kick me out of bed. My calf muscle will lock hard and my first action is to cry out - ow! ow! ow! Darnn it! @#$@#@! Then I bend my foot back to relieve the cramp. It is a bugger.

To stay upright, my regimen includes exercise and yoga daily. Something I push myself to do and am reminded by flare ups that lying on the floor is a reality.
I can now walk as compared to time spent on the floor.
My sciatica runs down the left lower back to my toes. The calf cramp usually acts up only after a long day on my feet working or lifting weight. They usually occur when I am lying down and point my toes. Causing the calf to contract and what I call, lock in place. The cramp!
This is not frequent. Though I have had two this week. I know my cramp is from over exertion on a weaker muscle due to the sciatica.

Sciatica sufferers must exercise, loose weight and strengthen our cores. Age is a cruel reminder of our limitations. Reduce them as we can for a longer upright life.

Best to all


Last edited by PBacchus; 06-11-2010 at 10:18 AM.

Old 06-11-2010, 08:54 PM   #6
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Re: sciatica and calf pain?

I had sciatica that was eliminated by back surgery. However, I get calf pain and actually cramping all over my body that is horrible. I don't know the cause of mine yet, but I do know taking calcium, magnesium will help. My chiropractor told me to drink a glass of tonic water every night. It won't work if the cramping has already started. I also drink tons of water as hot flashes, dehydrate me too. When it is really bad I drink pedialyte.

Old 06-12-2010, 08:13 AM   #7
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PEmom HB User
Re: sciatica and calf pain?

You are not alone I had a herniated disc at L5S1 and it created nerve damage and I am constantly having calf issues. My calf always feel tight and I get similar cramps too. There is another product called Tiger Balm similar to biofreeze and it is another product that may help. My illiopsoas (sp) muscle, one in your butt, gets tight and sets mine off sometimes. To stretch sit in a chair bring left ankle to right knee, sit up in a straight posture and lean forward till you feel the stretch in your butt. Be encouraged you are not alone.

Old 07-22-2010, 02:00 PM   #8
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darkwater HB User
Re: sciatica and calf pain?

Oh, you guys have saved my life! I have been having terrible cramping pains in my right calf after about a month of dealing with sciatica that started as a backache and progressed to the hip and leg. I had begun to think in my SO glad I decided to come here to see what everyone else was saying about it. I had just about talked myself out of the dvt thing after reasoning that clots start in extremeties and move towards the heart/lung, not the other way around.

This sciatia crap is something serious! I thought it would be gone by now, but it is dismaying reading on here that for a lot of people it is CHRONIC. Naw! My husband has rheumatoid arthritis, both of us cannot be lame! This stuff is disabling, I could not even stand up to wait at the pharmacy window for two minutes, it was like my leg was burning up inside. Other times it doesn't burn, it is like there is a fishook caught in my leg or hip. I will think I am about to take a full stride on the right leg, but when I go to take it, it's like there is a big fishook caught in my flesh that pulls me up short as if to say, "And where did you think you were going, missy?" LOL Just call me the Hopalong Kid....

Old 07-23-2010, 03:55 AM   #9
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PBacchus HB User
Re: sciatica and calf pain?


I recommend that you ask your doctor to see a specialist in spinal injuries and back pain.
I live in Western NY and go to Buffalo Sports and Spine. Great doctors.
They should recommend an MRI to evaluate your spine. If not ask for one. Then a plan of action to help you back into a more normal life can be established.

I am not a Dr. but it does sound like sciatica and it is a life long process of care.
It is debilitating if not treated. As I stated I must stretch, do yoga and exercise everyday. I am 48 and 2 years ago I thought i had pulled a hamstring muscle. The pain finally went down my left leg and my 2 outer toes went numb. Then before I knew it I could not get off the floor without pain. Then once I got up the only way I was able to walk was in a bent over posture like the crooked old man in the crooked old house.

After 16 weeks of therapy and 2 epidural steroid shot into the spine, I could walk upright and eventually strengthen my core.

For your sanity go see your doctor.

Best of luck
P. Bacchus

Old 07-23-2010, 10:40 AM   #10
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holly120 HB User
Re: sciatica and calf pain?

yes I have that too- L5-S1 herniated disc. I get massages at a massage school once a week its cheap. I suggest you also goggle- something called "the stick" or use a rolling pin for the kitchen that seems to work to roll out the tension. Check out myofacial tightening I have that. The myofacial is covers your muscle and can bunch up. There are lumps all over my calf from it. You can feel when you roll over them with the rolling pin. There is a PT procedure called aystme (sp??) that is supposed to really help. Its newer and harder to find. They said that pain should improve after my back surgery.

Old 01-06-2012, 08:28 PM   #11
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bridgegal HB User
Re: sciatica and calf pain?

I'm new to this site, so this is the first time I have seen your post. I have the identical problem - sciatica with pain and swelling in left calf muscle - it's been going on for a couple of years, sometimes it's better, other times it's worse. Occasionally I use an elastic knee support which I pull up to just below my left knee - seems to give some comfort to the calf muscle. Hope you see this and know others have the same problem!!

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Old 01-09-2012, 01:16 PM   #12
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Unhappy Re: sciatica and calf pain?

Boy do I feel your pain! I been battling Sciatica for weeks now. In 2009 I had an MRI to confrim a bulging disc in the lumbar region. I have had episodes of back pain off and on since but nothing like what I am currently experiencing. I have the sciatic pain all down my leg but I can say my McKenzie exercises have helped in the past but not this time. I have never experienced the thigh and calf muscle problems like I have now. It feels like a charlie horse is coming on or that my muscles are so knotted they cannot/will not let go. I have severe pain in calf and thigh but it is worse in my calf. My foot gets cold and achey. I cannot put pressure on my leg. Pain meds don't seem to help much and I've done ice/massages/chiropratic care/some exercise when I am not in pain. Bio-freeze seems to help some but then my already cold foot gets colder. When I was given Decadron at the Urgent Care Center 12 mg took away some inflamation but it still felt like I had a rock/knot in my calf and still could not walk on it. Went to ER they did ultrasound for clots and found nothing, refused to take another MRI and filled me with Dilauded(sp?) for 8 hours and sent me home in tears....just the way I had arrived..I could not walk in on my own nor out when sent home. This week I go to the Pain Consultant place and next week GP and the Spine Center for Care....I have missed work and cannot function let alone drive a vehicle with the meds I'm on...know that you are not alone and I wish you well! I agree that yoga can be our best friend but I cannot even move or get down and up from the floor without extreme pain and my dr suggested last year pilates.

Last edited by Bjcatz25; 01-09-2012 at 01:20 PM. Reason: left out a few words

Old 08-24-2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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pullthechunkout HB User
Re: sciatica and calf pain?

holly120 : can you give me the name of the doctor that operated on you? I need the same procedure you received and I would like to give them a call to see about getting it done.

Thank you

Old 08-24-2012, 02:16 PM   #14
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Location: Princeton, NJ, USA
Posts: 20
Re: sciatica and calf pain?

This sounds a lot like an effect of lumbar stenosis. Where the pain hits depends on which
vertebra is affected. I am currently experiemcing similar difficulties, and trying to get
my mind around the minimal incision corrective surgery--XStop. I need to know a lot more about it before I got ahead. I've had the steroid injections with limited success.
Anyway, if your Dr. hasn't ordered an MRI lately, it's probably past time.

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