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    Old 05-02-2004, 06:04 PM   #1
    rudolf
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    Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    Some time ago now, I believe the last warm day of last year if I remember, I spent all day working in the garden, but felt fine. The next day, my back was very sore and continued to get worse, so I took some physical therapy and it soon went away.

    Now, I've been learning to play golf now for almost 5 years, practicing real hard to develop sound mechanics, with lessons, range time, playing, etc. Now, a month or so ago I noticed that my buttocks were getting real tight, but I just chalked it up to getting a workout in a more correct golf setup posture that I wasn't used to. Anyway, it became a problem that it was distracting me a lot at setup and almost starting to make me dread it, so I decided to see the physical therapist again.

    At the time I did, I was also starting to feel soreness in the upper outer portion of my left calf too. I also noticed that my right leg didn't feel at all like my left including the lack or hardly noticable butt soreness. So, the PT gave me a bunch of stretches and off I went.

    Probably a week or so later, suddenly the pain seemed to become more localized in the upper outer portion of my left calf and now that's what I'm asking about. I've also since been to a different PT that specialized in sport-specific PT and also knows a lot about the golf swing too.

    This sports-specific PT says that I have some kind of nerve impingement or adverse neuro tension, whatever that is. Shortly before I saw her I did go see a Orthopedic doctor, who took X-rays and said that everything looks normal. Anyway, the PT again gave me a bunch of stretches which I'm doing today. She also said that it's almost certainly in my back somewhere. In fact, sometimes when she's testing me, a simply movement of lowering or raising my head when my body is in a particular position, will either make the pain go away or come into focus respectively.

    Also, it's should be noted that if I take Ibuprofen or Vioxx, the pain goes away and I almost feel back to normal. I also wake up real sore in my left leg in the morning. Finally, the pain is induced easily by going hamstring-type stretches. Hopefully, this all sounds very familiar.

    Now, I've always led a very active lifestyle and go a little nuts if I don't get my exercise, so I've never had any kind of pain in either my back or legs before. I guess I could learn to live with this, but I would prefer to be able to golf again, run around with my kids, etc., you know, lead a healthy lifestyle again as soon as possible.

    Right now, I don't do anything, such as golf, running, elliptical, since I don't know what specifically it is and how I would make it better or worse. I have nothing but vague non-specific diagnosis and I feel like I'm wasting my time doing anything that isn't working towards a specific goal of freeing or mobilizing the problem that I have.

    What should I do about getting a specific diagnosis? Should I get an MRI? Do I need to see another sports-specific doctor of some kind? If so, what kind? I know this is kind of minor, since it can be relieved with over the counter anti-inflamatory medicine, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much for your time and advice,
    rudolf.

     
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    Old 05-03-2004, 02:48 AM   #2
    janson536
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    Re: Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    I believe that MRI is the 1st choise for diagnosis of bulging or herniated disc or spinal stenosis or whatever could impigne a spinal nerve. X-ray was done to evaluate arthritis which often is the cause of spinal stenosis. It is always done in diagnosis of impigned nerve, but MRI is diagnostic. X-ray OK means just no significant arthritis. Orthopedics and neurologists mainly deal with these problems, which - by the way - are very common and as such very well known to all doctors - I don't think you should change the doctor except if you don't trust him.

     
    Old 05-03-2004, 03:52 AM   #3
    lori j
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    Re: Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    I agree, xrays don't show nerve or disc problems. Get an mri & then you & your pt can work toward fixing the problem. You will have to be patient, you cannot golf & get better with PT. You need to get this healed before you do anything pysical. Our backs are priority, the activities will have to wait. My PT wouldn't even start back strengthening exercises til all the pain was gone from the herniated disc. I had pain, but it was down the outside of my thigh to my knee, not as far as the calf. They say the farther it goes, like to the foot rather than the knee, the more damage there is. So stick with your pt & also get an MRI to see exactly what the problem is & do not do any kind of pysical activity, or you may injure yourself to the point that you won't golf again.

     
    Old 05-03-2004, 08:54 AM   #4
    rudolf
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    Re: Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    Thanks for all the advice. I have left a message with my sports-specific PT to understand whether I should get an MRI, but I assume she will welcome the opportunity for me to get more specific information too. I also left a message to ask her about what kind of physical activity I can engage in, but after reading your replies, I would expect her to not want me to do anything. I'll let you know how things proceed from here, so hopefully it can be helpful to others. Thanks again.

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 11:51 PM   #5
    lori j
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    Re: Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    [QUOTE=rudolf]Thanks for all the advice. I have left a message with my sports-specific PT to understand whether I should get an MRI, but I assume she will welcome the opportunity for me to get more specific information too. I also left a message to ask her about what kind of physical activity I can engage in, but after reading your replies, I would expect her to not want me to do anything. I'll let you know how things proceed from here, so hopefully it can be helpful to others. Thanks again.[/QUOTE]

    Rudolf, please do keep in touch & let us know what is going on with your back. If you have any questions about PT, I'd be glad to answer them.

     
    Old 05-11-2004, 06:54 AM   #6
    rudolf
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    Re: Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    Here's an update to the on-going saga.

    First my doctor - I went to my local doctor to try to get an MRI, but instead after I explained all my symtoms, he concluded that it was a tendon or ligament strain with some scar tissue and possibly some birsitis that is putting pressure on it. He prescribed 4 weeks of 500Mg of Naprosyn twice a day, which I understand is a stronger anti-inflamatory. He also wanted me to put heat on it for half an hour after taking the drug and stretch my calf muscles from various angles. Finally, he said to see him again in 2 weeks and if it hadn't improved, he would take the next step.

    I feel his conclusion was based largely on the fact that I didn't demonstrate any typical back problems, since I have no problem touching my toes, etc., but instead when I induced the pain, I was able to pinpoint it with my finger. Of course, I don't know how he really drew he conclusion, but that I was observation.

    Overall, although I didn't walk away with the MRI, but I still felt it was a good time investment, since he was saying he didn't think it was a back problem, plus I had established history of my issue with another person and I'm a firm believer in looking at a problem from as many different perspectives as possible.

    Second the physical therapist - I explained what had happened with the doctor and she disagreed and maintains that this is adverse neuro tension and has me doing nerve glide exercises. One test in particular I believe leads her to draw this conclusion. If I lie on my back with my right leg down straight and my left leg bent. If I then extend my left leg in the air there appears to be a range of motion where I feel the pain then I don't. From 0 to 45 I don't feel anything, from 45 to say 80 I feel the pain, then over 80 degrees I don't feel it again. Also this range is affected slightly by whether my head is up or down. Do this sound like anything that would help me to isolate it?

    The physical therapist has me doing these nerve glide exercises which consist of variants of what I described above. For instance, I basically raise my leg until I feel the pain, then I alternate between pointing and pulling my toes making the pain go on and off.

    Well, that's about it. I'm following both the doctors and physical therapists orders, but everyday is still the same. I'm now going out of town on business for 2 weeks, so I'll maintain the routine until I get back and then we'll see if there has been any difference.

    Thanks again for all your advice, I really appreciate it.
    rudolf.

     
    Old 05-11-2004, 11:27 PM   #7
    lori j
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    Re: Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    some things are not resolved quickly & we have to go thru the routine til we find out exactly what it is. I didn't go right to a therapist. First I was with a chiropractor, then my family doc tried injections, anti-inflamatories, pain meds etc. Then took xrays & then ordered pt for me. So, mine was over a period of from Dec. thru June. I was in PT just over 3 months & it took all of the first 4 weeks to see even the slightest improvement, so don't give up hope. PT's have ways of testing that tell them where the pain is coming from. Hopefully, the therapy will work out your problems..

     
    Old 08-03-2004, 12:27 PM   #8
    rudolf
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    Re: Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    It's been a long time and so much as changed, so I thought I'd post an update to what I now most definately know is a back problem.

    Since we last joined our intrepid explorer...my symptoms have increased quite a bit. They basically spread to my right upper outer calf, my right buttock and a tingling across the top of the toes in my right foot. This naturally worried me and was making walking kind of painful, so I decided to back to the back doctor again. Now, in fact, my right leg is far worse than my left leg.

    This time they decided it was time to do an MRI to find out what's going on, and the results are as follows -
    IMPRESSION - (1) Severe central and diffuse disc herniation at the L4-L5 level which results in spinal canal stenosis and bilateral neural foraminal obliteration. (2) Moderate L5-S1 diffuse disc herniation with mild spinal canal stenosis and bilateral severe neural foraminal narrowing.

    After reading this the doctor said that the MRI might be overstating the problem and sent me to get a Melyogram with a CT Scan.

    Although I'm not sure what the results of the Melyogram were, during the actual procedure the attending doctor pointed out on the X-ray monitor that the die/contrast was not getting through the L4-L5 disc. However, they took lots of X-rays from various positions, so we'll see.

    I'm going to the doctor again on Thursday to get the results, but I feel like the clock is ticking and it's only a matter of time before my symptons turn from an annoyance and mild pain into full on pain.

    Needless to say I've been doing a lot of researching on various procedures and/or options in the meantime. I like the idea of artificial disk replacement (ADR), but it seems like you have to go to Germany to have that option and then I'm sure it's very expensive. We'll see.

    Bye for now,
    Rudolf.

     
    Old 08-03-2004, 06:06 PM   #9
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    Re: Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    Rudolph, ADR is approved in the US now....do a search online and you should find the information you need.
    I should probably shut my mouth, but I have to say something about that therapist ... she/he overrode the doctor's orders and that is something that is wrong and unprofessional in my opinion. If she disagreed or had questions, she should have called the dr. and discussed it. To say he is wrong and proceed on her own assumptions could have caused a great deal of problems in the wrong patient. Just something to consider in the future.

    Good luck, and please keep posting. I really would like to follow you.

    Carol
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    Old 08-04-2004, 05:04 PM   #10
    healmyback
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    Re: Upper outer left calf pain advice please

    stop anything that will make it soar. The first few months of healing process if crucial. do not hurt it again and get an mri done.

     
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